Women sputter into playoffs in third place

Playing for last shot with a lead at the end of the first half was a good position to be in for Concordia’s women’s basketball team.

When Sonia Martini hit a beautiful three-pointer at the buzzer, the 31-24 halftime lead over the Bishop’s Gaiters last Feb. 14, everything was going their way.

Head Coach Keith Pruden was still saying, “If you think coasting to the playoffs is the way to go you are all mistaken.”

Of course that was after the McGill Martlets took advantage of a lazy team the previous week. Maybe Bishop’s did eventually win on this night but the Stinger team played with heart.

“We played with great intensity,” said Pruden who shakes his head as the C-word is repeated. “But we did not maintain consistency on the line and that is what cost us.”

The Stingers went two for 10 down the stretch as the Gaiters went six for 12, and that was the difference as the Gaiters left the Loyola Gym carrying a 61-58 come-from-behind win.

It was a disappointing loss in that Jennifer Neill hit three trays that were rockets, hustling her way to a 22-point game.

Tanya Monuma stepped up to the line for six of seven as she had 13 points, and Anne Leduc hit 13 of her own.

But good things come to those that wait and work hard. The following evening at Loyola, the Stingers buried any McGill Martlet fantasies that the thrashing from the week before was for real. Monuma played 23 minutes and lit up the scoreboard with 21 points, as Neill scored 17 and M.J Raposo returned from her off-performance against the Gaiters with 14 points, beating the Martlets 87-64.

The women’s game against Laval last Friday saw an unpredictable Stinger team come out and play against a team that was already in the playoffs and only needed to stay competitive.

Laval, seeking a repeat of last years Championship game, played for keeps and ended the regular season by whipping the inconsistent Lady Bees team 82-58.

The women’s team finishes with a disappointing five wins, good enough for a third place play-off berth and a first round game on the road against Bishop’s on Feb. 26.

“Bishop’s has a good strong team with good shooters,” said Pruden. “We have to play with intensity and make our foul shots count.”

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