By: Kajan Thiruthanikasalam
OSHAWA, ONT.- An encouraging opening night performance against the Seneca Sting at home despite the loss saw the Centennial Colts hoping to continue that positive momentum against the Durham Lords.
The Lords (2-1) were having none of that, however, and that momentum screeched to a halt at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre as they blew out the Colts (0-2), 88-62.
"Durham has the ability to score the ball at a pretty high clip. They did a really good job of getting open looks and getting transition layups," Justin Bobb, Colts Head Coach said. "Our focus has got to be on understanding who can hurt us, where they can hurt us, and try to be in a better position defensively to take away some easy opportunities for them."
Judy Ta led the Colts with 14 points and had a game high four steals along with four made triples as she works her way back from injury.
"Judy's still working her way into shape, trying to work through her physical ability but also her confidence," Bobb said. "We're happy with the progress that she's making but she's got a bit of a ways to go before she gets back to 100 per cent."
Four players scored in double figures for Durham, led by Dekota Kirby's game high 21 points and nine assists while Marie Stasiuk stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three steals.
Emily Glendinning had 14 points and a game high three blocks while Alyssa Navarro had 12 as both players made a huge impact off of the bench.
The Colts went off to a good start as they took an 11-6 lead after a layup from Lauren Barker as Ta's two triples during that span gave the Lords defence fits.
But Durham managed to fight back and a layup from Keisha Arthurworrey gave the home side a 19-17 lead after one. Ta and Stasiuk each had six in the quarter.
Cherrie Reymond then gave the Colts a spark off of the bench as she hit consecutive triples to start off the quarter.
"A pretty good breakout from Cherrie, hitting a couple of shots," Bobb said. "To get some confidence going as a rookie is always important."
But that momentum was short-lived as Durham closed out the first half on a 16-4 run, capped off by a three point play in the final seconds from Glendenning to go up 42-30 heading into intermission. Kirby heated up in the second quarter, scoring eight points in the frame.
Centennial came out with a 1-2-2 full court press to start off the second half and it immediately paid dividends as their defensive intensity was at an all-time high, with the highlight of their run coming from a charge taken from Asia Brown.
"I thought Asia played some quality minutes, took a big charge, and was pretty effective in our full court press for us," Bobb said.
The Colts forced Durham into seven turnovers and went on a 15-2 run, even taking the lead at 45-44 after a floater off the glass from Browne. But that lead was short-lived as the Lords cancelled out Centennial's comeback attempt with a 13-2 run to close the third quarter, going up 57-47.
The final quarter was all Durham as they scored a dizzying 31 points during that span, moving the ball and getting whatever they wanted offensively as the visiting Colts had no answer despite Browne and Thomson scoring five points each in the final stanza.
"There's some things we did really well tonight but unfortunately there's more things that we didn't execute well," Bobb said, looking ahead to Friday night's tilt against the St. Lawrence Vikings. "That's two games in a row where in the third quarter, our intensity dipped and then pummelled in the fourth quarter. As a team, we have to figure out how to be strong for 40 minutes."
Poor shooting from the field and the free throw line haunted the Colts this game as they shot 29.6 per cent overall (21-71) and missed 17 free throws in total (12-29; 41.4 per cent).
"Tonight, we didn't do a good job of getting shots from spots that we want to get shots from and the results in the score are a good indication of that," Bobb said. "When you're struggling to score and don't make the easy ones, it kind of pushes you back."
One positive was three point shooting, as Centennial hit eight triples and shot 34.8 per cent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, Durham shot 42 per cent from the field and 80 per cent (12-15) from the line, including a scorching fourth quarter in which they shot 63.2 per cent (12-19).
The Lords made 13 more field goals (34-21) and moved the ball crisply with a 26-10 edge in the assists column while also holding the edge in points and the paint (44-20) and bench scoring (34-18).
TOP 3 COLTS PERFORMERS OF THE GAME
MaryAnn Blake (5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals)
Asia Brown (3 points, 2 rebounds)
Cherrie Reymond (7 points, 3 rebounds, 2/3 from downtown)
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Centennial looks to shake off this loss as they head to Kingston, Ont., to face off against the St. Lawrence Vikings on Friday Nov. 2, with an opportunity to get their first win of the season. Tip-off is at 6:00pm.