On Jan. 29, the Waterloo Warriors women’s basketball team hosted and defeated the Algoma Thunderbirds with a final score of 86-49, their largest win margin yet. The victory is the third in a streak of wins for the Warriors, who currently sit at the top of the OUA Western division, with 12 wins and four losses.
The Warriors had a strong defense and dominated the paint, carrying an obvious height advantage over the Thunderbirds. In the first quarter, players Summer Pahl, Vanessa Hughes, and Jamie Newell saved several rebounds. The Thunderbirds were most successful in scoring 3-pointers, which prevented them from having to fight past the Warriors’ centres.
The Warriors had an especially strong presence of inside scores and rebounds, made up of players Pahl, Newell, Nehita Oko Obo, Maddy Adams, and Mackenzie Obermayer. Throughout the game, the rebounding was particularly lopsided due to the Warriors’ clear height advantage.
The first quarter saw the Warriors begin with a 15-0 run, followed by a slow comeback from Algoma. Guard Ghiselle Poblete had the most steals, scoring two out of a total of four steals during the first quarter.
The first quarter ended in a 13-point game, with the Warriors drawing seven free throws.
The score at halftime was 48-20 in the Warriors’ favor, expanding on the starting 15-0 run. The second quarter saw a clear star in Pahl, a strong and confident player, who earned the Warriors 17 points by the end of the game. Beth Howlett was another dominating force, scoring the Warriors 10 points during the second quarter alone. The Thunderbirds struggled to stop the Warriors inside post-offence, attempting nearly double the amount of 3-pointers than they did rebounds.
The halftime show saw the Think Pink campaign’s annual hair cutting ceremony, held to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Several members of the women’s rugby team as well as a member of the women’s hockey team participated in the hair cutting. The Warriors have raised nearly $260,000 over the past 14 years for the campaign.
During the third quarter, Algoma made a slight comeback, while the Warriors scored several more 3-pointers and attempted more complicated plays. The score at the end of the third quarter was 70-29.
Kaitlyn Overeem began the third quarter with a 3-pointer, followed by a 2-pointer from Adams. A shooting foul from the Thunderbirds resulted in Overeem scoring another two points.
The Thunderbirds continued scoring most of their points via 2-pointers, with several courtesy of the Thunderbirds’ Karly Fracalanza. However, the Warriors followed closely with two 3-pointers from Overeem and two consecutive jumpers from Pahl, demonstrating her integral role in many of the Warriors’ plays in the third quarter. Charissa Virr then scored another 3-pointer, followed by Beth Howlett with the last 3-pointer of the third quarter.
During the timeout, the score was 65-26. At the end of the third quarter the score was 70-29.
The Thunderbirds managed a small comeback in the fourth quarter. Fracalanza and Mercedes Mazucca scored a 3-pointer and 2-pointer, respectively. Here, Pahl had her strongest quarter in the game, scoring six points for the Warriors. Poblete scored two consecutive 2-pointers. The Warriors let up slightly in the last quarter, scoring 16 points to the Thunderbirds’ 20.
The Warriors will face the Laurier Golden Hawks on Feb. 1 in a home game.