Stingers Women’s Basketball Captures Second Consecutive Tournament Title at Concordia Classic
Laurentian No Match For Stingers in 87-61 Title Game
Dominating all facets of the game, Concordia’s women’s basketball team caught fire early and burned the Laurentian Voyageurs the whole match.
The Stingers defended their home ground in a win that head coach Tenicha Gittens attributes to dedication and hard work.
“Our girls, they just work their tails off,” Gittens said. “I’ve said it before and I’ll probably keep preaching it. This is my fourth year and this is the best group that I’ve had. Just a bunch of coachable girls where I do not have to coach effort,” she said.
Led by their three-headed monster of Caroline Task, Myriam Leclerc, and Coralie Dumont—who had a game high 24 points —the Stingers made it clear they had their eyes on the prize as they ended the first quarter on a 26-9 run. At this point, Concordia’s swarming defence, height and intensity seemed to rattle the visiting side as they trailed the entire game.
Heading into the second quarter, not only were the Stingers able to control the game, but squashed any thought of a possible comeback with their fluid ball movement and high octane ball pressure.
While they were a perfect 3-0 in the tournament, beating their out of conference rivals by double digits in each game, Gittens let it be known that their success is no secret.
“For us, defence is what fuels us,” she said. “You know, when we get stops we can push the ball, we can run and the basketball just kinda opens for us.”
Tournament all-stars Caroline Task and Coralie Dumont played a big part in delivering that opening. With a combined 37 points between them, their play helped to serve as a decoy for last year’s RSEQ defensive player of the year Nelly Owusu who did not shy away from the moment.
She had a double double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, adding two steals and four assists. Owusu’s performance was celebrated by her coach who stressed the importance of having a solid two way guard.
“There’s gonna be a lot of close games so it’s very important down the stretch in a game to execute on the offensive end and get quality shots.” —Tenicha Gittens
“Nelly does the work defensively, she puts the clamps on their better players and better ball handlers,” said Gittens. “That gives our girls off the ball the chance to gamble and get those steals but that’s Nelly.”
Concordia sat on a 48-27 lead at half and that was as close as the Voyageurs would get; despite Andrea Zulich’s streaky shooting knocking down five of ten from beyond the arc, collecting a team high 19 points.
On her way to being named tournament MVP, Concordia’s Myriam Leclerc, a freshman from St-Roch de Richelieu, stamped her mark on the game and with the season just around the corner the ball will likely run through her to control the tempo. Leclerc finished the contest going 4-4 from the line, dropping 19 points.
The Stingers wrap up the tournament going undefeated with great momentum heading into their first regular season game. However, Gittens stays grounded and understands improvement is key to becoming an elite team, a team that will be tough to beat down the stretch.
“For us it’s really just shot selection. Like we gotta pick and choose when we take those shots,” she said. “Our conference is really strong, were not just gonna flat out blow teams out. There’s gonna be a lot of close games so it’s very important down the stretch in a game to execute on the offensive end and get quality shots.”
On route to their home opener Nov. 8 vs Laval, the Stingers will face two non conference teams and participate in the Carleton Metro Glebe Tournament, where they will go head to head against Carleton, Acadia, and Laurentian.
Ultimately, Gittens is delighted with the teams performance over the weekend and highlights that their willingness to learn, be coachable and stay motivated will make this year one to remember.
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