Monday, August 15, 2016

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,
 
My first official Game Report of the season!  I should preface this by saying that when I write my game reports, I try to be honest and objective (as objective as I can be in a coaching role :)).  Some readers have commented on my writing surprised that it is not a little more “sugar-coated” when we play poorly or lose a game, etc.  Suffice it to say – “not my style.” 
 
Queen’s 55 – Abilene Christian University 85
The final score is certainly not very flattering, but also not indicative of the overall competitiveness of the game (at least for the first 3 quarters).  In fact, we started the game very well – particularly our shooting , going 7 for 13 in the opening frame.  After we opened up a 21-8 lead, Abilene scored the final 7 points of the quarter to close to 21-15.  It was Abilene’s turn to shoot well in the second quarter, converting 11 of their 18 attempts, outscoring us 25 -14 to lead 35-40 at the half.  The third quarter saw each team shoot in the mid to upper 30s (%) with Abilene increasing their lead by 3 (16-19).  Trailing by 8 points heading into the fourth quarter, the first few minutes of the quarter went by with neither team able to find the bottom of the net.  However, is was the final 7 minutes that saw Abilene shoot the lights out, while we continued to come up empty.  We were outscored 26-4 in the fourth, turning that 8 point deficit into an ugly 30 point loss. Rebounding and turnovers caused us the most grief, being outrebounded 28-46, along with 28 turnovers to Abilene’s 16.
 
Because of injuries, we were only able to dress 9 of our 15 players, but, we still had 3 players in double digits (Marianne Alarie with 14, Andrea Priamo and rookie, Emma Ritcey, each with 10), another player with 9 (Sarah Saftich), and another with 8 (Myriam Fontaine). 
 
We will be heading into Training Camp on August 28th, in preparation for the season and our next exhibition play, September 28th at St. Lawrence College, our cross-town competitors.
 
Our Alumni/Homecoming weekend follows that on the October 14-16 weekend.  We will be hosting our Tindall Tournament with Alberta, Laval and Acadia in attendance, along with our Alumni vs. Alumni game.  Our Reception to honour our team members from the 2000-01 to 2004-05 will follow our game on the Friday evening, complete with Silent Auction.  More details will be forthcoming, but it should be an incredibly exciting weekend, as the University will be celebrating its 175th anniversary, and the official opening of our new George Richardson Stadium.
 
Enjoy the rest of your summer!
 
Dave.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Women's Basketball - Update

Hi Folks,

Welcome to summer!

I have some incredible news to share:

Megan Saftich, Emily Hazlett, Sarah Saftich, Abby Dixon, Kat Holt, Marianne Alarie, Nicole Morse, Robyn Pearson & Jenny Wright all achieved the Academic All-Canadian standard (over 80% average).  Outstanding!

I am pleased to announce that Adriana Conti will be joining our basketball family.  A tough 5-9” combo-guard, Adriana is a former teammate of Myriam Fontaine at La Citadelle HS and on the Ottawa JUEL team.

We hosted the JUnior ELite (JUEL) championships in the middle of May.  Congratulations to Hamilton Transway as they beat the defending champions, Tri-County Thunder in a very exciting final.  Robyn Pearson was the keynote speaker at the JUEL Banquet delivering a very informative and impassioned speech which was very well received by the over 600 young female basketball players in attendance.   In conjunction with the JUEL Championships, we also hosted the OUA All-Star Game, featuring 3 Queen’s players: Jenny Wright, Robyn Pearson & Myriam Fontaine.

Our Elite Training & Scrimmage Camp is well underway, having sold out many weeks prior to its start.  It is a very skilled group that promises to provide exciting basketball in Kingston for years to come.  Up next are our ½ Basketball/ ½ Volleyball Camps starting up in early & mid-July for girls & boys entering Gr.2-5.  (The first week is already sold out). Registration for our end of summer Basketball Camp andBasketball Academy have already exceeded last year’s registrations and are nearing capacity.
Check out the camp details at:  http://rec.gogaelsgo.com/sports/2016/2/23/SummerCamp2016.aspx

Our basketball schedule is very near complete and is posted on our web site:www.queensbasketball.net
In addition to hosting the Tindall Tournament (with Alberta, Laval & Acadia), we will be travelling toCarleton’s Tournament, and to the Thunder Select Tournament in Halifax (Dec. 28-30).  We also have individual exhibition play scheduled at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) and Ottawa U (to be played at Ashbury College in Ottawa).  We have also added a late summer home game againstAbilene Christian University, a Division I school out of Texas on Tuesday, August 9th at 7:00pm.

In conjunction with our Tindall Tournament (October 14-16) we will be hosting our annual Alumni Game, along with a Reception and Silent Auction.  While the Alumni Game is open to all alumni, we will be honouring the team members from the 2000-01 to 2004-05 teams, with keynote speakerJen Oliver (nee Bittner).  A tentative run-down of the weekend is as follows:
 
Friday, October 14
6:00pm Queen’s vs. Acadia
8:00pm Reception & Silent Auction – University Club

Saturday, October 15
12:00n Alumni Game
6:00pm Queen’s vs. Alberta
7:30pm Social activity tbd

Sunday, October 16
2:00pm Queen’s vs. Laval

Please click on the following to join a Facebook group created by Jen Oliver: https://www.facebook.com/groups/queenswbballalumni/

Enjoy!

Dave.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Women's Basketball - Update

Hi Folks,

A quick update as we are working our way through a very busy Spring.

We just finished eight 2-hour practise sessions over the last four days with Canada’s Olympic Coaches, Allison and Mike McNeill.  The sessions were outstanding and will help set the course and tone for our team moving forward.  In addition to their extensive knowledge, Coaches Allison & Mike are excellent teachers and motivators.  Between our on-court practise sessions, Bob, James and I had the opportunity to sit and chat hoops for 3 hours each day with the McNeills  -- fantastic learning opportunity.

Out of the pan and into the fire – we are preparing to host the OUA All-Star Game this weekend in conjunction with the JUEL and JUEL-Prep Championships.   Jenny Wright, Robyn Pearson and Myriam Fontaine will be featured in the All-Star game set for Saturday, May 14 at 7:30pm in the Main Gym of the ARC.  Admission is free.  Last year the gym was packed for the game, creating a great atmosphere!

The JUEL Championships get underway on Friday (May 13) with games starting at 10am.  The banquet will be held Friday evening, with Robyn Pearson as a Keynote Speaker, before games resume on Saturday at 9am.  The Championship final is scheduled for Sunday at 2:30pm.  JUEL charges $6 per day or a $10 weekend pass.

Our basketball camp season is set to get underway later this month with the Elite Training & Scrimmage Camp first out of the blocks on May 26th.  The very popular camp registered full prior to hitting May, with our other camps following in a similar vain.  In July we have two sessions of our Half Basketball/Half Volleyball Camps (girls & boys entering Grs. 2-5) and in August we have our Basketball Camp (Grs. 2-5) and Basketball Academy (Grs. 6-8).  September 10 marks our Jr. Girls Team Camp.  For details on all of our camps, please visit:  http://rec.gogaelsgo.com/sports/2016/2/23/SummerCamp2016.aspx

Updates on some exciting developments with the Alumni Weekend (October 14-16) will come in the next Newsletter.

That’s it for now.  Enjoy the rest of Spring!

Dave.



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Women's Basketball - Update

Hi Folks,

Time for a mid-Spring update. 

As mentioned in my previous newsletter, we are very excited to be having Veronika Lavergne  join us for next season.  Here is the link to her press release:



We are busy preparing to host the JUEL & JUEL-Prep Championships on the May 13-15 weekend where 52 games will be played over the 3 days.  The JUnior ELite of Ontario is comprised of 14 teams (Gr. 11 & 12s) from across the province, with the same number of teams for the Prep division (Gr.9 & 10s).  We are still in need of scorers, timers or shot clock operators if anyone is interested in helping out – the calibre of basketball will by very high.

The OUA All-Star game is being played in conjunction with the JUEL Championships again this year.  The game will feature 3 Queen’s players:  Jenny Wright, Robyn Pearson and Myriam Fontaine and will be played on the Main court at Queen’s, with a 7:30pm tip off on Saturday, May 14.  Admission is free!

The Alumni Weekend is shaping up nicely – October 14-16 (also the University’s Homecoming Weekend).  We will be hosting our Alumni Game on the Saturday, followed by our Reception & Silent Auction, honouring team members from the 2000-01 to 2004-05 teams.  The Tindall tournament will feature teams that were all in the Top 10 this past season: Alberta, Laval, Acadia and, of course, Queen’s!

Lastly, the first of our Basketball Camps gets underway in late May – the Elite Training & Scrimmage Camp for female players entering Gr. 9 and those entering Grs. 10-12 (two divisions).  Both camps are near full.  Girls and Boys entering Grs.2-5 are well serviced with our Half Basketball/Half Volleyball Camps in July (2 camps) and our Basketball Camp in mid-August.  The Basketball Academy (girls & boys divisions) follows the Basketball Camp in August.  Lastly, our Jr. Girls Team Camp is slated for the 10th of September (coaches can contact me directly about the Team camp).  Please see the Sport Specific Camps section:


That’s it for now.

Cheers,

Dave.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Women's Basketball - Update

Hi Folks,

Spring has sprung (and sputtered again) in this neck of the woods, with lots of things on which to report. 

Thanks to the generosity of Robyn Pearson’s parents, our team was treated to another Toronto Raptor game (against Charlotte) at the Air Canada centre.  The team enjoyed the comfort (and luxury) of a Corporate Suite, with full food and beverage service, as the Raptors pulled out a late win over the Hornets.

Speaking of Robyn Pearson, I am very pleased to report that the graduating Commerce student has signed on to return to Queen’s for next season.  The OUA 1st team All-Star and Canada’s leading rebounder did not want to pass up the opportunity to return for her fifth and final season and would like to take a few extra courses to further her gifted talents in the videography world.  She returns with high expectations and goals: to help lead our team to the National title!

Our athletic banquet (Colour Awards) was held last Wednesday with a very nice dinner affair.  Our team awards were handed out, including: Myriam Fontaine was named Rookie of the Year after her season which saw tremendous growth from the fall through the winter season.  Emily Hazlett received the Coach’s Award for her all around leadership and play.  She was really the spark plug to our team, both offensively and defensively.  Jenny Wright captured the MVP award for her stellar play and leadership.  The 4-time All-Star finished her career as the 2nd all-time leading scorer in Queen’s history.

As I alluded to in my last newsletter, we were in the midst of something big, very big, that we needed to get some paperwork completed, before going public.  The paperwork is now in order and I am thrilled to announce that Veronika Lavergne will be joining our team starting with the 2016-17 season.  You may recall, Vee, a 6’4” post player, was a highly sought after recruit out of St. Peter’s High School in Orleans, graduating in 2015.  She was part of our pre-season ID/training camp the summer prior to her graduation (along with current players, Kat Holt & Myriam Fontaine), but was lured away by a Division I scholarship to the States.  After experiencing some good success as a rookie, Vee found the camaraderie she experienced at Queen’s was significant enough to reconsider her university choice --  a decision we were more than happy to accommodate!  A press release will be issued in the coming weeks – stay tuned to www.queensbasketball.net for the release.

That’s it for now, but there are lots of things in the works.  I’ll be back in touch in the not-too-distant future.

All the best.

Dave.





Thursday, March 10, 2016

Women's Basketball - Update

Hi Folks,

I thought I would send out a Newsletter as a number of things are on the horizon and a quick look back at the season.

Highlights of the 2015-16 season
August
* Trip to Barcelona, Spain in August – played 2 games against professional teams – spent 9 days touring the city
September
*Weekend Team Retreat at a cottage in the Thousand Islands – great team building
October
*Won the Tindall Tournament beating Carleton, Memorial and UQAM
November
*Went 6-1 in League Play
December
*Held a team training camp with Canadian Olympic Coaches, Allison & Mike McNeill
February
*Raised almost $6,000 for Breast Cancer Research (Shoot for the Cure game)
*Participated in the NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto – beating Windsor 60-41

OUA All-Stars Announced
I am very pleased to announce that Jenny Wright and Robyn Pearson were selected as 1st Team OUA All-Stars, and that Myriam Fontaine was selected to the OUA All-Rookie Team.  This is Jenny’s third consecutive selection to the 1st Team All-Stars, after being select to the All-Rookie team in her first year.  Robyn finished the season leading the country in rebounding.  Myriam’s game grew dramatically over the course of the year, increasing her minutes from 7/game in the fall to over 15/game in the second half of the season.

Speaking of All-Stars, Queen’s standout, Gemma Bullard (2013-14 OUA All-Star), will be making her return to the team for the 2016-17 season.  Having successfully navigated surgery on her wrist this past season, she is already working hard in the weight room and anxious to get back on the court.  Her talent and maturity will have an instant positive impact on the team.

Stayed tuned for another exciting player announcement coming shortly.  Just need to get the (i)s dotted and the (t)s crossed.

Spring/Summer Camps
We will be offering our usual array of basketball camps again this summer as follows:

Elite Training & Scrimmage (for girls entering Gr. 9, 10, 11, 12 in September)
May 26 – July 28 (Thursday evenings from 7 – 9pm)

½ Basketball ½ Volleyball Camp (for girls & boys entering Gr. 2, 3, 4, 5)
July 4 – 8 (Week 1) (8:30-4:30 daily)
July 18 – 22 (Week 2) (8:30-4:30 daily)

Basketball Camp (for girls & boys entering Gr. 2, 3, 4, 5)
August 15 – 19 (8:30-4:30 daily)

Basketball Academy (for girls & boys {separate} entering Gr. 6, 7, 8)
August 22-26 (8:30-4:30 daily)

For details on these camps and how to register, please visit:

We will also be holding our Junior Girls Team Camp on Saturday, September 10th.  Interested teams should contact me directly.

Cheers,

Dave.


Monday, March 7, 2016

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

My least favourite newsletter of the year – meaning our season has come to a close with a loss to McMaster, 55-65.  They will move on to the Final Four against Ottawa, while Ryerson will play Windsor.  The games will be held at Ottawa U. this Friday and Saturday.

Queen’s 55 – McMaster 65
This game started pretty much as we expected – a tough grind at both ends of the floor.  Despite good scoring opportunities (for both teams), the ball was not falling resulting in a 10-12 point quarter in favour of McMaster.  The game “loosened up” a little in the second quarter, but shooting percentage favoured Mac as they outscored us 15-20 to take a 25-32 lead into the half.  The game became a grind again in the third quarter as we only managed 9 points (to Mac’s 13) as our shooting percentage dropped below the 20% mark.  We trailed 34-45 heading into the final quarter.  Things got worse before getting better as Mac built a 15 point lead by the 6 minute mark.  We were then able to turn up the heat and go on a run for the first time in the game and closed the score all the way down to 3 points with 57 seconds left in the game.  Unable to convert on our next possession we were forced to foul – eventually increasing the deficit back to 10.  Jenny Wright finished off her CIS career with a double-double, 14 points, 12 boards and 3 steals.  Robyn Pearson had another excellent game with 16 points, 15 boards and 3 blocked shots.

So our season has come to a close.  While this is the last Game Report of the season, I will be sending out another Newsletter in the not-too-distant future with a season re-cap, All-Star selections and other exciting news.

Thanks to all for such great support, in the gyms, via email, and especially to our families who welcomed us into their homes (and sometimes at the gyms) for team meals.  We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have such a caring, loyal and supportive fan base.

Cheers,

Dave.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

Not the weekend we were looking for to close out our regular season: losing by 5 points to both Ryerson and Toronto, to finish with a 14-5 regular season record.  The losses dropped us from the 2nd ranked team in the province to 5th, one spot away from an opening round bye in the playoffs.  Instead of hosting a second round game next Saturday, we will host an opening round game on Wednesday against Laurentian.  The winner will travel to Hamilton on Saturday to take on McMaster.

Queen’s 61 – Ryerson 66
To say we started this game poorly would be an understatement, going a full 7 minutes without recording a point.  Five turnovers in that span and our inability to convert on any of our shots, left us down 13 before we found the bottom of the net.  We did finish the quarter on an 11-6 run to trail 11-19 after one quarter.  The second quarter was not much better, converting on only 5 of 17 shots and failing to get to the foul line once.  We were outscored 10-13 in the quarter to trail 21-32 at the break.  The third quarter we converted 6 of 18 shots, but were more aggressive, getting to the foul line 7 times (making 5) to score 18 in the quarter.  Unfortunately our defense could not contain Ryerson as they matched that output, so we trailed 39-50 heading into the fourth.  We came to life in spurts in the fourth quarter scoring 22 points, while holding Ryerson to 16, but could not overcome the 11 point deficit.  Emily Hazlett finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists.  Robyn Pearson chalked up another double double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Marianne Alarie added 10 points.  Jenny Wright also hit double digits with 10 rebounds.


Queen’s 70 – Toronto 75
Another slow start to the game saw us miss 11 of our first 12 shots, despite having very good looks.  Fortunately Toronto struggled to put the ball in the hoop as well.  We then went on a good scoring spree, but Toronto managed to find their rhythm as well.  First quarter ended with us leading 16-13.  Toronto’s Rahshida Atkinson took control in the second quarter scoring 11 of her team’s 17.  We put up 13 to trail 29-30 at the half.  The pace picked up in the third quarter and we were unable to contain Toronto’s offence and with less than a minute and a half to go in the quarter, they were up 10.  We managed to score 6 straight points to cut the lead to 4 at the end of 3, 50-54.  Turnovers became the story of the fourth quarter.  We had opportunities to control the game, but 18 second half turnovers killed any momentum we tried to establish.  Jenny Wright finished with a season-high 28 points, along with 9 boards, 5 steals and 4 blocked shots. Emily Hazlett had 13 points, while Robyn Pearson & Andrea Priamo each hit double digits in rebounding, finishing with 13 and 12 respectively.


Up Next at Home - Playoffs:
Wednesday, March 2 vs. Laurentian  6pm*

* Please note that, as per OUA regulations, complimentary tickets are not accepted for playoff games.  Tickets can be purchased at our Customer Service Desk.

Cheers,


Dave.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

Just one game to report on this week as we completed our last league road trip at Algoma University with a convincing 67-34 win despite being only able to dress 10 players due to injuries.  We climbed to # 9 in the National rankings thanks to our wins over Western & Windsor last week.  Currently, our playoff picture has us ranked #2 in the province (behind Ottawa), with the final weekend of league play to come.  Finishing in the top 4 of the province would provide a first round bye, followed by a home game.  Finishing first in the province allows you to host the Final Four (must win your quarter final game).

Queen’s 67 – Algoma 34
We got off to a good start in this game, exerting solid pressure against Algoma’s offense and forcing a number of turnovers or highly contested shots.  This led to a number of run outs and 22-6 first quarter lead.  The second quarter, however, left much to be desired, as defensive breakdowns led to a number of open 3s for Algoma, and they took full advantage outscoring us 8-15.  Our lead was cut to 9 by half, 30-21.  We regrouped at half and executed much better in the third, outscoring Algoma 24-6 effectively taking the game out of reach.  We led 54-27 after 3.  We continued to play solid defense in the fourth, allowing only 7 points to our 13 to finish with the 67-34 win.  Jenny Wright led all scorers with 16 points in only 19 minutes of action.  Marianne Alarie pumped in 14 points to go along with her 4 boards and 4 steals.

Our last two league games are at home this coming weekend, with Ryerson and Toronto visiting Kingston.  The games have significant playoff implications.  Ontario is divided into 4 Divisions, with the top 3 teams in each Division qualifying for the playoffs.  Those 12 teams are then seeded 1 through 12 (regardless of divisional standing), with the top 4 teams receiving a first round bye.  The first round would see the 5th seed hosting the 12 seed, the 6th seed hosting the 11th seed, etc.  on Wednesday, March 2nd .  The quarter finals would then be played on Saturday, March 5th at the sites of the top 4 finishers.  The highest remaining seed after those games will host the OUA Final Four on Friday/Saturday, March 11, 12.

With this weekend being our last regular season home games, we will be honouring our graduating players, Nicole Morse, Robyn Pearson & Jenny Wright immediately following our game on Saturday evening against Toronto.  At half time of the game, we also have a small presentation for the parents of the players.

Up Next at Home:
Friday, February 26 vs. Ryerson  6pm
Saturday, February 27 vs. Toronto  6pm (Graduating Athlete Night)

Have a great week!


Dave.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

We had another very successful weekend with wins over Western and Windsor.  The Western game was at home on Friday night – followed by a trip to Toronto immediately after the game.  Of course, the Windsor game was played in conjunction with the NBA All-Star Weekend activities.  It also allowed us some time to explore the facility and meet some of the NBA legends.

We moved up one spot to 11th in the country last week (after beating Guelph & Lakehead), and will likely move back into the Top 10 with the two wins this past weekend.  We sit atop our Division with a 13-3 record (Ryerson is 12-3 with a game in hand).  Also of note, Robyn Pearson was named Queen’s Athlete of the Week for the second time, this past week.

Queen’s 69 – Western 64
We had a very good start in this game, dominating the first quarter on the glass (15-5) and shooing the basketball (12/20 vs. 2/14) to grab a 26-9 first quarter lead.  It would prove to be the difference in the game, as Western went on to win all 3 of the remaining quarters.  In the second, Western found their shooting touch, converting on almost 64% of their shots, while our percentage dropped to 32%.  We were outscored 13-20, to leave us with a 39-29 half-time lead.  The third quarter was fast-paced and played basically even, 19-20.  The fourth quarter saw Western chip away at our lead, eventually taking the lead and going up as much as 3 points with just over 4 minutes to play.  Their lead was short-lived, however, as we recaptured the lead and then held them without a field goal for the last minute and a half of the game, to win 69-64.  Abby Dixon led the way with 17 points and 3 steals, while Robyn Pearson had another double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.  Marianne Alarie continued her fine play with 10 points.



Queen’s 60 – Windsor 41
Unlike the Western game, we were unable to find our range in the opening quarter against Windsor.  Adjusting to the new surroundings proved difficult for both teams as we shot 3/23 and Windsor 5/19 from the floor, leading to a 9-12 first quarter score.  We began to get our touch in the second (and Windsor’s faltered further) as we outscored them 15-7 to take a 24-19 half time lead.  The third quarter was a bit of a wash, both teams struggling to finish, ending in an 11-10 quarter.  It was the fourth quarter that saw our defense take over, forcing numerous turnovers and creating easier scoring opportunities on the run outs.  We outscored Windsor 25-12 in the fourth for the 60-41 win.  Jenny Wright finished with a game-high 14 points and 8 boards.  Andrea Priamo, was named Player of the Game, thanks to her double-double of 12 points (on 6 of 9 shooting) and 10 boards.


Up Next on the Road:
Saturday, February 20 @ Algoma  6pm

Up Next at Home:
Friday, February 26 vs. Ryerson  6pm
Saturday, February 27 vs. Toronto  6pm (Graduating Athlete Night)

Have a great week!

Dave.