Tonight’s East Regional final produced a battle to be expected from two top ten teams with the playoff rivalry Ottawa and Windsor share. After losing to Ottawa at Montpetit Hall only a week earlier in the OUA Final, Windsor spoiled the Gee-Gees perfect home record this season with a taste of revenge in tonight’s 58-55 win for the East Regional championship title.
The Gee-Gee defence was the story of the first quarter; the Gee-Gees stifled the Lancers’ offense holding them to an 8.3% shooting percentage and only six points in opening ten minutes. Meanwhile, fifth-year Bess Lennox (Ottawa, Ont.) spearheaded the offensive push with seven points, producing under the basket, at the free throw line and from outside the paint.
But if the first quarter belonged to the Gee-Gees, the second quarter was undeniably Windsor’s. The Gee-Gees struggled to find open lanes to the basket and get shots off, while Windsor began hitting shots of their own. Holding the Gee-Gees scoreless for nearly five minutes, two free throws by Miah-Marie Langlois put Windsor in possession of the lead for the first time in the game.
The start of the second half didn’t look much more promising for the Garnet and Grey, as fouls and turnovers spoiled any offensive effort on Windsor’s half of the court. Two treys from Langlois and Laura Mullins quickly put the Lancers up by 15, and the Gee-Gees took a time-out in hopes of regrouping.
A free throw from fifth-year Hannah Sunley-Paisley (Toronto, Ont.) broke the ice for the Gee-Gees, and a pair later in the frame along with two baskets from Lennox would put the Gee-Gees back in the game. Rookie point guard Kellie Ring (Ottawa, Ont.) found her mark at the free throw line, converting an under the basket lay-up for a three point play.
This all set the stage for a fourth quarter showdown. Sunley-Paisley sank two key baskets to put the Gee-Gees within striking range of the Lancers, but a fifth foul with three and a half minutes remaining would put her on the bench for the remainder of the game. And a late three by Sarah Nolette (Edmonton, Alta.) and lay-up from Ring wouldn’t be enough for the Gee-Gees comeback attempt as Lancers’ Langlois maintained her scoring prowess down the stretch, cashing in at the free throw line, capturing the win for the team and earning herself player of the game honours.
Windsor’s Jessica Clemencon anchored the Lancers from the free throw line, going a perfect 12-for-12, while Langlois led the Lancers’ scoring with 20 points. Lennox took player of the game for the Gee-Gees, contributing 17 points with Ring just behind at 16 points.
“We wanted to prepare ourselves for nationals. We know we’re qualified, we need to play better and we did today,” said Lancers’ head coach Chantal Vallée, “I think that Ontario is a very strong conference, and we are two top quality teams. We saw good basketball tonight form both teams; it’s a little bit of a preview of what’s going to happen at nationals, but you’re going to have eight teams playing at that intensity.”
With both uOttawa and Windsor headed to the 2012 CIS Championships next weekend in Calgary, another meeting may just be in the cards for these two teams. Seeding and game times are to be announced on Sunday.
Scoring per quarter:
WDS 6-19-14-19: 58
OTT 15-5-15-20: 55
Points: Miah-Marie Langlois (20), Jessica Clemencon (18), Emily Abbott (8)
Rebounds: Miah-Marie Langlois (7), Laura Mullins (4)
Assists: Korissa Williams (4), Miah-Marie Langlois (2)
Player of the game: Miah-Marie Langlois
Points: Bess Lennox (17), Kellie Ring (16), Hannah Sunley-Paisley (8)
Rebounds: Hannah Sunley-Paisley (12), Bess Lennox (6)
Assists: Kellie Ring (4), Hannah Sunley-Paisley (2)
Player of the game: Bess Lennox