By Ron Guillet
The Laurentian Lady Vees’ basketball team did not make the playoffs, but that was never the expectation as the team boasts a young core brimming with potential.
The Lady Vees finished the season with a 4-18 record with a team that had several new additions compared to the season prior. While Laurentian struggled offensively, ranking 15th in the OUA in points for, its defensive game showed signs of improvement, ranking fourth in the East division and seventh in the OUA in points against. The team improved in the defensive end by over 100 points in comparison to its 2010-11 season, but the offense dipped by 284 points, which was expected with loss of Katie Goggins and Lisa Furchner.
Lady Vees head coach Mike Clarke said the team played to expectations but has the potential to reach the next level next season.
“Obviously our record was disappointing, and I did think we would have won a few more games, but considering half the team was new and all but one player was in first or second year, it went about how I’d hoped,” Clarke said. “We improved a lot over the season and got a lot of learning done. We have the structure in place to be much better next year. The team worked hard, had good chemistry and were a pleasure to coach.”
Clarke said Erin Simpson, Emma Decloe and Krysten Patrick all stepped up in their respective roles given the increased minutes compared to previous seasons.
“All of them were asked to take on huge roles compared to last year, and started to give us some solid play as the season progressed,” Clarke said. “Amanda McDonald (transfer from WLU) stepped in after a few years away from basketball and was our best defender and decision maker. Her experience and leadership were really valuable.”
Clarke feels that Simpson and Decloe can be among the league leaders in scoring and McDonald could be a league leader in steals. Clarke said Decloe should also be in the Top 20 for rebounding and blocks next year as well. Clarke was also pleased with the performances of rookies Devenae Bryce and Adrienne Moreau who showed a lot of promise and I think will have some great moments next year. Clarke acknowledged the team’s offensive woes and that it needs to improve in order to take the next step. As the young core develops, however, so too should its offensive game.
“We need to rebound the ball better and our offence has to improve a lot, as in less turnovers and higher shooting percentages from the two-point, three-point and free throw line,” Clarke said. “We have a great young group and I am confident they will put in the hard work to be successful in the future.”