The "Heckler's" mission
By Brian Cox
|TAKE A GOOD LOOK PEOPLE. This is the heckler.
Heckling is an art,
but when you travel with your team for their last game of the season,
and you know their playoff dreams are an L.A. Clipper-esque fantasy, "heckling"
crosses the line into twisted obsession.
Western's women's basketball team quieted the University of Lakehead's
one-man travelling peanut gallery on Saturday night, en route to a sentimental
victory in front of friends, family and onlookers. The lone heckler rained
a multitude of taunts on a veteran Western squad, but the Mustangs held
their composure in a 80-70 coast at Alumni Hall.
After a frustrating loss, Lakehead coach Bob Main was more concerned about
addressing the officiating than the money likely forwarded to his team's
professional trash talker.
"[The officials] had trouble with consistency [in their calls],"
he lamented. "Although that, in itself, did not determine the outcome
of the game."
Main commented on the strong performance of Lakehead centre Robyn DeGray,
who at 6'3", dwarfed all of Western's tallest defenders.
"Her 19 points and 14 rebounds were a big asset," Main said.
Of course, her ability to bench-press a U-Haul didn't hurt either. Throughout
the game, the Thunderwolves threw DeGray an effective lob pass over-the-top
of fronting Mustangs forwards. All she had to do was turn around Shaq-style
and lay it up.
THE WOMEN WEREN'T EMBARASSED. Western forward Joanne Chehade "dude-slaps"
a Lakehead player, just like the men got dude-slapped by Lakehead.
But despite a remarkable
individual effort, it simply wasn't meant to be on this night. After a
half-time ceremony marking the end of five distinguished Mustangs careers,
Western's squad would not be denied. Team leader Joanne Chehade, whose
18 points bettered her season average, was surprised by the emotion involved.
"You don't think [the ceremony] is going to be a big deal. But when
it happens, and all your teammates and family are there to congratulate
you, it means a lot," she said.
Other Mustangs receiving congratulations from a grateful program were
guards Michelle Crowley and Sarah Lercara, and forwards Lindsay Kennedy
and Jennifer Grebeldinger.
Looking ahead to the OUA playoffs, the Mustangs will host the University
of Windsor in a first round playoff match.
Chehade said she liked her team's chances in the second season. "We're
all healthy, and being ranked third [in the OUA West], there is a lot
less pressure to win."
Lercara mimicked her teammate's optimism, voicing "no preference
over who [they] would like to play."
No matter who the opposition is, it should be a raucous affair tomorrow
night when the Western faithful, seeking refuge from mid-terms, converge
at Alumni Hall.
As for the heckling, hopefully the Mustangs will let their game do the