Photo Credit: Freeze Frame Photos
Over the February 9th and 11th weekend, the women and men’s Algoma Thunderbird programs hit the road east to face the Nipissing Lakers and Laurentian Voyageurs in OUA basketball action.
Bradford, England’s Rhianna Mae-Liang led the Thunderbirds on Friday evening with 16 points in Algoma’s 70 – 77 loss in North Bay against the Lakers. Vancouver, British Columbia’s Kaila Fong added twelve points in the loss while rounding out the top three was Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Gracie Batongbakal with eleven points. In a Sunday afternoon matinee at Laurentian University, Algoma veterans Fong, Mae-Liang, and Batongbakal found the basketball to lead the Thunderbirds with Batongbakal sinking 16 points along with Mae-Liang’s 14, and Fong’s ten points in the 70 – 46 loss to the Voyageurs.
Thunderbird women’s coach Katie Hamilton told Saultsports that ”I thought our girls showed a lot of grit. I think learning how to win is a long process and our games this weekend exposed that we hadn’t really been in tight situations like that before. For our young kids it’s a fantastic learning experience and something to reflect and build on heading into our off season where we expect a lot of work and growth to happen from those returning.”
In men’s action to open the weekend of the road in North Bay, Ottawa, Ontario’s Johan Germain led the Thunderbirds with 23 points falling to Nipissing 75 – 69 on Friday evening. Winnipeg’s Boluwatife Obasoto added eleven points along with two Ottawa natives Patrick Oliver-Mpoti and Jaylen White each scoring seven points. North Little Rock Arkansas’ Taleh Wade sank seven points also in Algoma’s loss. On Sunday afternoon in Sudbury, Thunderbirds Boluwatife Obasoto, Patrick – Oliver Mpoyi, and Taleh Wade led Algoma in their 95 – 73 loss with Obasoto leading with 19 points while Oliver-Mpoti had 13 points and Wade rounding out the top three with 12 points.
Next up for the Thunderbirds will be back on the road for their final two regular season 2023 – 2024 games of the season on February 16th and 17th in Windsor against the Lancers.