By Amielle Christopherson & Melchizedek Maquiso
Several easy offensive getaways by the Loyalist Lady Lancers contributed to the downfall of the Fleming Knights in Tuesday game at Loyalist College.
The first half appeared to be a close battle when Lancers guard Jenni Thompson made a buzzer beater that ended the first half with a 38-37 score in favour of the Lancers.
The third quarter started with a three-pointer from Knights guard Kelly Killoran. However, this did not provide any needed momentum for the Peterborough-based Knights. Halfway through the quarter, the Lancers capitalized on several steals and ended the third quarter with a 64-49 score. In total, the Lady Lancers had 21 steals as opposed to the Knights’ seven.
In the fourth quarter, the fate of the Knights appeared to have been sealed after only scoring eight points in the quarter compared to Loyalist’s 18. The Knights never recovered ending the game with an 82-57 loss. The win brings Lady Lancers to fourth place in the OCAA East Region and a guaranteed playoffs spot.
Jim Buck, Loyalist College athletic director, says: “With last night’s win, they were assured themselves of a playoff spot. They’ll probably finish fourth in our conference, which would get them a crossover playoff game here at Loyalist as opposed to going on the road.”
“In the last couple of years, the team hasn’t been very strong. They haven’t been qualified for playoffs for probably for four years so it’s exciting that they’re right there on the hunt,” adds Buck who was at Tuesday’s game.
Despite the win by the Lady Lancers, the opposite happened for the men’s team.
What started out as a promising game for the Loyalist Lancers, who were up by six in the first quarter, ended with a seven-point loss to the Fleming Knights Tuesday evening.
The first quarter started slowly for the Knights. The Lancers used this to their advantage and led by the end of 10 minutes. However, the Knights gained momentum in the second quarter and outscored the Lancers 13-4.
The beginning of the second half didn’t see too many more points going up on the scoreboard for either team, with the Knights ending the quarter leading 26-19. The final 10 minutes saw the Lancers trying to get back on top.
With less than two minutes left in the game, the Lancers only trailed by six points, but a combination of a Fleming foul shot and three pointer put them up. Within the last minute of the game, Lancers’ No. 14 Matt Miller sunk a three pointer, but Fleming won 79-72.
Assistant Coach Mike Latchford said it’s the story of the season.
“We’ll have a decent first, a better second, and then go down in the second half. We don’t have that killer attitude to start out strong and keep teams out from the beginning.”
As well, keeping tempers in check when things get hot on the court is something he said they also needed to work on, “My coach would tell me that cool heads win hot games, and we don’t have that cool head yet.”
This season as a whole hasn’t been the best for the Lancers, who have a 5-11 record.
Latchford thinks the team has the talent and the ability to turn to do better. “There’s a lot of individual play resulting in losses.
We’re also hoping that people will start being more dedicated to the team and buying into what the coaches are saying.”
He complimented players such as Calvin Chevannes for stepping up as a leader among his teammates, as well as Patrick Kalala and Damone Donaldson. Robert Hanson does a good job assisting the other players on his team and being a motivator, he said.
“Some of them have taken advice from Rich [Whitfield, coach] and I. Between the two of us, we have a lot of basketball experience and some of the guys have learned and helped the team grow.”