Durham Lords trump Algonquin Thunder in home opener

Photo by Joshua Nelson

Brittany Walters Grapples for the ball against the Algonquin Thunder

The Durham Lords women’s basketball team cruised to a win over the Algonquin Thunder in their home opener.

The Lords won 75-59 over the Thunder, Oct. 21.

The Thunder, traditionally a strong team in the OCAA, jumped out to a 14-10 lead, but Durham dominated from that point on.

Heather LaFontaine, Durham’s head coach, was ecstatic after the win.

“That’s Algonquin! Algonquin has typically been the number one team in the east for years, and I think we handled them very well tonight, like that wasn’t a fluke win…we handled them right across the board, so it was huge for us,” said LaFontaine.

The Lords battled back after the first quarter, led by Brittany Walters, who scored 10 points in the quarter and pulled the Lords ahead 31- 25.

But, in the second half, it was all Lindsey Panchan who accumulated 15 of her 23 points in those two quarters alone.

Panchan has high hopes for Durham after the decisive win.

“I am expecting our team to make it to the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association), to become number one in the east, I am expecting us to really just buckle down and have extreme focus on our offensive sets,” said Panchan.

Panchan, a back-to-back CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) all-Canadian awards winner, has personal goals she would like to achieve in her final year competing with the Lords.

“(My) personal goals this year are to be a little bit more fit, pick up on my strength and conditioning and be a little bit more versatile, and get to the hoop, I was relying a lot on my jump shot,” said Panchan.

Panchan’s personal goals also involve motivating her team and fellow teammates.

“Personally I’m expecting just to keep lifting the team up, keep helping the team, working with my teammates, passing the ball when there’s an open player,” said Panchan.

The Lords’ win confirmed the high hope the team had of improving defence from last year.

“We worked really hard this past pre-season…we stayed determined, we came in with a goal of how we were going to play defence,” said Dakota Kirby, a Durham guard.

The coach agreed with Kirby.

“We’re playing better defence, there’s no comparison between the defence we are playing now and the defence we played last year, it’s a whole other team,” said LaFontaine.

The Lords hope to use this win as a stepping-stone for moving forward to becoming number

one in the east.

Durham takes on the Georgian Grizzlies Nov. 3, in Oshawa.

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Joshua Nelson is a second-year journalism student at Durham College. He enjoys writing about sports and campus issues. His work can also be seen on Riot Radio at Durham College. Josh likes to read and write. He hopes to get into some form of journalism.