Ottawa Nationals Upset North Toronto Huskies In Season Opener
Published by Michael Henry on January 24, 2012
The Ottawa Nationals’ never say die attitude was rewarded with a very close 59-57 win over the North Toronto Huskies in both team’s late game on January 21, 2012.
The North Toronto Huskies were riding high entering this game as they breezed through their exhibition games with a 4-0 record, including a 66-39 defeat of the same Nationals two weeks earlier.
The game started out with North Toronto showing much of the dominance they exhibited in their first encounter by jumping out to a 19-11 lead after the First Quarter.
A freak accident would see Nationals’ starter and 2012 Carleton commit, Claire Abbott (5’9″, G, 2012), hit her head hard on the floor. Her determination to go on showed she really has toughness and grit. But when she got hit again in the head again later on in the game during the course of normal game play, it caused serious enough injury that the game had to be stopped. There would be no return to action this time as the paramedics had to be called to treat and bring her to the hospital. Early indications were that of a possible concussion.
When the game resumed, the Huskies continued to be unrelenting. The Nationals saw crisp set piece plays run by North Toronto’s Julia Soriano (5’2″, PG, 2012), who conducted the offense with speed and creativity. The result: a 34-20 NT halftime lead that saw Kayla Gardner (5’9″, G/F, 2012) net 7 points. Ottawa also had no answer for the strength inside of Cheyanne Roger (6’2″, F, 2013). Roger, who scored 6 first half points, appeared very aggressive if not dominant in sealing and establishing position in the paint awaiting Soriano’s entry passes so much so that one would be hard pressed to find many in this league that can match her strength.
With the game seemingly in control for North Toronto, and an Ottawa Nationals starter that was leading her team in scoring when she went out of commission, the Huskies seemed to take their foot off the gas in the second half. With North Toronto starters resting, the Nationals started chipping away at the lead. A couple of extra stops here and there, coupled with a few made baskets, including a couple of 3-pointers from Vanessa Wallace (5’10″, G, 2012), led to a slight momentum shift into Ottawa’s favor.
Before too long the Huskies’ lead had evaporated. And, by the time the starters had gone back in after being out for so long, momentum had been lost and rolling into the Nationals’ favor. All of Wallace’s 15 points came in the Fourth Quarter, helping her team win their regular season-opener and dropping North Toronto to 0-1.