By Taylor Renkema
Lady Lancer’s head coach Chris Eligh had some spirited words for his players during a second quarter timeout.
After watching his team allow 16 unanswered points, he shouted at them to “show some pride in their G** damn team”.
The women’s team seemed to take his words to heart as they battled back from the 16-point deficit in the second half to win 51-48. In game two of the doubleheader, the men lost 74-73 after losing a 9-point lead in the first half.
Eligh said despite the win, he was not impressed with the way his team played.
“There was no heart. I just told them to show some heart and pride, that’s all they’ve got to do is show some heart.” he said.
Haley Sisler, 3-year veteran and guard/ forward, said the comments helped fire the team up.
“It give us a reality check and it gets us back in the game” she said. “That’s what we need, because we clearly weren’t playing well together and it gave us a push and made us play a lot better.”
The women were missing on of their star guards, Jenni Thompson, who had a recurring ankle/foot injury, said Loyalist’s Athletic Director Jim Buck. Before the game Buck said he thought it could be a tough game with a short bench of just eight players, but after the game he said the women found a way to make it work.
Martine Gauvin, a guard and 2-year veteran of the team, said while she was glad they came back and won, the team could have done better.
“We absolutely didn’t play at our standard, we definitely played at their standard,” she said. “But it’s a good thing we came back.”
Sisler said even though they won, it was a poor start to the season.
“We haven’t been practising very well together lately,” she said. “We’ve just been very sluggish lately and that reflected on our game.”
Centennial guard Kadeja Hughes said her team should have fought harder.
“Loyalist is a team that we had a lot of back-and-forth with last year, so we definitely expected that this game was going to be a fight. “
In men’s action, a last minute three-pointer brought the Lancers within one point of tying the Colts. Men’s head coach Rich Whitfield said he’s not surprised his team lost.
“How can you win a game when you miss 14, 15 foul shots?” he said. “And then give up 20 offensive rebounds? You just can’t win at this level doing that.”
In the 2011-2012 season, Centennial won the OCAA East Division Championship, and Loyalist was in ninth place of the 11 teams.
Colts head coach Jim Barclay said Loyalist has improved each of the three previous games against Centennial.
“They shot the lights out in the first half, they had eight 3-pointers, we only had two,” he said. “So in the second half we had to step up our defense.”
Natiel McKenzie, a point guard/ shooting guard for the Colts, said his team had to keep pushing until the very last second.
“We’ve got to keep coming out each quarter hungry. We don’t want guys getting lazy, thinking the game’s over. To see 14 [Matt Miller] hit that 3-pointer in the last seconds of the game, that just shows you that the game’s never over until the buzzer rings.”
The Lancers had a nine point lead in the first half, and by the end of the third quarter the Colts had taken over, leading Loyalist 58-53.
Guards Matt Miller and Pat Kalala led the Lancers with four 3-pointers each. Kalala said it’s not always easy keeping the morale up on the court.
“You try to lead by example,” he said. “Through the pre-season, coaches have really stressed on me being a leader. I really didn’t want it at first, but I’m pretty much used to it by now. You try to get everyone to pay attention to the game, and get them vocal.”
Kalala said there’s one major difference with this year’s team.
“We have different personalities, but the best thing about being on this team is that everyone gets along, and everyone likes to hang around with one another.”
Whitfield said the team has a lot to work on, including foul shots and rebounding, but echoed Kalala’s thoughts.
“We’re a team, we’re a family. It really is one for all.”