By John DeCoste
Acadia women’s basketball coach Bev Greenlaw is “pleasantly surprised” with his team’s 5-1 record at the Christmas break, but at the same time, he readily admits “we have a lot of work to do.”
The Axewomen are a combined 11-5 for the regular season and pre-season, and broke for Christmas exams as the sixth-ranked team in the country.
Greenlaw admitted the Axewomen ”have played quite well most of the time,” and is most pleased the team’s performance has been a real team effort.
“We’re not that deep a team, and from the beginning of the season, we’ve tried to encourage the players who don’t play as many minutes to work hard to improve their game. We’ve seen signs of that, though in some cases, injuries have interfered.”
While the Axewomen haven’t necessarily been winning by a lot, he said, they have been winning, “though every game we’ve played has had its challenges and difficulties.”
At the break, Acadia’s leading scorer was Kristy Moore, with an average of 21.3 points per game, third in the AUBC. Emily Nkosi was scoring at a 17-points-per-game rate, Lindsay Harris 11.2, Abbey Duinker 10.8 and Rita Sibo 9.2.
Moore suffered a badly-sprained ankle Nov. 28 against St. F.X. As for how long she might be sidelined, Greenlaw admitted, right now, they just don’t know.
“Kristy has been a key for us so far, but then again, so have a lot of people,” he said. “Certainly, we’re not as strong a team without her. When we get back Dec. 27, we need to search for ways to compensate for her loss, whatever they end up being.”
He pointed out, though, that if Acadia were to lose any one of its key players, no one person would replace her.
“Our goal is to be a team, and we rely on different people at different times to do different things to help make that happen,” he added.
In Moore’s absence, everyone on the roster will be required to step up in different ways.
“We’ve been pleased with the play of all our players at times, even our non-starters, and we’re expecting that to continue when the season resumes.”
At the same time, “there have been times when we admittedly haven’t been as pleased.” The goal, he said, is to work on increasing the former and decreasing the latter, especially as they’ll be without Moore at least for the short-term.
While reluctant to single out individual players, Greenlaw suggested Moore had really stepped up her game prior to being injured.
“Lindsay Harris has been outstanding at times, as has Emily Nkosi,” who played well against St. F.X. after Moore’s injury. Abbey Duinker “started strong,” and after a bit of a dip in recent games, “we’re looking for her to bounce back.”
Greenlaw liked what he saw from first-year point guard Aprille Deus, “then she was injured and has pretty much had to start over.”
He agreed Sibo, a second-year wing player, might be Acadia’s most improved player so far.
“She’s very intelligent. It’s going to take time, but I believe she has it in her” to be a really effective player. “We’re looking for good things from her after Christmas.”
The Axewomen are back in action Dec. 28-30 at a tournament at Saint Mary’s, organized by Brandon Rafuse of the Thunder Selects club program, then resume the regular season Jan. 5 when they host UPEI in Wolfville.