Badgers punch ticket to nationals
Madalyn Weinert was a woman on a mission Wednesday night.
“I didn’t get rookie of the year for the OUA (Ontario University Athletics) West,” the Brock women’s basketball player said. “Madalyn Picton got it and I wanted to prove that I could also play.”
Weinert did just that scoring a game-high 24 points, including 18 in the first half, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots to lead the Badgers to a 77-58 victory over Picton and the visiting Western Mustangs in the OUA West championship game.
Weinert took full advantage of the snub and helped the Badgers qualify for the national championships for the second straight season.
“I need people to yell at me and people to push me and I think that is what really drove me today.”
Brock head coach Mike Rao could only marvel at the performance of Weinert, who was named to the OUA West All-Rookie Team.
“She was brilliant today,” he said. “She was all-rookie and she is coming into her own. She hit some outside shots and they thought they could guard her with a big but she took them inside and outside and did a great job.”
The game was evidence of why Weinert was at the top of Rao’s recruiting board as she completed her high school career at Eden.
“She was on top and she fell on us,” he said, with a smile. “We’re grateful.”
Rao was thrilled with his team’s play Wednesday.
“We played really well. Defensively, I thought we were very very good. Offensively, we started to click a bit and we are getting there.”
It was a far cry from the way Brock struggled in a 49-45 victory over McMaster last Saturday, when the Badgers shot 21.3 per cent from the floor and turned the ball over 19 times.
“I told you we were going to shoot, shoot, shoot and work a little bit on defence and that is what we did,” Rao said. “Western is a great team and they only lost a couple of games all year. They are a very good team but today we showed up.”
Weinert described her own and her team’s performance last Saturday as mediocre.
“I have been really trying to fit in with what we are doing at Brock and not just me, the whole team came together and pulled through with what Rao has been asking us to do in the last little bit,” she said. “With Sam (Keltos) going on to bigger and better things, we had to figure out how to play and work without her. She bailed us out of a lot of situations and today showed we could overcome that and play together as a team.”
Keltos, who was named the West Division MVP and a First Team All-Star Wednesday, left the team to go play pro hoops in Australia. She had committed to the team prior to the university season being extended because of COVID.
Keltos finished fourth in the league in scoring with 16.2 points per game, was second in three-point shooting percentage (44.1 per cent), seventh in rebounding with 9.3 rebounds per contest and led the conference with 1.9 blocks per game.
The remaining Badgers knew they had to step up.
“We had a quick team meeting the other week and we really had each other’s backs,” Weinert said. “Each day in practice, we have come to work and have been really positive trying to cheer each other up but we still play hard against each other to mimic game situations. That is how we were able to pull it out.”
Brock will now be looking for its second straight OUA championship when it hosts Ryerson Saturday afternoon.
“We have to keep it going, We have our home-court advantage and that will be huge,” Weinert said. “We have two days of practices and we can’t get too excited for next week. We have to start tomorrow (Thursday).”
Weinert is thrilled to be going to nationals in her rookie season.
“It is absolutely amazing, especially considering we are now the third women’s sports program from Brock heading to nationals.”
Weinert has a simple explanation for the success of the women’s hockey, volleyball and basketball teams.
“We are a different breed.”
Also on Wednesday, Rao was named coach of the year for the second straight season after guiding his team to a 12-0 regular season and the No. 1 ranking in the country, and Mackenzie Robinson was named a Second Team All-Star.
Picton, a Niagara Prep grad, was also named a Second Team All-Star and a member of the All-Rookie Team.
She averaged 27.2 minutes and 12.4 points per game and played well in the loss to Brock. She led her team with 14 points and added five rebounds and three assists.
Brock led 16-14 after one quarter and 38-30 at the half before blowing the game open by outscoring the Mustangs 22-9 in the third quarter.
Badgers 77 Mustangs 58
BPSN Player of the Game: Brock’s Madalyn Weinert with 24 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.
For the Brock Badgers: Weinert 24; Mackenzie Robinson 19; Victoria Lawrence 12; Jenneke Pilling, six points six rebounds and six assists.
For the Western Mustangs: Madalyn Picton 14; Brett Fischer 13; Ashley Wheeler 11; Sarah Harvey 8.
Game stats: Shooting percentage: Brock 40, Western 26.4. Free throws: Brock 15-18, Western 13-22. Rebounds: Brock 44, Western 38. Turnovers: Brock 16, Western 18.
Up next: Brock will host Ryerson Saturday afternoon in the Critelli Cup championship.
BADGERS 88 MARAUDERS 75
The Brock Badgers men’s basketball team won the OUA West title Wednesday night with an 88-75 victory over the visiting McMaster Marauders.
Brock built quarter leads of 22-16, 47-29 and 70-47 to record the win.
Leading the way for Brock were: Jordan Tchuente with 22 points and eight boards; Tajinder Lall with 21 points and seven rebounds; Godsman Kwakwah with 17 points; and, Kascius Small-Martin with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Jordan Henry and Mychael Paulo led McMaster with 16 points.