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Cougars Joanna Zalesiak and Lindsay Ledingham earn Canada West women’s basketball all-star nods

Jonathan Hamelin
Sports Editor

They have been two of the most effective players on the University of Regina Cougars women’s basketball team this season, and now Joanna Zalesiak and Lindsay Ledingham have been recognized for it.

Last week, Zalesiak was named a Canada West first-team all-star and Ledingham took home a second-team nod. Both players have made the loss of all-star post Brittany Read to an injury all the more easier for Regina to swallow, as the Cougars finished third in the conference at 19-5 and still have a shot to make it to the CIS championships, starting March 18 in Windsor, Ont.

For Zalesiak, this kind of success is nothing new. Last season, in 19 games, the third-year faculty of kinesiology and health studies student registered 14.5 points per game and 4.5 assists per game. She was among the top 10 in the conference in both categories and was named a second-team conference all-star. Zalesiak has brought her game to another level this season, putting up 16.2 ppg and 5.6 apg in 24 games. She finished second in the conference in both categories. The Cougars starting point guard led the team with 48 steals and was third on the team with 6.5 rebounds per game. She also led the team with 739 minutes played and was third in the conference.

“Joanna is one of the most dynamic players in the country,” wrote Cougars head coach Dave Taylor in a statement posted to reginacougars.com. “She has the ability to control games offensively with both her scoring and her ball distribution.”

Ledingham, on the other hand, enjoyed a breakout season. The third-year science student had a career average of 5.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg heading into this season. Playing in 24 games, the forward and Cougars captain had 14.0 ppg and 7.6 rpg. She finished second on the team in both categories and was third in the conference in rpg and seventh in ppg. She was second on Regina’s roster with 708 mp.

“Lindsay increased her scoring and rebounding this season while continuing to be an outstanding defender,” said Taylor. “She’s able to score in a myriad of ways, including from the perimeter, posting up inside, and getting to the foul line, which makes her a tough matchup for opponents.”

The other conference first team all-stars were Kim Tulloch (Saskatchewan Huskies), Jill Humbert (Saskatchewan), Caitlin Gooch (Winnipeg Wesmen), and Marisa Haylett (Alberta Pandas), while second-team honours also went to Amy Ogidan (Winnipeg), Ashley Hill (Calgary Dinos), Zara Huntley (UBC Thunderbirds), and Debbie Yeboah (Victoria Vikes).

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