At the half way point of the second semester, the Thunder Women's Basketball team kept the momentum going when they faced the King's University Eagles. Game one on Friday night took place at King's and although the Thunder came out and set the tone early, the Eagles stormed back with key three-pointers and trips to the line taking back the momentum from the Thunder. Going into halftime the Thunder were up 37-26. Coming out to start the third quarter, the Thunder committed three turnovers in a row, allowing the Eagles to cut the deficit down to five points. After taking a time out to reinforce and refocus the Thunder’s goals, Morgan Dool led the way with a spark from the bench and provided the energy needed for the Thunder to seal the deal with a 73-49 win. “Morgan has great potential and gives us the energy needed off the bench. She continues to provide a lift for this team and gets everyone going,” stated Coach Valpreda. The Thunder also got much needed support from Shyanne Walton who again showed her leadership, providing the team with 6pts and 9rebs and from Nakita Newman with 20pts and 8rebs. Some stats that stood out; the Thunder got 27pts off turnovers and 10pts off transition baskets. Congratulations to Morgan Dool who was Player of the Game with 15pts, 5 rebs and 2 stls.
Saturday’s night’s game was back on Thunder home ground and right away the ladies jumped out to a 10-0 run and looked very happy to be back in their gym. Nakita Newman started it off with two 3-pointers and Ann Stewart followed up with some nice baskets under the rim. Getting out to the early lead gave the Thunder opportunity for some of the younger players to get out and get some game day experience. First year Guard Allison Raitz had a couple of baskets drop for her. Allison's rookie teammate Gracie Fox also contributed with some great rebounds and finishes around the rim. Going into halftime, the Thunder were up 42-24. “We are playing well in the first 20 minutes; we have to continue to play that well for a full 40 minutes thought, especially when we're playing the top teams in our conference. It's great for everyone to have an opportunity to get long minutes and it helps us as a whole team to get better,” said Coach Valpreda. Going into the last 20 minutes of the game the Thunder again set the tone and speed of play, with veteran Ann Stewart having a a big 'bounce back' game from the night before. Stewart played with more patience and control and was a true force under the rim. The Thunder won the game 73-49 and Ann Stewart was the POG with 16pts, 6 rebs and 2 blks.
The Thunder now face the NAIT Ooks who are first in the north and ranked #6 nationally. “We need to have a great week of practice and focus in on the little things. NAIT is very experienced with their veteran core and are playing very well. I believe if we come ready to play it should set up for a good two games,” conclude Valpreda. The home game will go Friday night at 6 PM at the RKAC.