Basketball Hawks take OT thriller

The Laurier Golden Hawks men’s basketball team played one of their toughest games of the season against the Brock Badgers on Saturday afternoon.

In what proved to be a thrilling finish, Laurier won 95-90 in overtime, with several big three pointers keeping the Hawks alive.

Laurier rookie Jamar Forde, making his first career start, hit a huge three pointer with 1:30 left to help the Hawks stay afloat and then fellow first-year Patrick Donnelly made both free throws with 14.7 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Once in OT, the Hawks proved to be too much for the ambitious Badgers, as Donnelly hit another huge three with two minutes to go and then Max Allin was able to hit two free throws with 15.5 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Donnelly was the brightest star for the Hawks on this day, as he pulled down 17 rebounds and a team best 24 points, finding his shot that he had struggled with recently.

“He struggled with his shooting for the last couple of games and then his rebounding and defence goes because he begins to worry about his shot. Today he was great on the boards and showed what he can do,” said head coach Peter Campbell.

However, it was not smooth sailing all afternoon as at times Laurier looked overmatched and struggled to keep up with the fast pace game that the Badgers love to play.

“They got their transition game going and really set the tone,” said Campbell. “They shoot lots, play hard and play great defense. They did a really good job neutralizing Kale [Harrison] this afternoon.”

Despite the great defence played against superstar Kale Harrison, other Hawks were able to step up.

Four other Hawks were able to score double digits and Allin was not far off with 8 points. However, most of Allin’s damage came through his passing skills, as he put in a game high 14 assists, one less than the entire Brock squad.

Forde’s first career start impressed Campbell enough that he managed to generate a smile out of the coach after the game.

“First career start and the kid was all-world,” he said. Strong defence and 14 points is what had Campbell so excited about the 6-3 athletic guard who continues to improve as the season progresses.

The best player for the Badgers was fourth year guard Andrew Kraus, who scored a game high 27 points, most of which were usually in impressive fashion including a highlight real dunk.

Laurier is now 11-5 and second place in their division, as well as remaining undefeated at home.

Despite their impressive season so far, Campbell is not getting ahead of himself, mainly due to the competitiveness of the entire division.

“We have not lost at home, but I am not so sure we are okay.”

The Hawks’ next game is against McMaster on Feb. 2 and they then go on the road to face Windsor in a critical game for their season and playoff positioning.