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Spark of hope

Tuesday March 3, 2009

Gee-Gees women’s basketball at 2009 CIS tournament
Spark of hope

The first-year coach of Gee-Gees women’s basketball can rightly take credit for more than 2008-2009 OUA East coach of the year.

Andy Sparks has perspective.

The former champion high school coach – most notably at Ottawa’s Ashbury College - leads OUA finalist No. 8 uOttawa against powerhouse No. 1 Simon Fraser in the opening game of the 2009 CIS women’s basketball national tournamentFriday afternoon in Regina.

 “I’d throw into the ‘what do you have to lose’ category,” said Sparks, who inherited a 3-19 team in July of last year and will lead the Gee-Gees to its third tournament berth since 2003-04.

“It’s a huge undertaking.”

The Clan, 22-1 in Canada West, 6-0 in the playoffs, and No.1 in Canada for all but one week in 2008-09, have earned three national title titles since joining the CIS in 2000-01.

Fifth-year post player and team captain Katie Laurie said the overachieving Gee-Gees are mismatched but undaunted.

“We’re not as good as some of the teams,” said Laurie. “We have to out-hustle the other teams and play with intensity.”

The Gee-Gees, which leave Wednesday afternoon and return to Ottawa Monday, are 3-3 in CIS tournament competition. 

“There is nothing like going to a national tournament and representing your university,” said Gee-Gees guard Jade Fair. “It’s amazing I’m getting to do that in my second year.”

Sparks looks to push the Gee-Gees CIS championship to 4-3 by pulling off a miracle.

 “The pressure that is on us is pressure from within ourselves,” he said. 

“We can hang in the game, and then you never know happens.

 “The pressure is more on Simon Fraser than the University of Ottawa.”

The Gee-Gees practice Tuesday 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (2-1 Playoffs, 15-7 OUA, 22-11 OVERALL):

At Regina for 2009 CIS championship, March 6-8. (SSN Canada)


Championship Seeding:

1.  Simon Fraser University

2.  University of Regina

3.  University of Windsor

4.  University of Alberta

5.  Université Laval

6.  University of Saskatchewan

7.  Cape Breton University

8.  University of Ottawa

Friday, March 6

1:00 pm    Simon Fraser (1) vs. Ottawa (8)

3:00 pm    Alberta (4) vs. Laval (5)

6:15 pm    Opening Ceremony

6:30 pm    Regina (2) vs. Cape Breton (7)

8:15 pm    Windsor (3) vs. Saskatchewan (6)


Saturday, March 7

1:00 pm    Consolation Semifinal #1

3:00 pm    Consolation Semifinal #2

6:00 pm    Championship Semifinal #1

8:00 pm    Championship Semifinal #2


Sunday, March 8

1:00 pm    Fifth Place Game

3:00 pm    Bronze Medal Ga