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Thunder Women’s Basketball Show Promise in CIS/ACAC Showcase

Posted on: Oct 7, 2013

The final weekend of exhibition play for Thunder Women's Basketball kicked off at the Saville Center on the U of A's South Campus this past weekend.  Featuring teams from both the ACAC and CIS it was a great weekend of basketball. The Thunder kicked off the competition on Thursday afternoon with a match vs the SAIT Trojans. The game started off in favour of the Thunder, with the ladies jumping out to an early lead. With great ball movement and a solid defense, the girls found themselves up 15 after 2 quarters. However, the Thunder's lack of size caught up to them in the second half as the Trojans began their assault on the boards and the Thunder found themselves consistently out-rebounded. Turnovers were also a problem for the Thunder on the day and in the end, the Trojans came up with the victory 67-54. High scorers for the Thunder were Meagan McIntosh with 14 points and Aly Bridgeman with 12.
On Friday afternoon, the Thunder found themselves back in action against the Queens from Red Deer College. The girls were all over the Queens and the Thunder took advantage of their superior speed hitting lay-up after lay-up. With great ball movement around the horn and the penetration and kick on the offensive end both lay-ups and shots were falling down. Red Deer made a small run to cut the lead but with the veteran play of both Ally Bridgeman and newcomer Jenelle Monty at the free throw line, the Thunder were able to prevail with a 60-54 victory. Thunder scoring was lead by Karolina Wieczorek with 16 points and for the 2nd game in a row, Aly Bridgeman with 14.
On Saturday, the final pre-season game for the Thunder saw them matched up against the Medicine Hat Rattlers. With an excellent outcome the night before, the ladies were up to the challenge against a team from the south that had size and quickness. With quiet confidence, the Thunder came out as a cohesive unit displaying great team play. Concordia broke the press that the Rattlers threw at them and demolished their inside size and again were knocking down shots. Karolina Wieczorek and Meagan McIntosh were a huge presence on the inside both defensively and offensively.  The rookies were “making it rain” from the perimeter lead by Emilie Thompson and Lindsay Piper's three-point shots.  At the half time mark it was 28-18 for the Thunder.  In the 3rd frame, the Rattlers came out to make a 17-6 run to get back in the game but the Thunder did an excellent job dealing with the adversity that was thrown their way. After three quarters it was tied at 38. With one quarter left, it was a back and forth affair; the Thunder would get a steal and a layup on one end and the Rattlers would come back and and score a three pointer on the other. Unfortunately it was the Rattlers that prevailed in the end with the final outcome, a 58-48 Medicine Hat victory. New Thunder Head Coach Robbie Valpreda was clearly very pleased overall with the performance of his young team. "This weekend was a great success for the women’s basketball team as they came out every game and competed; they showed heart and hard work. The Lady Thunder basketball team has a bright future ahead of them," concluded Valpreda.
The Thunder will now work to get ready for the ACAC regular season as they open up at home against the SAIT Trojans on October 19th.

Railene Hooper