Notre Dame Lady Cougars Strong At Home
Published by Gilbert Muako on October 7, 2009
Ajax, ON – The News Advertise tournament was a 2 day event that featured 8 teams and was hosted by Notre Dame in Ajax, ON. A solid crowd was in attendance to soak in the action. While numerous teams involved in the tournament were noteworthy, the Sunday evening championship game came down to two excellent teams. One was the Aurora Eagles; a competitive team that plays great team basketball, has excellent ball movement and effective outside shooting.
On the other side was the home team, the Notre Dame Lady Cougars, who looked like a true force to be reckoned with. With a talented starting five, they possess a killer mindset, using strong, athletic play to lock down teams with their zone defense and score bunches of points on the fast break.
From the beginning, it seemed as if the Lady Cougars had the championship game sealed with strong play. However, the Eagles picked up their intensity on defense and did a good job cutting down the lead throughout the game, but it just wasn’t enough to pull through as Cougars went on to claim the 61-36 win. The Cougar’s star sophomore point guard, Dakota Whyte, adds, “It was a hard-fought game. We had a 25 point lead and they brought it to 11 by the half … but overall we kept the game and played our game”. Shanica Baker finished with 18 points, and tournament MVP Linsay Panchan poured in 12 points, while Brett Hagarty led the Aurora Eagles with 18pts.
Wumi Agunbiade 6’1” G/F/ Dunbarton – 2010 – Agunbiade was the most impressive talent at the event. A very passionate all around player who conducts her team in a Kevin Garnett-type of way while always communicating on both ends of the floor, she has a strong inside game, good positioning and is a good passer down low. What’s even scarier is that with her height and size, she’s just as quick as the smaller guards, enabling her to guard almost all five positions. Wumi can handle the ball on the wing and create for herself or her teammates. She plays with high energy, crashes the offensive boards furiously and powers her way through defenders for second-chance buckets. Agunbiade is also very good when slashing; she draws attention from the defense, which lets her kick out to a teammate or attract contact and go to free throw line. She will need to work on her free throw shooting. She has a solid midrange jumper but is not yet a consistent shooter from outside. Wumi Agunbiade is an intriguing talent.
Dakota Whyte 5’7” PG/ Notre Dame – 2012 – Coming off a U15 gold metal win at Canada games this summer, Dakota Whyte continued her usual stellar play. Whyte has a smooth-looking game, plays with poise and is always under control. She’s effective attacking the basket with either hand. She’ll also knock down the three pointer when given time. Still young, she has a great deal of time to keep improving her game.
Lindsay Panchan 5’8” G / Notre Dame – 2010 – Probably the best defender in this event, Lindsay has great instincts. Her hand quickness and foot speed were evident as she continuously picked off passes, stripped the ball from her opponents and fed outlet passes to teammates for easy fast break points. Panchan has a good body and plays an aggressive brand of basketball. The weakest part of her game at this point is her shooting.
Brianna Thomas 5’9” G/F Notre Dame – 2012 – Brianna Thomas is terrific when slashing; she does all her damage just inside the three point line. With a couple of pump fakes, she then jab steps and attacks the rim, attempting to finish strong or attract contact. She needs more work on her overall guard game, and she didn’t even attempt a shot behind the arc even when left completely open. Time is on her side, as this young talent has years before graduation to hone her skills.
Brett Harggarty 5’9” G/ Aurora – 2012 – An impressive shooter, dangerous when she heats up it was evident as she caught fire in the semi finals round. She has an old school feel to her game, as she is a tough competitor that does not back down.
Shanica Baker 5’11” F/ Notre Dame – 2011- A forward with a soft touch around the basket, she frequently knocked down the short corner jumper throughout the day. Baker was one of the more consistent players in the event.