In front of their proud parents, Collingwood’s senior girls dug deep and pulled out the win they so desperately desired. Sure, a lot of that desperation stemmed from the fact that the graduating members of the team will never again play on the McCord Family Gym’s Championship Court, but more importantly, they also needed to improve their stellar record in order to qualify for Lower Mainland Championships.
It was a bit of an uncharacteristic win for the Cavs (65-54). Keep in mind, this is a team that is accustomed to blowing (league) opponents out of the water, so it was a little surprising to see them struggle mightily in the first half. Apart from turnovers, missed layups and free-throws were to blame for ending critical possessions. It’s well known that in order to win a basketball game, you have to do the basics right, and hitting free-throws is no exception. Let’s take a look at some of those numbers:
First Half Free-ThrowsSecond Half Free-Throws
Those stats tell a story far greater than an eye witness account could. Over a quarter of Collingwood’s sixty-five points were scored from the charity stripe. Had the Cavs made eighty percent of their free-throws (the team connected sixty-five percent a clip), they would have reached sixty-nine points. In upcoming games with increased levels of talent, an easy four points can be the difference between wins and losses. The key to this euphoric victory wasn’t about changing their style of play, but rather the athletes doubling down on fixing their fundamentals (layups, free-throws and defense), which had plagued them in the opening half. As a matter of fact, this point can’t be overstated, considering the Lady Cavs were fouled a total of 19 times on Wednesday night:
BodwellCollingwoodFoul differential (%)
First Half Fouls94125
Second Half Fouls105100
As seen above, discipline has been a paramount reason the Lady Cavs have flourished this season. Being able to drive the inside lane has been a huge asset offensively, with many opponents catching foul trouble early in games. Perhaps the biggest contribution their discipline provides, however, is defensively. Possessing the ability to protect the paint and perimeter without fouling, leaves opponents with few options when attacking Collingwood. According to senior Tiana Wong, the team’s defensive execution is just a testament to their preparation:
“We really worked on our defense, solidifying our 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones as well as working on our man to man defense. This has really helped our game improve because who cares if we can score if the other team keeps scoring on us.”
All in all, it’s been a fantastic year for our Senior Girls basketball team- I’ve had the pleasure covering them so far. They play next weekend at Crofton House, where they’ll make a run for the Lower Mainland Championships in early February.