Volume 91, Issue 88
Tuesday, March 17, 1998
Near miss equals fifth
THIS IS WHEN PRACTISING JUMP-ROPE REALLY PAYS OFF. Mustang Jenn Haylor  launches a perimetre shot against Concordia to help her team to a consolation title.
By Alan Russette
THUNDER BAY One shot. Over the course of her career, Angela Nobes has taken thousands of them, but none was as important as the three-pointer in the dying seconds of Friday night's opening round match-up against the Laurentian Lady Vees at the CIAU basketball tournament.
With time running out, the ball rattled around the rim before finally popping out as time expired giving Laurentian a 75-73 victory and ending Western's hopes of a national title. It also set the stage for a consolation championship.
Led by Joy McNichol, Laurentian's six-foot-three captain, the Lady Vees chipped away at a six-point Western lead in the final 10 minutes tying the game at 69 with two minutes to play. Hampered by foul trouble and poor shooting, the Mustangs failed to hold off the momentum and allowed their opponents to pull ahead for good. The victory sent Laurentian on to the second round for a match-up with the top-seeded Manitoba Bisons.
A visibly disappointed Nadia Pezzolo believed the game could have gone either way, but that little mistakes cost them. "It was a really tough first-round match-up. We expected it to be a close game and it came right down to the wire," Pezzolo said.
Laurentian head coach John Campbell was relieved to come out on the winning side again against Western after narrowly defeating them last Sunday for the Ontario title.
"I think we certainly knew we had our hands full," Campbell said. "We'd played them twice now and the first game was decided in overtime and they won it. Last weekend we snuck one out in overtime so we knew it was going to be a great match-up."
Motivating the team after such a heart-breaking loss was difficult, but the Mustangs showed true character throughout the rest of the tournament. They met the host team, Lakehead, in the consolation semifinals and disposed of them 66-55 to set up a meeting with Concordia for fifth place.
"Nobody wanted to come and play [against Lakehead]. But everyone got their rest and we felt it was a sense of pride. We've got to build for next year now," co-captain Angela Nobes said. "We wanted to leave with some respect. As much as we didn't want to play, those things were on the line. If we came in and lost this game, then it would be over. Going out with a double loss is a lot worse than going out 2-1."
The Mustangs showed great poise and character, defeating the Concordia Stingers 72-60 in the consolation final to claim the country's fifth-place spot.
For fifth-year guard Nobes, the tournament was the last for her as a Mustang. In pain with a broken eye socket and broken nose which she suffered last weekend, Nobes refused to sit on the bench during the most important weekend of the year for the team playing the entire tournament wearing protective eyewear.
"I'm not the type of person who'll let an injury affect my game." said Nobes. "I've overcome two operations on my knees and I think the eye injury was just another step towards building the type of character I've always wanted to have."
BRING THE LUMBER OVER HERE GALS. Angela Nobes , sporting her woodshop specks, refused to allow her injuries to slow her down in Thunder Bay on the weekend.
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