The Durham Lords women’s basketball team is on a roll with a nine-game winning streak and can take over first place from rival Algonquin by beating the Thunder Friday in a matchup of two of the top teams in Ontario college hoops.
The teams meet in the gym at Durham starting at 6 p.m.
The Lords are 12-2 on the season and are undefeated at home with two games left in the regular season, while the Thunder are 12-1.
The Lords lost to Algonquin in Ottawa in October 68-60.
Durham’s offence will once again rely on Kendra Oliver and Emily Glendinning Friday.
Oliver is averaging 19.0 points and 12.6 rebounds a game. The rookie forward is currently fourth in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) in scoring and second in rebounds.
Glendinning, from Plattsville, Ont. (near Kitchener), sits in the top-20 in scoring, averaging 15.0 points per game.
Oliver says the Lords have to be ready for teams to play them a little harder than usual because their opponents are motivated to break the winning streak.
“A lot of teams are coming to break our winning streak but we got to keep it alive and play hard,” says Oliver, who is from Ajax.
Oliver says the Lords want revenge after losing their first game to Algonquin. She says she left that game feeling frustrated because she fouled out in the third quarter.
“We have to beat them by at least 15 points to make it a solid win,” says Oliver.
Durham head coach Heather LaFontaine expects the team to be ready right out of the gate.
“If we keep playing the way we have been playing lately we should be successful but again Algonquin is a very good opponent,” says LaFontaine.
She says the winning streak isn’t uppermost in her mind.
“I really don’t think about it, for me the only thing I think about is we got to play Algonquin on Friday. Prepare for them and be ready to go,” says LaFontaine.
She says Durham and Algonquin have been rivals for the past couple of years. The Thunder finished first a year ago, while the Lords wound up in third place and Algonquin has won three of the past four regular season matchups.
“We’re both sitting at the top of the standings together. We have a little bit of a natural rivalry with Algonquin over the last few years,” says LaFontaine.
Durham’s team chemistry has been good all year long, she adds.
“(The) girls are great, they get along, seem to like each other. When you watch us play you can see the ball moving and how unselfish everybody is,” she says.
Oliver can’t wait for Friday’s tipoff.
“Just get out there and win – period,” she says.