The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
It has been two tough games for the Niagara College Knights women’s basketball team. The Knights played their rivals Mohawk College Mountaineers in Hamilton on Jan. 27 and Fanshawe College Falcons, of London, Ont., last Tuesday.
Niagara had a 77-75 win against Mohawk. Centre Jessica Tinney said they didn’t play well in the first half but picked it up in the second.
The Knights beat Mohawk before with a 59-50 score. The women were tied 75-75 with eight seconds left when forward Shelby Johnston received a foul shot and won the game. Forward Kaitlyn McKenna says Johnston "played very well."
"The last two points were definitely nerve-racking to take. But I’ve put a lot of time in the gym and practicing foul shots that I felt confident that I could make them," says Johnston.
The Knights won by a score of 51-47, against the Falcons on Feb. 1. The Falcons got the first basket of the night with a three-pointer by Kaitlind Dutrizac.
"We did win, but we certainly didn’t play well. The first 10 minutes were good but then the girls start slacking, rebounding and losing their man, but we did win," says head coach Ron Lemon.
Lemon says it was the first time they swept them, beating them in a home and away game.
The second half started with centre Whitney Jackson stealing the ball from the Falcons, passing to McKenna and gaining points from the top of the key. Only six minutes in, the Knights were back at a high score with 32-21.
The last minute of the game was the most intense of the night as the women on the Falcons bench were standing up screaming for their teammates. The Falcons got the ball back twice, bringing the score to a close 48-47 for the Knights.
Arundell got a free throw, making both shots good. McKenna ended the game in the last few seconds bringing the final score to 51-47.
"We played well as a team. We came out strong, and we could have kept our intensity up the whole game instead of letting it go," says Johnston.
McKenna was the lead scorer with 17 points, Arundell with 11 and Jackson with 10. The Knights’ injured guard, Anita Cloutier will be back in weeks, ideally, in time for the playoffs, says Lemon.
"We need to work on the little things, it’s all coming together though," says McKenna.
The Niagara Knights’ next home game is Feb. 18 against the Sheridan College Bruins of Toronto at 6 p.m. at the Welland campus’ new athletic centre.