PRESSURE (…is a good thing)

In honor of March Madness NCAA Basketball Championship Game Day (Men’s and Women's) is a grade eight short speech written about the pressure of an athlete from a 13 yr. old girls perspective.  As a parent of a child who has encountered obstacles and social interference about her basketball dreams and aspirations she stays strong and determined. The RISE (Realize Individual Success Everyday) Centre is a vision and concept many high-level sport professionals have embraced. McMaster University Athletes Edge will train our athletes at a level proven for success. The RISE will give extraordinary athletes learning opportunities through The Hill Basketball Academy to flourish and guide in their athletic endeavours. I am very proud of Aerial Wilson’s perspective of life on and off the court. I hope you too enjoy how this young lady is dealing with the “PRESSURE” to pursue her basketball dreams.

Aerial Wilson 2


by Aerial Wilson, March 01-2015

Small. Misshapen. Insignificant. A lump of coal! Ordinary, yet extraordinary, but what happens once it is under pressures of 725 000 pounds per square inch? What happens to a black piece of rock that does well under pressure? It becomes a diamond.

The most beautiful things are created from pressure, like us as individuals. Some can thrive under pressure and some of us will bow down and succumb to it. Those of us, who have the right mentality, come out of the fire as diamonds. They’re the peak performers that not only have trained and worked hard, but won't crumble when the time approaches to make their dreams come true. They can perform in high-pressure situations without surrendering to their doubt demons. They’re the one’s titled “Most Valuable Player”, the one’s who hit the game-winning buzzer beater shots, they’re the clutch players who can play and push through adversity. They’re the ones who attack life as a challenge, not a threat.

We all choke, but what separates two people with the same skill set is how they perform due to pressure. What’s your skill worth if you can never use it when it matters? You can have all the talent in the world but if you can’t use it in a game, it’s worthless. Pressure is always viewed as a negative, but that is just a mental roadblock keeping you from peaking. You can perform either 15% worse or 15% better under pressure. Those who are successful feed off the pressure to maximize their full potential, but in order to perform with more proficiency you must have a positive mindset. It is a proven fact that those who face high-pressure situations with a challenge state have blood flow more efficiently to their brain allowing them to have control over their thoughts and emotions. Where when we approach the same situations with a threat state our blood vessels constrict, causing us to cease up, hindering our ability to think and therefore perform at our best.

Nausea, sweaty palms, dry-mouth, about to throw up any second. I’m sure we’ve all felt it. Sure it’s because I’m nervous, but what’s there to be nervous about it’s just another game, I’ve played amazing on countless occasions before, I’m a good player. If I go out there and play a terrible game or lose it’ll be okay. Worst-case scenario: I’ll go home and sleep. No. I’m older now, and getting exposure, I have to play well in practice to get playing time and prove that I’m the best on the court. I can’t have a slump, because you never know who’s watching. It could be scouts, the team Ontario or Canada coach, or anyone who wanted to watch our game because they’re recorded. I want to do well so badly, I want to get noticed, want to play my best; I have to play my best. Every game is big and championships even bigger. Everyone watching. I have one opportunity to make it happen. One shot.

All of the pressure I’m feeling right now is a good thing. It’s making me work harder to get where I want to be. I am the only one putting pressure on myself because I have expectations. If I feel that something isn’t the best I can make it, then I’ll do even more to make sure that it is and I’m rarely satisfied. The added pressure can be overwhelming, but I will always resist the temptation to give up because the pressure I’ve put on myself is my motivation.

What do we think when a coach yells, “Put pressure on the ball.” Get up, get low and play defense. Don’t. Let. Them. Breathe. Chances are if you do that the other team will have a pretty hard time scoring, yet they may have one player that can play with the added pressure. If it were easy everyone would do it. That’s the difference: under pressure your true character is revealed. It defines you as a person. It will either make or break you. The ones who won’t panic, won’t fear, and won’t settle are the successful people in life. Although we see pressure as a bad thing it is actually good. It is an opportunity to rise. Not just to be seen as someone who can play, but as someone who can think. It forces us to attack life with a challenge mindset that only allows positive thoughts. No more, “Don’t miss,” only, “It’s going in.” And even if that shot somehow misses, keep your head up, hustle, and know it’s O.K to fail, but you better make sure that next time you have an opportunity that you take it. No pressure.

 Aerial Wilson 1


February 27th, 2014 | Notre Dame (100) vs North Carolina (75) | Joyce Center-Purcell Pavilion | South Bend, IN

Uh-CHAWN-wha…t? Will not be a question of who in the basketball world, but a fascinating everyday name we Canadians are proud to follow. Natalie Achonwa is a senior basketball player at University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. She is the first international player to suit up for the University in its 37-year history.

Not only is Achonwa in the record books with three consecutive NCAA Women's Final Four appearances, including two NCAA national championship games, she is a five time Canada Basketball Team selection. Natalie began her international training at the tender age of 14 in Hamilton, Ontario. In September of 2009, Achonwa became the youngest player to be selected for the Canadian Senior Women’s Basketball Team at the age of 16.


Achonwa has recently competed for Canada at the 2012 Olympics in London, England. Natalie was a part of the Canadian Team that won Silver at the 2013 FIBA Americas Championship in Xalapa, Mexico.

Chris Seto of The Guelph Mercury produced an amazing intimate video and article-Natalie Achonwa’s Compelling Story - Big stage, big presence — Guelph’s Natalie Achonwa leads one of the hottest teams in U.S. women’s college basketball [Read More] 

I met Natalie at (DJ’s) David Johnson’s Basketball Clinic. Read More: [real-basketball-mentors-making-time] Although Natalie is from Guelph, Ontario she feels connected to Hamilton because she is a graduate from St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary School and trained with the former Basketball Canada’s NEDA (National Elite Development Academy) program at McMaster University.

DJ-Achonwa We planned to do a photo shoot, but unfortunately couldn’t align our calendars. Natalie informed me that UND was going to play a game at Ryerson in Toronto on December 1st, 2013. Again the timing did not work out. When Natalie told me that February 27th, 2014 would be her last regular season basketball game. All I could say is “Road Trip!”

It was her last regular home game of the season and as a senior. What better reason to take a road trip to South Bend, IN. We started out late and drove through the night. The last hour was the worst with the storm, whiting out most of Indiana. When we reached the Varsity Club Suites, we were overwhelmed with the sports memorabilia that adorned every wall of the hotel.


After a few hours of sleep we arrived at the University of Notre Dame, almost 2 hrs before the game. It was nice to see the famous Football Notre Dame Stadium right beside Basketball Joyce Centre-Purcell Pavilion. Of course the girls needed to get a sharpie for some autographs and a little Irish spirit. There were many alumnae, the fans were animated, you could feel the oomph and the fun was just beginning.


Can you say “Energy stimulus overload”. It's the crowd, band, cheerleaders, fans, scoreboard, music, Dance Cam, Jumbotron to the fine detail of the basketball popcorn bowls. My family was thrilled to be there, huge fans of “ACE” (Natalie's Nickname) and very grateful for the phenomenal seats.

Ambiance The coaches came out in style. Muffet McGraw and her beautiful coaching staff came out in blazing hot red to celebrate her # 1000th career game.Coaches

My job is to get great photographs. I started out on the end line, but the referees positioning seemed to be directly in front of me. When I asked a fellow photographer if I could get in close to the post, he was more than accommodating. I was able to get low and see the paint beautifully. Now it's just up to me to capture the moment. View Game Photos [Click Here]


Natalie finished with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists. Notre Dame finished the regular season with a perfect record and the second longest winning streak in University history. Natalie-Achonwa-2

Although my main focus was Natalie Achonwa (#11), her other teammates were exceptional too. Notre Dame Senior Tri Captain, Kayla McBride (#21) netted 28 points.


ND Sophomore, Jewell Loyd (#32) was double trouble for UNC with 12 points and 10 rebounds.


The very young University of North Carolina team was led by Tar Heel, Xylina McDaniel(#34)-18pts and Diamond DeShields(#23) with 17pts.


It is an amazing experience to watch an NCAA game in the home venue of a team you cheer for. We have all the more reason to love The University of Notre Dame because of Natalie Achonwa. Nat said ND would love to have us and EVERYONE treated us like a lucky charm.  Remember the back of this jersey. Pronounced "uh-CHAWN-wha". Natalie, AKA "ACE" is not only a basketball player but a true motivational leader and role model for young student athletes.


Aerial Wilson and Kaillie Hall play for Transway Bantam Girls Basketball Team in Hamilton, Ontario. They are currently in the process of trying out for the Canada Drive-Blue Star Elite AAU Travel Team [Learn More]. They had an exceptional time at The University of Notre Dame and are more ambitious today because of Natalie Achonwa to pursue their basketball dreams. Postgame-800 Let's cheer a little louder for our Canadian Athletes and support them on social media. Connect with Natalie Achonwa on Twitter

natalie achonwa nd

For more information about Natalie Achonwa: Natalie Achonwa Bio - UND.COM - University of Notre Dame Big stage, big presence — Guelph’s Natalie Achonwa leads one of the hottest teams in U.S. women’s college basketball Video: Natalie Achonwa on what Notre Dame has to do to remain undefeated A Competitor's Mentality No. 5 Notre Dame Rolls Past Duquesne, 100-61 Natalie Achonwa Named To Canadian Olympic Qualifying Team Three Prep Women's Basketball Standouts Commit To Attend Notre Dame Famous Guelphites Game Photos: February 27th, 2014 | Notre Dame (100) vs North Carolina (75) | Joyce Center-Purcell Pavilion | South Bend, IN [Click Here] Natalie Achonwa ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here  ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more) Images available now at www.Present it _RLW0205

Nurse Answers The Call From UCONN

Source: Larry Moko (Hamilton Scores)

Kia Nurse of the St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School will soon be going from one powerhouse basketball program to another.


The multi-talented 6-foot guard who helped St. Thomas More Knights capture consecutive Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association Quad A high school championships in 2011 and ’12, signed a letter of intent Tuesday (Nov. 19) to accept a scholarship offer and play for the University of Connecticut Huskies beginning next fall.


For those not familiar with UConn, it’s probably the most successful women’s university basketball institution in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I history. At the very least, they’re neck-and-neck with the University of Tennessee for that honour.

In recent years, however, UConn has dominated. Under the direction of head coach Geno Auriemma since 1985-86, the Huskies have won eight national championships, four times going undefeated. UConn has advanced to the Final Four 14 times with Auriemma at the helm. His record with the Huskies heading into this season was 839-133 (including a 90-game winning streak, the longest in NCAA hoops history). Currently, the defending national champions are 4-0 and unanimously ranked No. 1.


“I think I chose Connecticut because it’s an opportunity of a lifetime,” Nurse said during the signing ceremony held at More. “They have great coaches and a great team. And they play against the best players in the country.”

Nurse says she has dreamed of playing for Connecticut since she was in Grade 7.

In terms of More’s own streak of excellence, the Knights are scheduled to be in Belle River/Windsor on Thursday (Nov. 21) to take a run at a third straight Ontario high school title. That’s never been done since the Quad A level of competition was introduced by OFSAA in 2001. St. Thomas More recently won both the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association and Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference championships in convincing fashion.


Many schools have been ringing for the Nurse. Approximately 50 attempted to land her services. But UConn seemed to be the “best fit” ahead of a couple of others under final consideration — Penn State and Indiana.

“I’m hoping to reach my goal of being an Olympian and medalling at the Olympics,” Nurse said. “So I think this (UConn) is one of the best places I can do it.”

Nurse helped Canada qualify for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women; the team won silver at the FIBA Americas Championship. (Photo: Samuel Vélez/FIBA Americas)

Currently the youngest member of the Canadian senior women’s national team, Nurse’s intention is to be a part of the Rio de Janeiro Summer Games in 2016. And Auriemma, it should be noted, also happens to coach the USA Basketball Women’s National Team – the defending Olympic gold-medallists in women’s basketball.


Before getting fully involved with the UConn squad, Nurse will participate in the FIBA World Championship for Women, Sept. 27-Oct. 5 in Istanbul/Ankara, Turkey. She helped Canada qualify for that event by being a member of the team that won a silver medal at the FIBA Americas Championship a few months ago in Xalapa, Mexico.

In 2011, Nurse first made her mark on the international scene with Canada’s Cadette U-16 team in Mexico. And the following year, she led Canada to bronze at the FIBA U-17 World Championship in Amsterdam.

“What an amazing accomplishment,” Knights coach Blaize DiSabatino said of Nurse’s scholarship. “We are very proud of her. We know that she will be successful in her next journey. I’m sure that UConn, being such an elite program, will definitely continue to hone in on Kia’s capabilities.”


Kia’s father, Richard, is a former Canadian Football League player with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Her mother — Cathy Doucette — played varsity basketball at McMaster University for five years. Aunt Raquel saw hoops action on the court with Syracuse University and Kia’s uncle is former National Football League star quarterback, Donovan McNabb. And then there’s her hockey-playing brother, Darnell, (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds). He was a first-round draft choice of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers last summer.

Richard has been Kia’s coach at the club level with Hamilton Transway. Six of those years (consecutively) Kia and her Transway teammates brought home Ontario Basketball Association titles. In addition, Kia led Team Ontario to two Canadian age- group crowns.


“We talked about it as a family (which scholarship offer to accept),” Richard Nurse said. “Kia wants to play beyond college. We were looking for a place that would bring out the best in her. UConn has a great tradition. Coach Auriemma is the senior women’s national team coach, so he’s fully aware of the commitment it takes to get to that level. That was a deciding factor for us.”

Kia’s older sister, Tamika, also played for the Knights, suited up for Canada at world junior championships and accepted a basketball scholarship at University of Oregon. DiSabatino and her father (Tom Spironello) coached Tamika at More from 2002-04.


“The Nurse family has such strong character,” DiSabatino said. “And they have great family values. That’s part of the reason they are successful in both athletics and academics. They have a real focus on their family. They are always there to support one another and they are proud of each other’s accomplishments.”

The Knight Nurse begins her quest for a third straight OFSAA championship on Thursday with a pair of games, first at Holy Names, then at St. Anne. St. Thomas More is the No. 1 seed.


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OCAA Hamilton Colleges Battle it out at Basketball Home Opener-Mohawk College

Royals gives Mountaineers a run for their money in court start

October 23, 2013 | Mohawk College-David Braley Athletic Centre | Mohawk Mountaineers (97) vs Redeemer Royals  (92) | OCAA Men's Basketball Home Opener Source: Article by Al Craig, Mohawk Athletics [Hamilton Scores]

It was a bit of a seat-squirmer in the first Ontario Colleges Athletic Association regular season men’s basketball game at the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre, but Mohawk got by visiting Redeemer, 97-92, Wednesday (Oct. 23).

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

The Mountaineers led 28-15 after the first quarter, but the Royals turned the tables in the second quarter, outscoring their arch rivals 28-18, which left the score 46-43 Mohawk at the half. The Mountaineers outscored Redeemer 25-23 in the third quarter, and the teams each scored 26 in a very competitive final period.

While Mohawk led for most of the game, the Royals put the issue in doubt when they pulled ahead 85-82 midway through the fourth quarter. But the Mountaineers were able to keep their composure in the final two minutes to get the narrow victory.

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson/Aerial Promotions)

Mohawk was led by Matt Fennell who scored 29 points. Then the points were spread out. Patrick Iavarone had 17, Andrew Cicuttini scored 14, while Xzennis Brereton and Alex Reis added 13 apiece. Cicuttini also had 19 rebounds and Taylor Dowhaniuk had 18 boards.

For Redeemer, Calvin Turnbull scored 34 points and had 10 rebounds. Ben Ibrahim scored 24.

Mohawk head coach Brian Jonker said his team scored just enough. “We gave up a whole lot but we scored a lot,” said Jonker. “Ultimately, we got out with a ‘W’ but we have a lot to clean up defensively.”

Jonker said Redeemer never went away. “They work hard and they’re a good group,” said the coach. “They made some shots that kept them hanging around.”

Reis and Fennell both had some key buckets in the game’s latter stages.

“Alex is sneaky,” said Jonker. “When we need him to score, he scores. Matt never stops moving, so he’s almost a mismatch for anyone that’s going to guard him with a guard. We got a break for a couple of late possessions when he was matched up with a guard and he took advantage of it and scored.”



Fine tuning needed after Mohawk opens with win

October 23, 2013 | Mohawk College-David Braley Athletic Centre | Mohawk Mountaineers (86) vs Redeemer Royals  (69) | OCAA Women's Basketball Home Opener

Source: Article by Al Craig, Mohawk Athletics [Hamilton Scores]

The Mohawk women’s basketball team opened the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association regular season with an 86-69 triumph over the Redeemer Royals at the new David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre Wednesday (Oct. 23). But the 17-point win wasn’t always in the cards.

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

The Mountaineers and Royals played even in the first quarter, as each scored 16 points. The home team pulled ahead 33-23 at the break, but Redeemer came out of the gate smoking in the second half with a rally which included three consecutive three-pointers, without reply and suddenly were down only 37-35. Mohawk regrouped to lead 59-47 at three quarter time and then managed to maintain a healthy margin in the final period.

Stef Hrymak led the Mountaineer attack with 21 points and eight rebounds. Porscha Hewitt had 19 points while Natalie Fisher and Katelyn Arbour chipped in with 11 each. Arbour also led all rebounders with 10.

For Redeemer, Lindsay Moffat had 28 points and seven rebounds. Aycha Hamaoui scored 20 points.

Mohawk head coach Kevin Duffy said despite the win, his team played very sloppy basketball. “I give a lot of credit to (Redeemer),” said Duffy. “They played very well, they executed, they moved the ball well on offence and they hit the open shots.”

(Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

The coach felt his team had some opening night jitters and were a little tentative on the court. They also got into early foul trouble.

“We just made a lot of mental mistakes. There were a lot of breakdowns, both offensively and defensively and Redeemer capitalized,” said Duffy.

The coach noted it wasn’t all negative and he liked to emphasize the positive, such as the fact they scored more than 80 points. But the team will look at the video and deal with the defensive breakdowns.

“We’ll piece it back together and be ready for the next game,” said Duffy.

View all photographs here

____________________________________________________________________________________________ Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog. We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too! NEW! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________ DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more) Images available now at www.Present it

Young with BIG Basketball Dreams!

September 27-29 2013 | National Girls Select Invitational Basketball Camp | Atlanta, Georgia

When Aerial Wilson received the email from Ganon Baker Basketball saying “Congratulations you have you have been selected to come to our “Live” NCAA College Coach – National Girls Event…”, she jumped at the opportunity.

[caption id="attachment_6408" align="alignnone" width="650"]Aerial Wilson By the end of the third day camp another piece of bristol board was added with the addition of many more Universities.[/caption]

Unaware of the tremendous talent in the Deep South and the only Canadian invited, Aerial’s goal was to learn from the experience. The weekend presented itself with an abundance of skill training, testing, game experience and a ton of basketball knowledge. Some of the top ranked basketballers from grade 7-12 in the country attended. The athletes, families and coaches were very supportive and encouraged all involved. The number 1-2 ranked player in the USA, A'ja Wilson is an exceptional athlete to watch and phenomenal young lady. Knowing Aerial was the youngest at camp she took some time to speak with her. To have a mentor speak about the hard work and sacrifice she makes everyday really grabs Aerial's attention.

[caption id="attachment_6402" align="alignnone" width="650"]Aja Wilson Aerial Wilson and A'ja Wilson (Team USA, #2 Ranked Player)[/caption]

Aerial is in love with basketball. At 11yrs old she wants an academic/athletic scholarship and to play in the WNBA. “I’m gonna dunk”, she states with conviction.

David Omerod of Saltfleet High School organizes the Ganon Baker basketball camp every year (2012 Video, 2013 Post). MJ was six months pregnant running the camp with Ganon in August. An amazing role model to watch, as she did push-ups, drills and inspired the young athletes. It was MJ who saw Aerial’s potential and believed Aerial is talented enough to attend the Girls National Skills Select Showcase.


Aerial Wilson: “Ganon Baker’s camp is the best. It gives me a new, tougher basketball mentality. It makes me a bigger threat on the court with more knowledge and moves. When I was approached by Ganon himself, I was thrilled and overjoyed to be invited to an NCAA camp. Originally I had to wait a couple of more years, but my countless hours of practice and hard work paid off.  Everyday I think of my dreams and passion for basketball.  I am now one step closer to my goal.”

Unfortunately MJ and Ganon Baker could not attend expecting at almost 9 months. Everyone at the camp wish the couple all the best. Kelly Kline, Editor of Full Court “Your Ticket Inside Women’s Basketball” and her team ran an exceptional event.


Aerial Wilson: “On the first day of camp, I couldn’t stop thinking about how big the girls were. I wasn’t going to let height hinder my performance. I played aggressive, strong and confident with the ball. I gave my best on both ends of the court, always trying to be a part of the play. I had some moments and a lot of room to grow. Playing along side and against some the top ranked players in the nation is an honor. I met so many great people and learned a lot from this camp. Playing against these girls has made me jump higher, run faster, pound harder, stronger and tougher. This experience has shown me what I need to do to accomplish my goals and live my dream. Thank you!!!!!”

Team Ignition ran a series of tests to analyze athleticism of the girls. Aerial had a 22" vertical and ranked 9th overall in lateral agility out of 130 athletes tested. More results to come.


The girls of The Full Court Fresh 50 Invitational had the honor of meeting Basketball Legend Chamique Holdsclaw. Prior the game Holdsclaw has a heart to heart with the girls about her basketball career path to the WNBA.


The Full Court Fresh 50 Invitational National Game featured girls basketball players ranking in the top 100 and was followed by a Regional Game. Both Games were streamed live on and the iHigh Network. Commentators for the games will be ESPN women's basketball analyst Nell Fortner and Full Court/Max Preps staff writer Clay Kallam.

National Game_650

At the end of the Full Court Fresh 50 Invitational National Game Chamique Holdsclaw embraces the opportunity to present the MVP award to fellow New Yorker Sierra Calhoun. Erykah Davenport announces to the crowd that she will be attending Miami in the Fall. Thank YOU to Kelly Kline for allowing me to be a part of your inaugural event. (You can throw me into the fire any day! LOL!)[More Photo's Here]



Slam Dunks to Dunkaroos! I am a huge fan of Dr. J (Julius Winfield Erving II) and I want to be entertained! Dunking a basketball is exciting and basketball players are getting more and more creative. Many people are not blessed with the ability to jump over 6' & only dream of dunking like a pro. Visualization is half the battle, so as a photographer I can make real time images. With the aid of technology & specific equipment, I am able to shoot different angles, be creative with my athletes developing their mental image to peak performance realty!  [More]

Aerial Wilson

Social Media Please like us on facebook, follow us on twitter and comment on our photographs/design on our blog.

We always update on { tumblr blog | flickr photostream | YouTube channel | Pinterest Boards | Google+  } too!

NEW! Aerial Promotions is now on Instagram  Instagram ____________________________________________________________________________________________

DOWNLOAD IMAGES* © Aerial Promotions 1997-2013 *Read AP Terms & Conditions Before Download…click here *Read AP Photographic Licensing Before Download…click here ____________________________________________________________________________________________

Why...Because We CARE! It is part of AP mission to give back to sport & the developing athletes as a volunteer in the local community (...more)

Images available now at www.Present it

Mac Women Grab Third Place in Basketball

Source: Bill Malley, McMaster Communications | February 17, 2013 [Hamilton Scores]

The McMaster women’s basketball team rode some tenacious second-half defense to an 87-71 victory over visiting Lakehead on Saturday night (Feb. 16) and as a result moved up to third-place in Ontario University Athletics West division.

Both teams had something at stake as McMaster was looking to improve in the standings, while Lakehead had to win to make the post-season after Guelph beat Waterloo earlier in the day.

McMaster-Lakehead-12845 McMaster’s Liz Burns looking to score against Lakehead 

The Thunderwolves wanted to shut down Marauder post Hailey Milligan, who has been a point and rebound machine for the past two months. The first quarter was see-saw as Lakehead collapsed on Milligan, forcing Mac to get scoring elsewhere. After one quarter the Marauders held a 22-21 lead.

The second quarter saw Lakehead heat up from the perimeter, and with the Marauders having a hard time finding their top scoring option, the ’Wolves went up 50-39 late in the half. But Mac guard Vanessa Bonomo drained two three-point shots in the last 20 seconds to reduce the deficit to only five at intermission and re-take the momentum.

Lakehead had made 8 of 15 from beyond the arc in the first half to grab the advantage.

Giving up 50 points in a half put the Marauders in a bad mood entering the third quarter, and the team responded by going on a 14-0 run to grab a nine point lead. With its season the line, Lakehead refused to quit and cut the deficit to 68-64 at the end of the third.

McMaster-Lakehead-12852 McMaster’s Clare Kenny rebounds against Lakehead 

The fourth quarter saw the Marauder defense take control. Outscoring Lakehead 16-0 over the first four minutes of the period built the lead up to 20, and the Thunderwolves had no answer. McMaster allowed just seven points and only one field goal in the final quarter to bring home the win and knock Lakehead out of the playoffs.

Top shooter and BIG MAC player of the game for McMaster was Milligan, who got on track in the second half and finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds for her 11th consecutive double-double game. Bonomo also registered a double-double with 20 points and 12 assists, while Danielle Boiago with 19 and Liz Burns with 11 scored in double digits. Lakehead’s top scorer was Carolyn Fragale with 18 in her final CIS game.

The win improves the McMaster record to 12-9 and advances them to third in the standings. The Marauders will now host the No. 6 seed, Guelph Gryphons, on Wednesday, Feb. (20) in a division quarter-final, slated to tip off at 6 p.m.