Lords feeling confident ahead of OCAA playoffs

The Durham Lords women’s basketball team is heading to Etobicoke this weekend for the OCAA Championship where the Lords will meet the Fanshawe Falcons in the first round.

The Lords are coming off an 80-74 win against the Sheridan Bruins in the OCAA qualifying game last Sunday.

Maddie Dender led the team with 24 points on the day, while Emily Glendinning and Alyssa Navarro both recorded double-doubles. Glendinning finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds, while Navarro recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Lords had nine wins and eight losses in the Eastern Conference to get into the playoffs.

The Falcons headed into the game after beating the Algonquin Thunder in the playoffs 86-60. The Falcons were on a four-game win streak and finished second in the Western Conference with a 17-3 record.

This was the first meeting between the sides this season. The last time they met was in October 2015 in the Durham College Big 8 Classic when Fanshawe came out on top.

Heather LaFontaine, head coach of the Lords basketball team, says despite the Falcons squad changing a lot since the last meeting, she knows a thing or two about them.

“I’ve watched tape on them so I have a pretty good sense of what to expect. Sometimes it comes down to one-on-one match-ups to decide games like this,” said LaFontaine.

She says the Falcons get lots of joy with their big players posting-up against the opposing centre player.

LaFontaine says the team has a few small nagging injuries but nothing serious to keep anyone out of the game day squad.

Guard Dekota Kirby was confident ahead of tip-off.

“I feel good, I think if we stay disciplined on defence and really stick to our offensive plan then we should be fine,” said Kirby before the game.

The Lords have hit good form at the right time of the season, having won the last four games. LaFontaine says the team’s recent run can help them this weekend.

“Over the past four games we’ve really started to put it together,” said LaFontaine. “All season we struggled with consistency and we’ve shown great discipline lately. I really think the confidence has grown within the squad this week.”

Kirby says they have developed a lot as a team this season and this success will carry into next season as most of the team will be returning.