Now that was a great game. On Galt’s home floor, in front of a partisan crowd hungry for a win, the Red & White brought their best and prevailed 45-31 in a game that was much closer than the final score.
It will come as no surprise that the key to this impressive victory was team defence. Coached by none other than Bishop’s University men’s basketball head coach Rod Gilpin (gulp!), the Pipers threw everything at us. When they weren’t switching and replacing, they were driving and attacking the seams. When they weren’t forcing the ball inside, they were whipping the ball around the perimeter. Designed to spread us out and make us work for the duration of the shot clock, their smart, fast-moving strategy did exactly that. But your Spartans were up to the task.
Emily and Rosema worked hard to deny penetration up top AND help on the boards, with Emily in particular chasing down critical long rebounds. Mackenzy, despite a sore foot that hindered her mobility, was her usual dominant self in the middle. But the Players Of The Game were Alexandra Smith and Rosemarie Ladouceur, who have simply never played better on the wings. Their positioning was perfect, their closeouts and rotations were disciplined, their lateral mobility was outstanding, and they were both beasts on the glass. In fact, the best indicator of how well they played was how rarely Mackenzy had to come to the rescue, as this is the first game in a long time that Kenz did not (have to) finish with double-digit blocks. I tell ya, our defence covering so much ground, so efficiently, was something to behold. A beautiful sight.
That said, we still had to score some points to win, as Galt’s outside shooting, led by ex-Spartan Alyson Stone, came alive in the second quarter. Trailing 19-17 at halftime (after an unlikely one-handed three-point heave at the buzzer), we needed an offensive spark…
…which we got from several sources, i.e inbounds plays, delayed fast breaks, free throws, putbacks from Kenz, some more free throws, a Eurostep and-one from Emily (the Highlight Of The GameTM), and timely outside shooting from Rosema. A true team effort, as there was no single thing that worked all game long, but we did enough little things as a team to outscore the Pipers 28-12 in the second half, highlighted by a huge fourth quarter where we pulled away with a game-ending 18-6 run.
I am very proud of this game. After the win vs WIC at the MIS semis, this is probably the best we’ve played all season. And, hey, we’re on a bit of a streak, now.
Heck, even the snowploughs are afraid of us.
- Coaches Van Dyke & Wolfe
The year so far….
Overall Record: 17 wins 2 losses
RSEQ League Play: 4 wins 1 loss
Points for per game: 39.7 Points allowed per game: 31.1
Stanstead Invitational Tournament CHAMPIONS
M.I.S. Tournament CHAMPIONS