For senior Tilley Ettinger, this weekend would mark her last as a Varsity Red.
The women’s basketball team played their last games of the season on the weekend. The Varsity Reds played Cape Breton University (CBU) on Friday and then St. Francis Xavier (StFX) on Saturday.
The Varsity Reds have struggled this year, while the Cape Breton Capers have played well, putting them at second in the conference. It was expected to be another win for the Capers, but the Reds weren’t going to have it.
The Reds jumped out to a 14-2 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back. Defence continued to be their strong point as they were able to lock down the Capers. UNB held them to a measly 27 per cent shooting percentage and also dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Capers 34 to 23.
“We played a great game,” said head coach Jeff Speedy. “If you out-rebound your opponent and hold them to a low shooting percentage you got a great chance to win, which we did.”
UNB went on to win the game 57-40. Awa Farah led the way for the Varsity Reds with 12 points, as Rachel Cleary and Laura Kaye both scored 10. Alison Keough from Cape Breton scored a game high 15 points, while her teammate Tanira McClurkin scored 11.
There was not much time to celebrate, as the next day the Varsity Reds played the StFX X-women. The game marked the end of the season, as the team did not qualify for playoffs.
That game didn’t end as well as Friday’s game. It was UNB’s turn to shoot a low percentage, as they were only able to get 30 percent of their shots to drop. They also weren’t able to out-rebound the X-women, as that stat ended up tied at 33.
Despite being down eight at half, UNB was able to fight their way back into the lead during the fourth quarter.
Ettinger said the game was a good representation of her career as a Varsity Red.
“I had my teammates by my side and we scratched and clawed and put everything out there and I’m so proud to be on a team with these girls,” said the graduating guard, who chipped in for four points and five boards in her last game.
Rachel Cleary was the top scorer with ten points, while Colleen Daly scored nine off the bench.
In the end, it wasn’t enough to top StFX, as the X-women went on to win 58-49. Though they lost, the Reds were able to keep up with the playoff bound team.
“We showed in the last two or three weeks how good this team could be,” said Speedy. “Unfortunately we’re playing our best basketball this season at the end when it’s a little too late.”
Even though the team had a poor season, only winning five of their 20 games, there is some good to can be taken from it. The Varsity Reds will only be losing one player this year, and were able to show some potential at the end of the season.
“The good news is these girls are young, and they work hard, and I know that next year they have a great shot at it . . . good things are going to happen for them,” said Ettinger. “I’m a little disappointed I won’t be there, but I’ll be watching and cheering them on for sure.”