It wasn’t the prettiest game. In fact, it was a sloppy, uncoordinated and turnover-filled match, but the Vanier Spirits will take the victory.
Without any game action in the last two weeks for the Spirits due to exams, it was the first time the team returned to the court to face an opponent. Although it was ugly from start to finish, the Spirits edged the injury-riddled Caronport Cougars 48-47.
"We hadn't played a basketball game for more than two weeks and very limited to even practice last week due to exams,” explained Vanier’s coach Bob Gottselig. "I'm sure that had something to do with it."
For the Cougars, they were without their four Grade 12s due to injury, so they had to call up three junior players in order to not forfeit the game.
"I hade six seniors and three juniors just to be able to have this game. We didn't have any bench with experience,” stated Cougars head coach Leigh Wolverton. “We didn't have the height or experience in the post spots. I was putting girls out of position."
The first quarter saw the turnover trade begin and neither team could develop a comfortable pace. Caronport put on a press early that the Spirits had issues with and caused more turnovers, but neither team could score.
"What we tried to do was capitalize on the press and see what we could do with it. It was somewhat effective, but even with the press, there were girls playing out of position,” said Wolverton.
The Cougars held a one-point advantage at the half time break, but couldn’t find that other gear to push the game open. Vanier was able to go more on a run in the second quarter as they were able to break the press and missed baskets by the Cougars also helped their comeback.
"They were dribbling the ball against that pressure and Caronport had hands in all the lanes and their heads were down,” said Gottselig. “When they passed the ball against that pressure, they had a lot more success."
For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.