Japanese speed the difference on UNBC court
The Under 18 Japanese women’s team had it all game long, and UNBC Northern Timberwolves coach Loralyn Murdoch wishes she could see more of it.
“I’d like to see that kind of speed more often,” she said after her team dropped both games in a doubleheader against the Japanese team at the Northern Sport Centre. On Tuesday, the Japanese team won 108-77, and on Wednesday the final score was 109-60.
“If we played against that kind of speed more, we’d have to learn to play that way ourselves,” Murdoch said.
And while, after Wednesday’s game, she said, “we played much better last night”, there was at least a reason for the Timberwolves not being in a perfect basketball frame of mind for the second game.
“We were down two starters today,” Murdoch said. “Mercedes Van Koughnett and Jennifer Knibbs were in a car accident today. They apparently weren’t hurt too badly, but I could see in the locker room that we weren’t mentally ready to play.”
Japanese team leader Tatsuo Kobu said the speed of the team is not an accident.
“We are a smaller team,” he said through a translator. “We have to be fast to make up for being smaller.”
The Japanese team also dominated from three-point range, hitting almost every shot they had the chance to take from long distance.
“For the team,” Kobu said, “we picked up the best players from Japanese high schools. Many of those schools use the three-point shot a lot, so the players are good at it.”
While Murdoch saw few things Wednesday night that she liked, one player came in for praise.
“Jennifer Clyne played a hell of a game for us. She’s just coming back from surgery, so these games were her first in about six weeks.”
With another week before they resume Pacwest league play, Murdoch says the Timberwolves won’t lack for ideas for practice.
“We’re going to work on a lot of things. We’re going to have to get back to basics.”
As for the Japanese team, they headed home Thursday after winning every game on their short tour in Victoria and Prince George.
“The players will go back to their own teams now,” Kobu said, “and we will gather again for the Asian championships in September.”