Mac's losing skid reaches three games
Canada’s capital was not kind to the Marauders this past weekend.
Mac hit the road to take on the Ottawa Gee-Gees and Carleton Ravens. Despite dropping both games, it was a weekend of growth for the young team. After getting run out of the gym against the Gee-Gees by a score of 82-55, the Marauders turned their play around for an impressive effort against the No. 4 Ravens. Mac lost to the CIS contenders 61-57.
It’s easy to look at the 0-2 away record and get discouraged, but head coach Theresa Burns thinks this is all part of the process of becoming a national contender.
“We’ve proven to ourselves that we can play with good teams,” said Burns. “But it’s all within us. No one is going to bail us out.”
That belief came to fruition against Carleton, which was the first game of the season where the team played to their potential. The narrative of veteran play being the fuel to this team on both ends of the court proved true, with Vanessa Bonomo, Hailey Milligan, and Liz Burns putting together their best collective effort.
Saturday’s match against Carleton featured physical play from the tip-off. When the Laurentian game turned physical, McMaster collapsed. But this time, the Marauders rose to the occasion and used aggressive play to jump out to a halftime lead. The toughness came at the right time from the right players.
“Our vets came out with that aggressive demeanor and that kind of game. Hailey, Vanessa, and Liz’s play had a huge impact on us,” Burns said of her experienced players.
Clare Kenney gave the Marauders solid minutes, establishing herself as worthy of the back-up big position. With four fouls in eight minutes against Carleton, Kenney is proving to be a physical presence in the paint for every second of play.
Consistency continues to be an issue for the season, but there’s one player who has blown away the Maroon and Grey coaching staff.
“Isabel Ormond has taken on a role that people in the program didn’t expect,” lauded Burns. “She competes harder than anyone I’ve ever coached. It’s almost freaky as a coach to watch.”
Ormond’s seen a minute increase this year and responded well. After averaging 13 minutes per game last season, Burns has upped the second-year player’s floor time to 31.9 minutes per game. It’s a lot of responsibility for a young student-athlete, but she’s responded well, posting averages of 10.5 points per game with a 44 per cent field goal percentage.
Coming off a game with solid veteran production and an emerging star, sights are set on the upcoming games rather than dwelling on the past. The journey continues on Saturday Nov. 24, as the Marauders host the 2-2 Queen’s Gaels.
If the Marauders can put together a performance similar to the Carleton effort, the team could end their three-game losing streak.
Sam Hunt is expected to make her 2012-13 debut after recovering from injury. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. in the Burridge Gym on Nov. 24.