Concordia 77, McGill 63: No Disturbing the Stingers

McGill’s Pots and Pans Fail to Break Focus of Well-prepared Stingers

The Stingers women’s basketball team was unfazed by the distractions brought on by McGill’s annual Pots and Pans night. Photo Elisa Barbier
The team practiced in preparation for this match up by listening to a Youtube clip of pots and pans on repeat to improve their ability to tune out distractions. Photo Elisa Barbier

The clinking sound of wooden spatulas and drumsticks against metal resonated throughout McGill’s basketball court, covering the voices of the crowd.

Pans, mixing bowls, and empty plastic barrels—anything would do in an attempt to overwhelm one’s senses as part of McGill’s annual Pots and Pans event on Thursday evening. Yet, the Stingers did not flinch at the staggering sounds.

It was part of head coach Tenicha Gittens’ strategy to prepare Concordia’s women’s basketball team for the disruptions that awaited them. With a successful training, the players were able to overcome the clinking pans and pots to bring home their second victory of the regular season.

“We practiced this week with pots and pans banging the whole time,” Gittens said. “It was annoying for me too.”

With a Youtube clip of banging pots and pans playing on a loop during practice, Concordia was able to challenge their composure on the court. For the head coach this was an opportunity to practice with first year players like guard Myriam Leclerc and point guard Areej Burgonio, for such situations.

“We wanted to prepare them for the game and help them to block-out the noise and listen to the people that matter,” Gittens said. “The girls on the floor with you and the team on the bench.”

Gittens added she will play sounds during practice again seeing how successful it was, something the players themselves enjoyed.

“At first it was funny but when you think about it, it was a great idea,” said Stingers’ forward, Coralie Dumont. Dumont and guard, Elise Roy, who ranked as the top two defensive player of the game, added they were not bothered by the sounds and the crowd.

The pots and pans weren’t the only obstacle the Stingers were faced with. The Martlets did not hesitate to play elbow to elbow with Concordia as soon as the game began but Gittens was not worried for her team.

While the team managed to get the win, coach Tenicha Gittens still feels there’s progress to be made, especially in their defensive energy. Photo Elisa Barbier
“Our girls practice with guys all the time and they are very physical with them so they are prepared for that contact,” Gittens said.

Dumont herself is not phased by the pressure. “In practice we go so hard against each other that personally in the game I don’t feel when someone is punching me because I know my teammates punch me even harder during practice,” she commented.

The Stingers drew from their mistakes in previous games and demonstrated a much more consolidated defence opposing the Martlets. “We wanted to be intense defensively and smart,” Gittens said.

Concordia performed well in the first half as it successfully contested shots and jumped on defensive rebounds. Because of this solid effort, the Martlets were kept off the scoreboard, only netting six point in the second quarter.

“Our goal today was to limit their opportunities at the basket,” Gittens said.

By the second half, the Concordia Stingers seemed to have slowed. They showed less aggressivity and let go of some offensive rebounds, which McGill took advantage of.

“We have had issues in the past to maintain that energy defensively,” Gittens said, adding that it’s then that she has to remind the girls to continue to dig deep.

Although the Stingers showed less of their skills in the second half, Dumont said with every game they get more accustomed. “We know our role and what we can bring to team so we can be at our best on every position,” Roy added.

The game ended with a score of 77-63 in favour of the Stingers, a well appreciated victory for Concordia. “It always feels good to win when we are away because it’s even harder since we don’t know the basket, we don’t have the crowd with us,” Dumont said.

The Stingers play one of their final games before the holiday break on Nov. 24, against Bishop’s University at 2 p.m. at the Loyola Athletics and Recreation Center.