Concordia 66, Bishop’s 53: Hungry for More

Stingers’ First Win Since Holidays Has Women’s Basketball Team Excited for the Season Ahead

  • With their first win of the new year, the Stingers women’s basketball team is ready to face the back half of the season that’s ahead of them. Photo Elisa Barbier

  • The Stingers will travel to Lennoxville on Saturday to face the Gaiters once more. Photo Elisa Barbier

The crowd cheers and screams. The ball goes back and forth from the imprecise hands of the players, always hitting the board but never finding the net. There is no time, the Stingers steal the rebound and the point is in. Coming back, the Gaiters lay out their play but the crowd is already chanting: “Five, four, three, two, one!” It was a long second quarter for the Bishop’s Gaiters.

In an intense first half, the Concordia Stingers demonstrated the talent of the number two ranked team in the country. Yet, the second-half showed the remaining work they have to do.

Jan. 10, Concordia’s women basketball team marked the beginning of the second-half of the season by hosting their annual Shoot for the Cure game in support of breast cancer initiatives. For the occasion, Euronda Stoute, a breast cancer survivor, kicked-off the match and sat with the Stingers’ coaches for the game.

The second quarter showcased the Stingers’ intensity. With a tight defence, Concordia overpowered the Gaiters, forcing them to shoot and pushing them to timeouts. Bishop’s was able to find the net only twice thanks to free-throws after a foul from Concordia forward Gretta-Olivia Ineza two minutes in.

The first half ended with a 28-point lead for Concordia at 39-11. While the team took advantage of its energy in the first half, a lack of defensive discipline and communication led the team to lose a chunk of the double-digits lead according to Stingers head coach Tenicha Gittens.

This game was the team’s annual Shoot for the Cure game, in support of breast cancer awareness. In honour of the occasion, breast cancer survivor Euronda Stoute joined the Stingers on the bench for the matchup.

“In the second half you have to be extra sound, you have to communicate even more,” Gittens said. “We got a bull’s eye on our back.”

The sense of urgency for good defensive discipline increases as the Stingers continue on their winning streak and position themselves behind the Laval Rouge et Or for both the national and provincial conference.

Stingers forward Coralie Dumont, who ended the game on a double-double with 12 rebounds and 18 points, is happy to begin playing again. “We practice everyday pushing ourselves, the reward is to play the game,” she said.

Dumont projects herself for the rest of the season a bit differently than her rookie teammates. She was among the players on last season’s team, which was unable to win games after the holidays break.

“There is always that stress, that small heartache that reminds us of last year but we know what we shouldn’t do to relive it.” Dumont added that while she is stressed, she is confident for this year, as her and her teammates understand each other very well.

“My basketball friends are the people I still see as my friends in the future because they have the same values as me and do the same sacrifices as me. Nobody understands better than them, that’s why I would do anything for them.”

Dumont’s love for her teammates is also shared by point guard Areej Burgonio. “We are like sisters,” she said.

The team’s visible chemistry allowed them to maintain form during the second half of the game as the Gaiters made a comeback. As point guard leading the defence, Burgonio noticed that the team communication was not at its best.

“Many times they switched the zones and we were still running plays that were for a zone,” Burgonio said. The Stingers were unable to complete their passes or were forced to shoot.

The game ended at 66-53 for Concordia on a weak second half for the Stingers who nonetheless feel strong and excited for what is ahead of them. “We have to keep our poise, stay true to ourselves and stick to the game plan,” Burgonio said.

By commenting on this page you agree to the terms of our Comments Policy.