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Thunder Women’s Basketball Put up a Fight Against the Wolves

Posted on: Nov 12, 2013

This weekend the Thunder Women’s Basketball team took on the Wolves from Grande Prairie. With a good week of practice the ladies were ready to get their first taste of victory. From the opening tip on Friday night the women from GPRC lived up to their name and like a pack of wolves they looked to get the jump on the Thunder. They jumped out to an early 13-4 lead, but the Thunder slowly snuck back into the game tying it up at 13 apiece. Again the Wolves came out with a late run to take the lead into half time. After the half, the Thunder came out again very determined to put up a fight. “Our defense was excellent tonight,” said coach Valpreda. "But we struggled to put the ball in the hoop.”  In the end, the Thunder would go down to defeat 57-36. “We shot 51% from the free throw line. In any game you play, (that percentage) would not result in a positive outcome. We were very good defensively keeping our opponent at 57pts. Anytime we can do this we should be looking to win the game,” concluded Valpreda.  Player of the Game on Friday night went to first year Guard Jayden Hooper. “Jaden did an excellent job for us on defense tonight. Her hustle and hard work really showed; she came into the game tonight having to guard their best player and she did an excellent job."
On Saturday, the Thunder had a quick turnaround with a 1 pm tip-off against the Wolves. This time the Thunder struggled defensively right out of the gate and found themselves in a bit of a hole giving up 28 pts in the first quarter. After a quick time out, Concordia fought their way back into the game and were down by only a single-digit margin after one quarter. As the second quarter began the ladies knew what they had to do; transition. “We had such great success when we ran the ball. On Friday, every time we ran and pushed the ball up the floor we got something positive out of it,“ said Coach Valpreda. On Saturday, that is exactly what the Thunder did and found themselves down just 41-38 at half time.  As the second half began, the Thunder defense was superb, but once again they struggled to score. “We made great cuts to get open and we would miss the easiest part finishing at the rim. We also moved the ball well, penetrating and kicking it out, but we couldn’t knock down jump shots.” The Wolves took advantage of this finishing the game with a 78-60 victory.
“It's tough, really tough,” summarized Coach Valpreda. “These girls do such a great job out on the floor and work so hard in practice and so times like this when the ball just doesn’t bounce your way can be frustrating. The coaches are again very proud of the girls for staying in it; starters, rookies, veterans and coaches – everyone knows there has been great improvement, we just need to take the time now to get lots of shots up and focus on our next competition. The entire team was much better today. You could see the effort, the intensity and the perseverance was there. Our leaders were better, all our starters were in double digits scoring and we were consistent from one to 10.  Congratulations to Railene Hooper on being Player of the Game.  She finished with 14pts and 8 rebounds.
The Thunder will now go on the road for a single against the St. Mary's Lightning this Friday night in Calgary.

Meaghan McIntosh

Photo Courtesy of John McIntosh