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Wolves women drop seventh straight hoops contest

Ally Burke led Lakehead with 12 points and four assists in Saturday's 70-47 defeat at the hands of the Toronto Metropolitan Bold.
Lakehead's Sara Azzoline, in her pink Shoot for the Cure jersey, takes the opening tip-off on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023 against Toronto Metropolitan's Rachel Farwell at the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse. (Leith Dunick,

THUNDER BAY – The losses continue to mount for the Lakehead Thunderwolves women’s basketball team.

Though they enjoyed a much better start than they offered up on Friday night, the result was more of the same, the T-Wolves falling 70-47 at the hands of the visiting Toronto Metropolitan Bold, an opponent that’s starting to find it’s groove, having won four straight OUA contests to improve to 11-7.

That’s good for second place in the OUA Central, a division in which the 1-17 Thunderwolves are bringing up the rear and searching for any positives to end the season on.

It didn’t help that the team was playing without its top player, guard Tiffany Reynolds, who sat out after putting up a team-high 14 the night before in an 83-57 loss to the Bold.

“After yesterday we knew what we had to do and the changes we had to make,” said second-year guard Ally Burke, who put up 12 points to pace the LU offence, the lone player to hit double digits on a team struggling to find the net.

“We had to come out with more energy than yesterday. That was our main goal. It worked out, keeping us close.”

Just not close enough.

Unlike Friday night, when Lakehead trailed by 17 after one quarter, the T-Wolves battled back in the closing minutes of the first, a 9-3 run powered by three-pointers from Emily Pokrant and Hana Whalen, the Bold leading 21-14 after one.

Instead of one big quarter, it was four consistent ones for the Bold, who doubled their lead to 14 at the half and held the T-Wolves to just six points in the third quarter, Claire Wiersema and Burke getting the only two buckets of the period for LU, with two more points coming from August Ricketts at the free-throw line.

“I think we were happy with our compete level, but we did have trouble scoring at times,” said acting coach Dave McCallum. “The turnovers really hurt us and with our transition D. We thought our half-court D was really good, when we got it set up, and that was an emphasis for us tonight, to contain them in the half-court.”

The Bold simply had too much firepower for the T-Wolves to completely contain. Rachel Farwell, the third-leading scorer in the OUA, put up 20 points, including three-of-eight from distances, and Kaillie Hall added a dozen.

While LU held TMU to just 37 per cent shooting from the field, they only hit 28 per cent of the shots they took, including just five from the field after halftime. Burke and Lily Gruber-Schulz nailed threes in the fourth, but by then it was too little, too late.

Burke said with four games remaining, the team isn’t ready to give up on the season just yet.

“We’re looking to win a couple more games still, with the matches that we have, and either way, we’re just looking to win hard and improve while we can in these last few matches.”

Court shots: Forward Eva Guilera went down with a right elbow injury early in the contest, returned for a bit, then sat out the rest of the game. She remains day-to-day ... The Thunderwolves wore pink jerseys in support of their annual Shoot for the Cure fundraiser for cancer research. 

Leith Dunick

About the Author: Leith Dunick

A proud Nova Scotian who has called Thunder Bay home since 2002, Leith is Dougall Media's director of news, but still likes to tell your stories too. Wants his Expos back and to see Neil Young at least one more time. Twitter: @LeithDunick
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