Hosted Alumni on Friday, September 24 at Montpetit Hall
The Alumni gave the Gee-Gees a run for their money, but ultimately the young would triumph in the Gee-Gees tight 81-79 victory.
Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks noted the Alumni “were having a lot of fun with [the game]. They wanted to win.” But with Sparks fielding a team of mostly rookies, the win was “good for our girls, with that many rookies, to hang on. It is a good starting point.”
Not wanting the game to end, it was decided early on to extend the game to five quarters and even in the end the twenty Alumni were eager for more.
The Alumni and Gee-Gees shared the lead through much of the first quarter with the current Gee-Gees leading by a slim 14-13 margin after the first quarter and only by a basket, 30-28 at half.
Early in the third frame, the Gee-Gees extended their lead to six points, but the Alumni brought it back and were down three points, 51-48 after the third. The Alumni battled through the fourth as the athleticism and speed of the younger Gee-Gees started to take its toll as their lead extended to 11 points. But the determination and positive energy of the Alumni brought them back to a 65-59 deficit heading into the final fifth quarter.
The Alumni didn’t go down without a fight, bringing the score back within two points and a buzzer-beater attempt to end the game but ultimately their determination and desire weren’t enough, as the hard practicing, teamwork and speed of the younger Gee-Gees paid off.
Member of the Gee-Gees from 1998-2001, Ali Johnson was quick to say this game means “everything.” Many of the alumni play recreational basketball together throughout the year and are still close friends. Johnson coached members of the current Gee-Gees team in high school. “They are always at another level than we are. They are faster and younger. But we know the game better.”
Alumnus Julie Rodrigue played in 2003-2005 in glory days of the team, twice heading to the Canadian championships and once winning the OUA. Rodrique was quick to note the advantage the Alumni had as “the experience. We played high level and won big titles together.”
Both Johnson and Rodrique praised the current Gee-Gees squad. “They’re young and quick. They need to use their speed,” said Rodrigue. “They’re gonna be great,” closed Johnson.