THUNDER BAY – SPORTS – The Thunderwolves women’s basketball team is now ranked 10th the country. The team most recently picked up wins against the Carleton Ravens, Queen’s Gaels, and York Lions.
“Getting ranked in the top 10 is always great for the program and it is a good feeling when all your hard work from everyone involved is respected and reflected in your peer’s votes,” Thunderwolves head coach Jon Kreiner says. “Defeating then-ranked #4 Carleton in their gym and finding ways to beat two very tough teams in Queen’s and York our last three games has demonstrated that we are coming together, accepting our roles, and are becoming good and finding ways to win.”
Lakehead’s basketball season continues this weekend, with home matches on both Friday and Saturday night. The women open the games against the #2 ranked Ryerson Rams on November 30th.
“We have an extremely tall task with Ryerson this Friday,” Kreiner says. “They come in undefeated and playing very, very well on both ends of the floor. Ryerson will be the biggest team we play all year, and also the most athletic. They are well coached and can score in many different ways.”
Ryerson comes to Thunder Bay leading the province in rebounding, averaging 51.3 boards per game to Lakehead’s 37. Thunderwolves forward Leashja Grant, however, currently leads the OUA in both scoring and rebounding. She is also in the top five in field goal percentage, a stat in which both Lakehead and Ryerson appear in the provincial top 3. Guard Nikki Ylagan will also be a crucial part of the Thunderwolves’ game plan, as she enters the weekend 2nd in the OUA in three-point shots made, and 5th in steals, a category in which Lakehead also leads the province.
“I feel that we still have a long way to go to being a consistent team,” Kreiner says, “but by playing so many great teams this year, we have gained a lot of experience, which will help us in the long run. #2 Ryerson will be another huge test for us, but like I said, we will gain so much experience playing them, and hopefully that experience will count in the rankings when they really matter.”
The Thunderwolves wrap up the first half of season play on December 1st against the Toronto Blues. Toronto enters the Thunderdome ranked 6th in the OUA West, with a record of 3-6 and a two-game win streak.
“Toronto is coming off a huge win over Windsor last weekend and they’re also very athletic,” Kreiner says. “They can defend very aggressively and have the most experienced coach in the country.”
“We are looking forward to our last league games of 2018 and the challenges they present but we will have to improve on our inconsistency on defense and we must be ready to play hard for 80 minutes.”
Women’s basketball tips off at 6pm on both Friday, November 30th and Saturday, December 1st.