It was a tough start for the Stingers, as the visitors quickly took momentum and led 15-8 at the end of the first quarter. Head coach Tenicha Gittens said the team needs to be better.
“We wanted to be aggressive, but they [Gaiters] were the aggressive ones for the majority of the game,” said Gittens. “They put pressure on us defensively. [One of our] keys was to protect the paint, and I don’t think we did a good job at that.”
Gittens said the effort wasn’t there all game, including in the fourth quarter where the Stingers still had a chance to win it. She thought there were many things not working on the court.
“We need to put four quarters together,” Gittens said. “There’s a stretch in the second quarter where we kept exchanging the basket. We just can’t do that. You can’t let the opponent take the ball and get rebounds. They got 12 offensive rebounds, and scored on at least nine of them. They made things happen.”
Point guard Myriam Leclerc said the team took too many fouls. She thought the Stingers should have played more aggressively, but it was difficult considering amount of fouls the team was taking.
“We took more fouls than they did,” Leclerc said. “We’re a physical team. I thought our effort was there, but we need to be better defensively, and [play] smarter.”
The Stingers would also drop their rematch on Saturday with the Gaiters in Lennoxville, 69-66.
The Stingers controlled the score from start to finish. In fact, the largest lead the Gaiters had was a two-point lead in the first quarter. However, the team wasn’t completely satisfied with their performance. Stingers head coach Rastko Popovic said it didn’t feel like the team won by 17 points.
“It’s important to make the right decisions, and that’s why I was a bit upset because I thought at times we rushed [the play]. We can do a lot better. We only [scored] 12 points in the second quarter, while in the three other quarters we got 29, 28 and 22 points. We need to focus on making the right decisions and taking the right shots.”
Stingers’s forward Olivier Simon finished the game with 34 points. Simon thought the team started off strong, but could’ve been way better regardless.
“I think overall we’re not satisfied because right from the start we should have led by 10, 20 or even 30,” Simon said. “We’re happy we won by 17, and that they haven’t had a lead. Yet, if we take a step back and look at everything that happened in the game, we should have pushed it harder. We should have led by [a higher score] at halftime already.”
The Stingers had their three game winning streak snapped on Saturday, losing 89-77 to the Gaiters in their rematch.
Feature photo by Alec Brideau