The second game of the 2018-2019 Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) Women's Basketball Championships featured NAIT Ooks (15-9) against the Olds College Broncos (17-4).
In last year's ACAC Women's Championships held in Calgary and hosted by the SAIT Trojans, the Ooks and Broncos played off for the 5th and 6th placement with Olds winning 78-54.
The last time NAIT had medaled was in 2015-2016 when they beat St. Mary's Lightning 69-66 for gold. Olds last stood on the podium in 2014-2015 with a bronze medal decision over Lakeland College Rustlers 72-50.
While the Ooks have the one-two punch of Sydney Hurlburt (13.0 ppg) and Leah Vandenboogaard (11.0 ppg) to score, the Olds have Kyla Adams (16.4 ppg), Michaela Allen-Gullion (11.5 ppg) and Kristina Bajovic (10.5 ppg).
We forgot to mention ACAC Women's Basketball Player of the Year Brittney Thibeaux.
She averaged a league leading 27.2 ppg this year...assisting the Broncos to a No. 9 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association ranking.
Thibeaux having a hard time finding the hoop in the opening period. Held scoreless in period.
Ooks' 6-foot-2 Hallie Watt, who led the ACAC in blocks during the season with 1.9 average, throws back one of Thibeaux's attempts in the dying minutes.
An outlet and layup for a Leah Vandenboogard basket with one second remaining in the first period, brings the Ooks to within a hoop, down 12-10 in a low-scoring affair.
Highlight of first half a spinning whirling reverse by Thibeaux to make it 23-15.
Ooks keeping close by hitting the offensive boards and put backs.
Olds goes to the free throw line more than any other team in the ACAC and makes more free throws than anyone in the ACAC.
In this game at halftime they have made 10-of-13 compared to 5-of-9 for the Ooks.
At the half NAIT 24 Olds 28
Ooks were only ahead once in the third period. Every time they came close Thibeaux would get involved somehow to stymie the attack.
End of three periods Olds 43 NAIT 39.
Ooks give it a try but the Broncos just too strong.
Ooks Player of the Game Leah Vandenboogaard 7 points 6 rebounds 3 assists
Broncos Player of the Game Brittney Thibeaux with a game high 28 points and 10 rebounds.
Footnotes: Ooks' Margreat Idi on why her favourite movie is Lion KIng: "My favourite movie of all time has always been Lion King. It is full of life lessons, Hakuna Matata means no worries and to me, it represents a saying I go by, live your best life with no regrets and to do that you need to live like you have no worries."
Ooks' Sydney Hurlburt's mom Karen (Kumish) Hurlburt played at the University of Alberta women's basketball
Broncos Kyla Adams favourite website is ballislife.com