The Lady Wolves have had their problems in women’s basketball.
The squad has been eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs two straight seasons. In 2012, they were ousted by the Dominos Lady Heels in the Cayman Islands Basketball Association national women’s league.
For head coach Eckerd McField, the disappointments are part of a big learning curve.
“We didn’t have much on the team the past two years,” McField said. “It’s just a strong core, the supporting cast is inexperienced. We need more experience on the supporting cast as the core can’t do it all game.
“This year the bench was pretty new, in terms of playing basketball and being able to contribute the way we would like. We been out two years in a row but we’re gelling and growing. We can grow to perfection, sooner or later.”
The ladies represent Wolves basketball club, an outfit that has enjoyed marked success in its brief history with national championships in the men’s and youth ranks. The Lady Wolves looked set to continue that tradition last year after winning the regular season title but would be swept by eventual champions the Home Gas Flames.
After a lackluster 3-5 fourth place finish this year, they were swept by Dominos last week via scores of 64-40 and 63-48 at Camana Bay’s Arts and Recreation Centre. The big producers for the Lady Heels were Courtisha Ebanks (13 points in game one and a team-high 20 points in game two), Hannah Parchment, Sarah Kidd (both had 11pts in game two) and Kamilla Nagy (a team-high 22pts in game one).
McField, who plays for the Wolves men’s team, states he is not worried about his girls’ legacy.
“I don’t feel too bad about it. There are things we could have done better. But we had ladies out that were injured and couldn’t finish the season. For the most part, we did really well in the face of the circumstances.”
Cassianne Lawrence was the top scorer for the Wolves in both contests, with 16pts, 15 rebounds in game one and 10pts, 12 rebounds in game two. She had help from Theresa Hamil (16pts, seven rebounds in game one), Mesha Gordon and Benieca Thompson (who combined for 20pts off three three-pointers and 15 rebounds in game two).
Lawrence, a 10-year basketball veteran, states the squad struggled due to chemistry problems.
“It was a completely new team and it was hard to gel,” Lawrence said. “When we did gel (last year), our girls went to school and only three people came back this year. It’s hard to develop when everyone is not here to gel.
“We had Alexandra Boyle from the States, who was down for a few months and Kristen Kuzyk, a Canadian, who helped out a lot. We had various people from various countries but it was just hard for us to gel this year and we lacked in teamwork.
“It was a tough competition this year, you had no idea who would win. All of the teams were good and brought on new players. I’m not sure if I’ll be in the league next year, we’ll see how it goes. But the Wolves will work hard to build the team up and compete on the court. The Wolves will be out for blood next year.”
Dominos now go on to play in the finals, with game one starting on Thursday, 3 May, from 6.30pm at Camana Bay. For McField, the focus is on rebuilding for the 2013 season.
“It came down to determination and fatigue. If we had just practiced a little more. But things come up and a lot of players have to work. It was hard to find time to train. Game two against Dominos was just a matter of being able to finish the game as we got the jump on them. We were on top the majority of the game until the third quarter and it was hard for them to be able to come back.
“I’m looking forward to next season and I’m working towards it. More than likely, changes will be made. I’m looking forward to players we lost last season coming back to us. A few players were off to school but they graduate this year and can contribute next season.”