Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photos
Over the Friday, January 26th to Sunday, January 28th weekend, the Algoma Thunderbird women and men’s programs hosted the TMU Bold and U of T Blues in OUA basketball action at the George Leach Centre in Sault Ste Marie.
The (2-12) Algoma women opened the weekend with a 81 – 40 loss, Vancouver, British Columbia’s Kaila Fong led the Thunderbirds with eleven points followed by Thunder Bay’s Allison Read scoring five points as well as Sault Ste Marie rookie Sadie Grawbarger sinking four points in the loss to the (11-4) TMU Bold. On Sunday afternoon took to the hardcourt to meet the (3-12) U of T Blues in Sault Ste Marie. In the afternoon matinee, senior guard Allison Read led the Thunderbirds to a 74 – 41 win to give Algoma their third win of the 2023 – 2024 season with 18 points while Kaila Fong registered 17 points in the win. Sault Ste Marie rookie Ashlyn Noble sank eleven points in the win over the visiting Blues.
Head coach Katie Hamiton told Saultsports that “I really liked the way the girls bounced back from Friday’s performance. They were relaxed, loose and carefree but executed the game plan from start to finish with a lot of focus. We understand the position we are in and we are looking forward to the challenging weekends ahead. Obviously today was by far our best performance of the season, but I really believe we have the skill and depth to show that level of play more consistently. The final 6 games will be interesting! I really encourage everyone if they are able to, to come support the team but more specifically our 4 graduating seniors next Sunday at 2:00 p.m, they deserve all the love in the world for their time and commitment to our program, the school and our city.”
On Friday evening at the George Leach Centre, the (1-13) Algoma Thunderbird men hit the hardcourt to face the nationally ranked (9-6) TMU Bold contest. With a buzzer beater basket, Ottawa, Ontario’s Jalen White gave the Thunderbirds their second win of the 2023 – 2024 OUA season with a 71 – 70 win over the Bold. Johan Germain from Ottawa led Algoma with 15 points along with Ottawa’s Patrick-Oliver Mpoyi had ten points in the win. Rounding out the top three scorers for the Thunderbirds was Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Boluwatife adding eight points on Friday evening. In their second game of the weekend on Saturday evening, the (2-13) Thunderbirds fell 83 – 57 to the (8-7) Blues at the George Leach. Obasoto, Mpoyi,and Germain were the top three scores in the loss with Obasoto finding the basket for 14 points along with Mpoyi adding nine and Germain sinking eight points in the men’s contest.
Men’s coach Ryan Vetrie told Saultsports that “I thought we played well over the weekend. Friday it was great to see our guys battle for the full forty minutes. We played our toughest game defensively keeping it close throughout the fourth and Jaylen sealed the win. Looking forward to seeing what we can do on the road and then finishing off Sunday for our last home game.”
Visit Freeze Frame Photos by Bob Davies photo gallery of the Algoma Thunderbirds versus U of T Blues in men’s OUA action.
Next up for the Thunderbirds will be on Friday, February 2nd when they meet the York Lions on the road for a 6:00 p.m tipoff for the women and 8:00 p.m for the men followed by their final home games of the season with Sunday, February 3rd afternoon contests against the visiting McMaster Mauraders for 2:00 p.m (women) and 4:00 p.m (men) for senior night.