Women win 83 – 73, men 94 – 82
Kayla Iafelice, Sports Contributor
For the first time since the 2008-09 season, both King’s men and women basketball teams walked away from the court victorious after a well-deserved win over the Mount Allison Mounties.
Women’s guard Margaret Neville led King’s in scoring with 31 points, while Mounties forward Mackenzie Gray pushed just ahead with 35 points. Stephanie Head of the Blue Devils dominated under the net with a total of 16 rebounds.
After a focused and strong warm-up, the women started off the first quarter ready to play. Crisp passing, fast breaks and communication had at least one teammate open for a shot on the outside almost every play.
Women’s coach Jennifer Bennett made sure practice after the team loss last Wednesday against Mount St. Vincent was primarily focused on the offence.
“We’ve definitely been working on execution, setting our picks and getting to where we’re supposed to be. Mainly getting organized,” says Bennett.
Taking the lead in the quarter proved to be more of a challenge than expected for the Mounties, says guard Meghan Dickie.
“We definitely underestimated them. They’re a really good team this year and shot the ball very well.”
The women Blue Devils battled full court pressure and the trap but at several points Mounties speed and aggression forced several King’s turnovers. At the half King’s was up 43 – 31. The game changed after the second half as both teams came out flat and appeared to be out of energy. The Mounties eventually tied the game up and turnovers were over 30.
King’s forward and captain, Stephanie Head: “We got complacent third quarter. I think we’re going to try and work on what we actually do in the locker room just to keep everybody up.”
The focus picked up for both teams in the fourth quarter. Intensity increased. Play execution and communication and team morale was evident. Forward Alexandra Walker says the key to getting back on track in the third was trust and teamwork.
“Sometimes when were down we panic, and start to play as individuals, but this game we got down and were still able to bounce back as a team and win.”
The Mounties were not as optimistic at the end of the game. Dickie says team morale was low.
“What happens is we get down, we get flat and we lose the game for sure.” The Mounties men’s team seemed to have had the same morale as their women’s team. Mounties coaches, players and fans all questioned the referees’ decision on several plays. For the first three quarters of the game the score was very tight. J.D. Howlett led the Blue Devils with 38 points and 24 rebounds. Mt. A’s Benjamin Chisholm led Mount Allison in points with 38. Calls made against the Mounties came back-to-back in the fourth quarter giving King’s many opportunities to get ahead.
Frustration blossomed on the Mounties side. Forward Stephen Bohan was given a technical foul for poor sportsmanship and ejected from the game with his fifth foul. The Mounties applied full court pressure for the majority of the game, which the Blue Devil’s continued to push through, scoring off of fast breaks. Mounties coach Bruce McMillan had anticipated a win because the team had been working hard in practice.
“We’ve been working on everything the last two weeks. Our strength is the character of our players.”
Both King’s men and women basketball teams play Nov. 27 at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.