Basketball Rams happy with start to new year

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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Dalhousie women's team splits results, coach happy with play

BIBLE HILL - A season full of lessons threw another one Sunday at the Dalhousie Rams women's basketball team.

Dalhousie Rams post Hillary Hopper looks for a passing option around Mount Allison Mounties guard Taylor-Rae Cote during their ACAA women's basketball game Sunday at Langille Athletic Centre. The Rams lost the game 70-44 to split their opening weekend of the second half of their regular season schedule. Matthew Veno - Truro Daily News

It was in the hardwood textbook under the chapter called ‘The importance of playing a full 60 minutes.' The Rams (2-7) duked it out with the Mount Allison Mounties (5-3) all game Sunday, but faltered in the fourth quarter and dropped a 70-44 decision at Langille Athletic Centre.

"We played three of the four quarters well," Rams coach Parker Regan said. "For the whole weekend we went 7-for-8 really good quarters and that last one we ran out of gas and didn't keep playing."

The loss came a day after the Rams logged their second win of the season in a 59-52 contest over the Crandall Chargers. That game was also played on the Rams' home floor.

The results helped the Rams inch closer to the Saint John Seawolves (3-6) for sixth in the eight-team conference, making Saturday's 3:30 p.m. date in Bible Hill between the two sides an important one.

In spite of Sunday's result, the Rams were pleased with their opening weekend of 2014.

"Oh absolutely," Regan said. "These two games have been our best yet. I'm very happy with the direction. These kids have put in the time and they're ready to go and you can't ask for more thatn that really."

The Rams men (1-8) also opened the second half of their schedule with a pair of home games. Dalhousie was topped 112-52 on Saturday by Crandall (9-1).

Sunday's women's matchup was a see-saw battle which saw the teams knotted 26-26 at half time. The Rams continued their solid play in the third quarter, but in the fourth, the Mounties were able to take advantage of a tird Rams squad and managed to drain several three-point shots that knocked the last of the starch out of the home side.

Candace Reynolds paced the Rams with 16 points while Hillary Hopper chipped in 13.

Brooke Kelly scored a game-high 19 points for the Mounties and hit three three-point shots and collected four rebounds.

Hopper, the Rams post and the team's lone fourth-year player, said she believes her team has the skill to win, it just needs to get itself set psychologically.

"Really I just think it is we're just not used to winning and we don't have the mentality for it yet," the 22-year-old said. "But it's going to come because we have the girls and the team to do it. It definitely showed (Saturday) and in the first three quarters (Sunday), but in the last quarter we just have to stick to what we know and play it out."

Hopper said she feels that confidence level is rising, especially after the weekends pair of solid efforts.

"I think we're a little harder on ourselves than we should be," the Dawson Settlement, N.B., native said. "But I think we definitely have to be hard on ourselves to get through this bump in the road.

A crucial part of winning is playing sound defence, which the Rams have been doing and displayed again on the weekend.

"We did a great job," Regan said. "We talked, we rebounded, we did all the things we practiced."

Now the coach believes his team is on the cusp of stringing together some wins.

"If they can get in that mindset that they deserve to be in these games, then absolutely," Regan said. " I believe they can do it they just need to see those results. If we stay healthy and stay out of foul trouble, we should be able to compete with a few teams and they deserve it for the hard work they've put in."

sports@trurodaily.com

On Twitter: @tdnmatt

Organizations: Langille Athletic Centre

Geographic location: Bible Hill, Dawson Settlement

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