Stingers’ Weekend Wrap-Up: Feb 16-19

The Final Push Before Playoffs

Graphic Marilou Brickert

Let’s talk Stingers…

Women’s Basketball: Currently fourth in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec division

This past weekend, coach Tenicha Gittens’ team took matters into their own hands and sealed their destiny. They took on the McGill University Martlets on Feb. 18, and Concordia punched their ticket to the post-season with a 75-58 win. Cornerstone veteran guard Areej Burgonio showcased her hot hand, dropping 30 points and leading the charge attacking the rim. Despite shooting 37 per cent, Burgonio racked up foul calls and made 11 of her 15 free throws. With the frontcourt contributions from forwards Gretta Ineza and Angela Batrla–who combined for 26 points–the Stingers looked like a complete team capable of bullying their competition through physical scoring.

Even with the double-digit win, the Stingers still find themselves with a 4-11 record. The team is often out-rebounded in matchups and, due to their shorter roster, has many key team members playing 30-plus minutes a game. Stamina is a core component of athleticism, especially within the sport of basketball, and competing against fresh-legged rotation players has been a daunting task for Concordia. Anything can happen in the playoffs, and the mentality this group exudes is fiery, hardworking, and dedicated. But can it withstand the tediously strenuous road that is the RSEQ post-season?

The team's final game is against the Université de Laval Rouge et Or on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

Men’s Basketball: Currently fourth in the RSEQ division

It’s the final leg of the regular season, and coach Rastco Popovich’s team took this to heart with a hard-fought win over the McGill Redbirds on Feb. 17. Both teams stacked up evenly statistically. The Redbirds led in rebounds 32 to 31, multiple contributors on both ends of the court recorded over ten points, and both squads forced over ten turnovers. Despite McGill’s best efforts of mounting a comeback–narrowing Concordia’s lead to within two points with 14 seconds left to play–Stingers’ guard Alec Phaneuf snatched the defensive rebound with three seconds remaining to close out the game.

This team has faced more tribulations during the second half, with a record of 3-6 in the new year compared to their 6-3 record to start the campaign. The roster displays shooters with offensive prowess such as guards Sami Jahan, Alec Phaneuf and rising star freshman forward Jaheem Joseph, any of whom can drop 10-20 points on a given night. However, the team is still inexperienced compared to the top-seeded universities. It should be noted, however, that the collective’s chemistry has grown throughout the year. 

This team finds success in flexing their biggest strength: staying sturdy in bouts and going the distance to achieve victory. Could one big swing knock them out of contention come the playoffs? 

The team’s last game of the regular season is against Laval on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.

Women’s Hockey: Currently first in the RSEQ division

Ending the regular season on a high is an understatement for the Julie Chu-coached team. The final game of the season saw a 6-0 win over the Carleton University Ravens on Feb. 17. Unlike in previous games, where the team tallied the bulk of their goals in one frame, the team racked up two goals per period against Carleton. Forward Rosalie Begin-Cyr recorded four assists, making her one of eleven Stingers to register a point.

This team’s potential and reputation were set as a top contending team early this year. The bulk of their lopsided performances has reinforced this label. A dynamic, tight-knit group with star power and high-level competition experience will do them favours down the stretch. However, the RSEQ playoffs’ narrative is not set in stone, with upsets being a frequent recurrence throughout the years. Will the Stingers’ have that extra bit of luck on their side? 

The first-round match-up is set against the Bishop’s University Gaiters. Game one is on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 12, published February 21, 2023.