© — Telegram file photo
MUN’s Kelia Pond goes up for a shot during an Atlantic University Sport women’s basketball game earlier this season at the Field House. Pond, the Sea-Hawks’ only fourth-year player, is second in team scoring with 10.6 points per game as MUN play host to the UPEI Panthers this Saturday and Sunday.
MUN women take on UPEI at Field House in AUS women's basketball
Kelia Pond has found her game and just in time of the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s basketball playoffs.
After a sluggish, inconsistent start to the season, the fourth-year Sea-Hawk from the Goulds looks to be playing with more confidence on offence and defence these days as the team plays its final four games of the regular season.
Pond and her teammates will finish out their home schedule six o’clock tonight at 11 a.m. Sunday against the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers in four-point games at the Field House. MUN (8-8) completes its regular season the following weekend against first-place finishers Saint Mary’s (17-0).
As MUN’s only fourth-year player, Pond was counted out for leadership this season for a team that lost veterans Ally Forsey, Grace Fishbein, Kim Devison and Emily Jameson.
Right now, she is just behind Sandra Amoah, the team’s leading scorer. Amoah has a 11.3 points-per-game average and Pond is at 10.6 ppg.
The trouble with her game early on was around her defensive play, according to coach Doug Partridge.
“It was a real struggle with her to get rotations straight, and to be solid on the defensive end. I think that affected her confidence,” he said.
“As she’s grown in terms of her defensive play and gotten better, it has allowed her offence to flourish,” the MUN coach added. “She’s really playing good basketball now.”
As an example, Partridge pointed out Pond scored 17 points against Dalhousie last Saturday, “and the kid she guarded didn’t score a single point.
“The last thing she has left to tidy up in her game is her rebounding,” said Partridge. “If she can get a little more solid in her box-outs and rebounding, she’ll be fine.
“I mean we’re playing her 35 minutes a game. We’re playing her almost to death, so she’s doing a lot of good things.”
Defensive deficiencies are nothing new to players coming out of the provincial high school system, said Partridge.
“I don’t think the defensive end of the floor is preached or emphasized in Newfoundland high school basketball,” Partridge said. “For Newfoundland players, the defensive end of the game is what usually takes longer to get straightened out.”
The Panthers’ roster includes Amy Gough and Laura Power from St. John’s.