Memories of a long-ago championship game
Letters to the Editor
Re: “Having a ball”
It was a Saturday afternoon in late February 1935. The bleachers in the Queen’s gym were packed with supporters awaiting the final game of the Women’s Intercollegiate Basketball championship. The night before, Queen’s had qualified for the finals by defeating the McGill team 40-17, while Western had won over Toronto.
The two losing teams played a consolation game while Western and Queen’ readied for their contest. Rules in 1935 were quite different than at present: both forwards and defence played only two-thirds of the floor, and penalties were handed out to those who overstepped the line.
Western was a tough team with a strong defence. The Queen’s team was captained by Kay (Wayling) Peacock, BA’36, with two top scorers in Ruth (Fishleigh) Lotimer, BA’36, and Kay (Boyd) Workman, BA’38. I was jumping centre.
We had a reputation for speed, but were frustrated by the close checking of the Western players. This called for a different kind of strategy.
Towards the end of the game, as all watched the action under the Western hoop, I quietly backed away from my clinging opponent, and as soon as one of my teammates had the ball I signaled her from the Queen’s one-third line. She lobbed a long pass to me. I aimed at the basket and was rewarded with a beautiful “swish” as the ball went through the hoop.
That basket put us ahead of Western, a lead which was maintained until the end of the game. We won by a score of 12-9. Queen’s were champions for the first time since 1922.
Victory was sweet, not only for the Queen’s players, including three freshettes, but also for our coach, Marion Ross, newly appointed to the Queen’s athletic staff.
A few weeks later, the Athletic Board of Control presented Queen’s team members with white Grenfell jackets emblazoned with Queen’s colours.
A postscript: Many years later, when I had an ECG, the technician remarked, “You must have been athletic in your teens.”
“Yes,” I replied, “I played basketball for Queen’s.”