Like a hummingbird fighting a gorilla

By Sean Nyilassy and Lee Bogle

Faced with the 20-0 Simon Fraser University Clan in the Canada West quarter-finals, calling the 9-11 Dinos women’s basketball team under-dogs would be an under-statement. After squeaking into the final playoff spot by winning their final two games, our ladies were forced into a best-of-three series against the nation’s top team in their Vancouver lair, Feb. 18-19.

To rise to the occasion, Dinos’ Head Coach Shawnee Harle had devised a devious scheme to stall the high-scoring, highly offensive SFU.

“The delay game strategy was the only chance that we had,” Harle disclosed. “We did the same strategy both nights.”

And it worked… kind of.

Friday night’s game saw the Dinos hold the Clan to their second lowest point total to date this season. Unfortunately for our ladies, they un-achieved their lowest conference point total in two years. Co-captain Tanya Hautala was the solitary Calgarian in double digits, hitting for 10 of the Dinos’ 39 points. The Clan racked in 57 to take the win by a comfortable 18 point margin.

“Friday night it felt like we didn’t compete,” Harle confessed. “I thought we played tough on Saturday.”

Indeed. Despite forfeiting four more points to their adversaries than the night before, the Dinos came much closer to a win and a major upset. The Dinos offence flared… kind of.

“We scored more points on Saturday because instead of running our team offense, we ran quick hits for our scorers,” Harle acknowledged.

The captains capitalized constantly, catalyzing a courageous comeback. Lindsay Maundrell shone, hitting nine of 11 shots from the field and ending with 22 points, including several key baskets late in the game. Hautala added a modest 11 points in the effort. The Dinos were out-shooting and out-rebounding the Clan, but a three-pointer from the enemy with 3:21 remaining shifted the momentum against our ladies. The final score was 63-53, and the Dinos’ season ended.

“We were able to walk off with our heads held high and end the season on a positive note,” Hautala confided. “Everybody gave it all they’ve got.”

Following a promising start to the season, the Dinos struggled after Christmas. Perhaps one saving grace to the season was the unstoppable Hautala, who ended up the third-highest scorer in Canada West and sixth in the country. For her achievements she was named a Canada West First-Team All-Star. But she had hoped for more.

“We didn’t get any further than last year,” Hautala lamented, “and that’s always a disappointment.”

With next year being the final year of her eligibility, she sincerely hopes for a national playoff berth. And with Cory Bekkering being the only player out of eligibility, the girls should be a tight-knit team with a good shot at a dominating 2005-2006 season. Adieu!


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