The St. Thomas women’s basketball team’s impressive winning streak came to an end Saturday afternoon. The Tommies lost to conference rivals the Holland College Hurricanes in their second-last game of the regular season.
Previous to this game the Tommies had won 98 of their last league games. That includes three games this season against Holland College, where they won 77-63, 73-63, and 76-52. The difference is all those wins were at home, while the loss was on Hurricane territory.
“They made some tough shots that we just weren’t prepared for,” said third-year post Hilary Goodine.
STU had a two-point lead going into the final quarter, but Holland College proved to be too much, winning the game 74-65. Though it ends the streak, it also takes off the pressure off to keep it going.
“That pressure is gone so now we can focus on what really matters, which is playoffs and nationals,” said Goodine.
The Hurricanes were fired up going into the game and they were fired coming out. The game had a playoff feel to it, with a strong showing of support for the home team. The Holland Hurricanes Twitter account tweeted after the game, hashtagging #99problemsandtheyarethehurricanes.
“They can say what they want, but what matters is playoffs,” said Goodine.
Though the Hurricanes were able to beat the top team, the win could’ve done more harm than good. It didn’t change anything in the standings, and now the Tommies are fired up to beat their rivals. First year Tommie Lindy MacDonald is hoping they will meet next weekend in playoffs.
“I’ll be disappointed if we don’t,” said MacDonald. “The whole team already is completely pumped to play them again. That game gave them some hope for the next game too, but we know what we have to do.”
The two teams are heavy favourites to make it to the finals, as both have secured a pass to the semi-final. Each team only has to win one game and they will face each other for the ACAA conference championship.
Holland College has been a force all year. The team has been nationally-ranked throughout the season, and is obviously ready to make a run at the conference championship.
But now that the Tommies’ winning streak is over, they can put all the focus on their final goal.
“We would rather lose now than when it really matters,” said Goodine.
The Tommie have the week to prepare for playoffs, as they head to Truro on the weekend. When they get there they’ll already be one game away from a spot at nationals and potentially another shot at their rivals.
“They’re a tough matchup, so it’s great for us to play against, but we know we’re still the stronger team,” said MacDonald.