The Dalhousie Tigers women’s basketball team will host the 33rd installment of the Lawtons Centennial Women’s Basketball Tournament this weekend at the Dalplex. The tournament is used as one of the final tune-ups for teams in the pre-season before league play starts at the beginning of November.
The tournament provides the Tigers with the opportunity to see teams from outside the AUS conference and gain some valuable experience against other teams from across the country. This year the tournament will be attended by Brock University, Bishop’s and the Tigers cross-town rivals, Saint Mary’s.
“Each region plays a little bit different, and it gives us a chance to be exposed and challenged by those different styles,” explains head coach Anna Stammberger. “We don’t know those teams as well, so it’s a new experience to try and adapt during games.”
Coach Stammberger is once again working with a very young team this season, as Ashley Cain (Toronto, Ont.) and Diedre Alexander are the squad’s lone seniors, along with junior Sophie Gaube (Hubley, N.S.).
Stammberger was asked about how important it is for these more senior players to act as leaders for younger players.
“It is very important that the seniors set the standard, and show the younger athletes what the expectations are for our team,” says Stammberger. “It’s important that they are supportive of our younger players, but we encourage all of our players to be leaders, regardless of experience.”
The Tigers added more young talent to the team over the summer with two new recruits.
Ariel Provo (Lake Echo, N.S.) is a decorated member of multiple Basketball Nova Scotia provincial level teams. In exceptional performances at national championships, she has collected a bronze medal in 2013, and was named a first-team all-star in 2014.
“Ariel was one of the top recruits in the Atlantic Region,” says Stammberger. “She is a natural point guard that will have an immediate impact on our team.”
The Tigers also added Dartmouth, N.S. native, Chelsea Slawter-Wright to the team, who is coming off of two seasons with Holland College in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). She will bring a lot of defensive intensity to the Tigers squad this season.
Stammberger believes the time in the CCAA was good for Slawter-Wright to improve her game.
“After two successful years in the CCAA, she’s developed her offensive game and gained valuable competition experience,” Stammberger explains.
This will be the Tigers second pre-season tournament of the year after previously travelling to Montreal in early September. The Tigers had some close games in that tournament but are excited to come back and play in front of a home crowd.
Be sure to come out and catch you first glimpse of the women’s team at the Lawtons Centennial Tournament this weekend. The Tigers first game of the tournament in on Friday night at 7:00, at the Dalplex.
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