Chatham-Kent Women’s Sports Recap: Edition #2
By Veronica McFadden
Welcome back! We are recapping our fellow Chatham-Kent athletes and their victories.
Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL), Australia
Bridget Carleton (Forward), Townsville Fire and Team Canada
In January we saw the Women’s National Basketball League season come to an end. Chatham-Kent superstar Bridget Carleton and the Townsville Fire would miss out on the finals as they finished the season with 5 and 16 losses. Tying them with the Bendigo Bank Spirit for the last place. This season we saw the rookie catch fire in her 20 games. On average she played 30 minutes, only being off for 10 minutes. Carleton was a massive asset for the Fire on both offence and defence. With 231 points and shooting at 42.5% from the field goal, Carleton was able to keep her teams in games and give them a chance at winning. It wasn’t just her accurate shooting but a look at her defensive play was what made her stand out from the rest of her teammates. Out of the 127 rebounds she grabbed 95 of them on the defensive side. This stat would put Carleton with the elite in the league, joining the likes of legends like Stephanie Talbot, who will play with Carleton next year in the WNBA with the Minnesota Lynx, and Aussie superstar Cayla George who also plays in the WNBA but for the Dallas Wings. Next season the WNBL should watch out for the Fire and Carleton as she continues to grow into an excellent player.
Bridget would join the rest of her Canadian teammates in Belgium for a big tournament for the Canadian women. The winner will book their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. Canada would quickly show Belgium, Sweden and Japan that they were ready for Tokyo. Bridget would prove to be a shutdown defender. In her 3 games, she would grab 13 rebounds, 10 of them on defensive and would have 3 steals. Carleton would also put a couple of points on the board. Making 37% of her field goal shots, 27.3% of her 3-pointers, and she would be dangerous at the line making 75% of her free throw shots. Canada would play a hard-fought game against host national Belgium with a 61-56 win. The game that meant the most was against Sweden. With an 80-50 win Canada would easily take the win and would book their ticket to Tokyo 2020! The last game was another hard-fought game against Japan. Again, Canada kept the pressure on and would win 70-68. This Canadian is one to watch and you can watch all the games and highlights here: http://www.fiba.basketball/oqtwomen/belgium/2020.
Make sure to follow along with Canadian women’s basketball team as they continue their journey to prepare for Tokyo 2020 by following CBC.
Burke Bechard (Guard), Guelph Gryphons
Burke Bechard from Dover Centre has helped Guelph make the big playoff push that needed to get into 3rd place in the West. Currently, this season Bechard has had a career-high from the field goal, shooting at 43.9%, and has is close to matching her career-high of 59 assists. She currently sits at 56 assists. This is with her missing 4 games. With only 2 games left in the season, Bechard and the Gryphons are looking keep in playoff position as they are currently 9th out of 10.
Marandee Hunter (Goalie), St. Thomas University
Marandee Hunter, Chatham Outlaw alumni, would pick up her 2nd Atlantic University Sport shutout. These shutouts came against Mount Allison and both time she stopped all 19 shots. At the end of the season, the Tommies sit 5th and make it into playoffs. Their first playoff series is against the University of New Brunswick. You can watch Marandee and her team as they play the best 2-of-3 in the quarterfinals.
Out of the 5 times that St. Thomas has played the UNBs they have won 3. Hunter was in net for the last win against UNB on January 4th. After a tough loss in her last game against UNB, Hunter came up big for the Tommies when they met for the last time this season. Taking the 3-2 win and stopping 12 out of the 14 shots, Hunter showed the league that her and St. Thomas were ready to take them in the quarterfinals.
You can watch Marandee Hunter and the Tommies for free here: http://www.austv.ca/
With the playoffs coming up fast for the Western Mustang we see or Chatham Outlaw alumni working hard to get their team in the position that they can. They are currently behind the Ryerson Rams by 1 point, in 8th place. Sydnee Baker and Renae Nevills may be in a bit of a slump offensively but they have picked it up defensively. With their latest win 2-1 against Ontario Tech, both Baker and Nevills both had 3 blocked shots and Baker had 5 steals. Nevills also has had some big defensive games. In Westerns’ 1-0 loss against Queens, Renae had one an outstanding game. She made a couple of big blocks and was able to force Queen’s off their game.
Western has some big games ahead of before the McCaw Cup playoffs. Their biggest game will be the last game against Ryerson on February 15th at 7:00 pm. This game will include 4 CK athletes and could be decided on whether Western makes it into the playoffs and who they will play.
Kat Whiteye (Forward), Brock University
The Brock Badgers have clinched a playoff spot. They are 4th in the league and will play in the quarterfinals against the 8th place team (currently Western) starting February 19th.
It has been a strange season for Kat Whiteye this year as she has been struggling to get points. With only 3 points in 22 games, you think that she will find her offensive touch in the playoffs. Even though Whiteye has struggled offensively she is another Chatham Outlaw alumnus that has picked up her defensive game. Whiteye was known in the Chatham-Kent region as a pure goal scorer has changed her game to be more of the third defender this year. She has consistently provided strong defensive stats this year. In her last game against Waterloo, she was able to create strong breakouts, force Waterloo to make quick decisions with her backchecks, and was blocking shots. This is something that we have Whiteye do all season and she has been excellent at it.
Maddie Lalonde and Lauren Nicholson continue to make an impact on the Ryerson roster as the team are currently sitting 7th and in playoffs. Lalonde will have two chances to get double digits as Ryerson plays Windsor and Western, although both teams have kept Lalonde off the scoresheet there is no doubt that she will find her name on there during one of the two games.
As for Lauren Nicholson, she is having herself a great year. Only 5 points off her career-high of 22 points and still with 2 games left to play. Nicholson has been showing up to games and making it known that she is gunning for a spot in the playoffs. With a game-tying goal against Laurentian, which Laurentian would win 3-2, and against Brock, to push it to a shootout, she has provided the offensive power that will help Ryerson in the playoffs. With her powerplay goal against Brock, Lauren now holds the lone spot for powerplay goals league-wide with 6. This puts as one of the most dangerous powerplay specialists in the league and with the remaining two games against Windsor and Western, teams known for taking quite a few penalties, you know that the Rams will be setting her up for her big one-timer shot!
You can catch all the OUA games for free on https://oua.yaretv.com/.
Special shoutout to Fallon “Fally Friction” Hewitt a Bothwell native and Lambton-Kent Cardinal alumni as she and her team, the Portside Pirates, continue their journey in the Fog City Rollers league in New Brunswick. Fallon has been posting her journey as a rookie in Roller Derby and with her team. To follow along with Fallon and the Portside Pirates on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.