The Carleton Ravens have brought home the 2022 Capital Hoops Championship, defeating the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees 61-41. The Ravens came back during the second half to reclaim their control of the game.
The team had an uphill battle during the first two quarters of the game. The first quarter finished 20-14 with the Gee-Gees in the lead. In the second quarter, the Ravens defence pushed back. Emma Kiesekamp (Merrickville, Ont.) finished the game with seven rebounds, five of them were defensive. Kiesekamp used the backboard to her advantage and helped the team maintain control of the ball. But the Ravens faced some pressure from their opponent's defence. The second quarter wrapped up with Ottawa still in the lead 31-26.
The Ravens bounced back after halftime and were ready to win. Tatyanna Burke (Winona, Ont.) helped the team advance the score with her shots from inside the key. Burke's aggressive drive to the basket led to multiple fouls from the Gee-Gees’ defence. She made nine out of ten of her baskets from the free-throw line. Cheers erupted from the Ravens' bench as the third quartered ended 48-35 Ravens.
Teresa Donato (Ottawa, Ont.) dominated both sides of the court. After her first time playing in the Capital Hoops Classic, Donate said the team's strong leadership led to their success. " I think, it all came down to our leaders. Our leaders were the ones who were pushing us and pushing our rookies to work hard."
While a small but boisterous crowd was able to gather to see the Ravens take on their rivals. But for Coach Dani Sinclair and her team, Friday night was just another game. "We're kind of learning how to play through pressure, but this game was really impressive," said Sinclair. Communication, tight defence, and impressive shooting combined in the Ravens win.
This will be the first of many Capital Hoops games for Carleton's youthful squad. "The younger players play such a key role for us, and they're so talented as a younger group. Were happy to see them settle in and learn to play with each other," said Sinclair on the Ravens’ rookies.
Despite the slow start, the Ravens were able to bounce back. The team is now 6-2 and are preparing for their two games against the University of Toronto on Friday at 6:00 p.m. and Saturday at 3:00 p.m.