George Brown has dropped two straight following its first win of the season
Having lost in George Brown’s home barn on Nov. 12, the Centennial Colts women’s basketball team returned the favour, defeating the visiting Huskies 76-69 on Tuesday.
Following a stretch of back-and-forth basketball to begin the match, the momentum swung against George Brown. Improved defensive anticipation by the Colts went hand in hand with a strong offensive run, and by halftime, the home team had built a 36-24 lead.
A dominant second half earned George Brown its previous victory over the Colts, and the team looked to repeat that storyline. After a third quarter which stopped the bleeding, the Huskies went on another furious charge, only this time they were unable to pull a second half rabbit out of the hat. The hosts bent but didn’t break in the face of George Brown’s late push, and with the result, Centennial posted its first back-to-back wins of the season.
“I feel like we’re just starting to gel really well now,” said Colts forward Kayla Higgins, who emphasized the need to keep Centennial’s winning streak going. “We’re starting to mesh, we’re starting to learn what role each player has and how to work with it to win games.”
Kiyann Grimaldo’s season-high 22 points led George Brown, followed by Tianna Sullivan with 19 points. What the Colts lacked in standout performances, they made up for in balance and depth. Compared to Centennial’s 33 points off the bench, George Brown had seven, all from Erika Evangelista. The Huskies also went 0-for-10 on three-point attempts, while losing the rebounding battle 63-48, thanks to a 34-18 discrepancy on the offensive end.
“I really think they just outworked us,” said Huskies head coach Warren Williams, whose side fell to 1-4 on the season. “They crushed us on the glass. We didn’t have an answer for their energy rebounding the ball, and we committed some very poor turnovers due to decision-making that’s just not typical of our team.”
While Centennial’s victory avenged the loss to George Brown 10 days prior, Colts head coach Justin Bobb didn’t think this led to an extra spark behind his squad.
“I think this league is really underrated and there’s a lot of great coaches, a lot of great teams, a lot of great players and George Brown’s full of those,” said Bobb, who commended his team for locking in defensively. “I don’t think it’s any extra motivation because they beat us in particular. I think the motivation comes from enjoying competition and playing against great teams every night.”
The Huskies will look to right the ship on Saturday, as they host a Georgian Grizzlies (1-5) squad themselves hoping to avoid a three-game losing streak. In terms of making Casa Loma an imposing place to play, George Brown guard Krystal-Ann Elento has one suggestion for those in attendance.
“Just be loud. All up in your ears, it affects every team, NBA too. It’s not easy for OCAA players to hear a big crowd as an opposing team. It’s hard to hear each other, you can’t run plays properly, so it’d be helpful if the crowd was really loud”.