Women’s Hurricanes look to roll past Thunder
March 13, 2014
By Geordie Carragher, Sports Journalism at Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario. Journalism alumni at Holland College. @gecarragher on Twitter.
Set to make their CCAA women’s championship debut, the sixth-seeded Holland Hurricanes have quite the task ahead of them, as the ACAA wild card team is set to face the third-seeded Algonquin Thunder, the OCAA champions and one of two undefeated teams in the tournament, the other being the RSEQ champion Nomades de Montmorency.
The Hurricanes are coming off their best season in school history, posting a 19-2 record to finish second in the ACAA, including a 74-65 win over St. Thomas to snap the Tommies’ 98-game winning streak within the ACAA on the season’s final weekend.
Offensively, ACAA Rookie of the Year Jazlin Barker and team captain Steph Hiltz jointly run the show from the backcourt, with both averaging around 13 points and four assists per game to lead the tournament’s second most potent offence, scoring at a pace of 77.1 points per game this season.
Meanwhile, Toronto native Jenea Barrett has emerged as another primary offensive weapon since joining the Hurricanes in January, averaging 15.5 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
A big difference in this year’s Hurricanes squad compared to teams of years past is its depth, as rookies Mendeira Smith and Katiesha Brissett, along with second-year perimeter threat Christina Medley, have all had their moments this season.
However, there is perhaps no piece more integral to the Hurricanes’ success than rookie forward Ashley Moss.
“The Nassau Nightmare” can kill an opposing team’s momentum at either end of the court, as the ACAA Second Team All-Star showed herself to be far and away the most dominant rebounder in the CCAA this season.
To go with 12.2 points per game, Moss averaged an astounding 14.2 rebounds per game, nearly three rebounds per game more than her closest competitor, Sirah-Ngoma-Nganga Diarra of the host Champlain St-Lambert Cavaliers.
Moss had more double-digit rebound games than single digits, including four games where she collected 20 or more boards.
She’s no slouch at swatting balls away, either, averaging nearly 2.5 blocks per game to head Holland College’s intimidating defensive presence, which also features Barrett and Brissett pulling down over seven rebounds per game each.
However, for the Hurricanes to advance, they’ll need to take out Algonquin, who will make its fourth straight appearance at the CCAA championship, a run that started with a CCAA silver medal in 2011.
Algonquin tends to spread the wealth when it comes to production, with four players averaging 10 or more points per game this season, while Felicia Mazerolle and Kim Cupid both averaged nearly five assists per game.
However, fifth-year forward Sandre Bascoe is the catalyst of the Thunder’s attack. She led Algonquin with 13.9 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, though she always seems to step up in the biggest situations.
Bascoe is a three-time most valuable player in the OCAA championship game, and in this year’s tournament, she very nearly had a double-double in all three games the Thunder played.
Meanwhile, sophomore forward Cupid gives Bascoe a dynamic partner down low, averaging 12.2 points and 7.7 rebounds per game this season to go along with the previously-mentioned five assists per game.
However, for all their offensive exploits, the Thunder can also lock a game down defensively with the best of them. Algonquin allowed just 41.9 points per game this season, second among CCAA tournament teams only to Montmorency.
Don’t be surprised to see Algonquin try and have Bascoe and Cupid double-team Moss in the paint to limit her opportunities whenever possible, though the Hurricanes certainly have the offensive weapons to make things interesting.
The winner of this game will play either St. Thomas or Champlain St-Lambert in the semifinal. Should the two ACAA teams meet, there should be some fireworks as St. Thomas beat the Hurricanes for its fourth straight conference title after Holland College beat the Tommies in Charlottetown late in the season.
In the meantime, tune in to www.SportsCanada.TV at 7:30 p.m. Atlantic Time to watch the Hurricanes try to roll over the Thunder in St-Lambert, Que.
For media inquiries please contact:
Athletics Development and Communications Coordinator
Department of Athletics and Recreation