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Soriano and Gee-Gees’ Youngsters Step Up to Down York

Friday January 24, 2014
Richard A. Whittaker

The CIS no. 10 ranked uOttawa Gee-Gees leaned on their depth and led all the way defeating the York Lions 69-47 on Friday night. The Gee-Gees showed a positive look at their future with the seven players between first and third year averaging 20 minutes of play collectively.

Coach Andy Sparks started two rookies with Stephanie MacDonald, Kellie Ring, Catherine Traer, Francesca Bellehumeur-Moya, and Katherine Lamoine unable to play due to injuries. Julia Soriano, who usually sees at least 32 minutes of court time, logged big minutes in the absence of her teammates. She sat down for the final three minutes after leading the offence with a career-high 18 points.

 “You’re asking a lot from your first-year kids, but for them it’s just a bonus in my opinion,” said Sparks. “Our game plan was to really not allow them a lot of inside-out stuff and we did that. I think everybody’s just glad to have an opportunity to play.”

Both teams came out cold shooting 25 per cent [uOttawa] and 26 per cent [York] from the field. The Gee-Gees put their efforts into building a comfortable lead in the second frame, getting it to nine. York made a brief pushback but the Gee-Gees would stretch the lead to 15 off the Lions’ repeated turnovers.

“I didn’t really have to attack much, it was more of an inside-out game. So that saved some of my energy,” said the 5-2 guard, Soriano. “We really practiced that this week – getting passes into the post and making sure they see the weak side. We knew the weak side would be open after all the game tape we watched and we got it done.”

York was held to 10 or fewer points in three out of four quarters, only recording 18 in the third frame to throw doubt on who was going to come out on top. In the end, York fired 51 shots at the basket and saw just 14 of them go through. Adding 17 turnovers to their struggling offence meant that they were never really in it. In addition, the Gee-Gees saw consistent success in greatly reducing York shot attempts from in close.

uOttawa spread the offence around with six players totaling eight or more points. Taking Soriano’s lead, Kellie Forand bested her career total by contributing 8 points, while Sarah Besselink had her fourth double-digit game with 11 points.

“I think that’s two great games in a row with our post play with Angela Tilk, Charlotte MacKenzie, and Maddie Stephen - Sophie Bruyere played well when she came in,” added Sparks. “I think we need to establish our post play with this group to play an inside-out game. That’s how we beat them tonight. It was a collapsed man or a 2-3 zone and they weren’t stepping out to cover the perimeter.”

The Gee-Gees conclude their home stand tomorrow night when they host the Queen’s University Gaels. It will be their fifth contest in eight days and can put some distance between them and the Gaels who trail in the standings at 9-6.


Box Score       1st        2nd       3rd       4th

York                10       10       18       9

Ottawa            14       21       17       17