MacDonald hits milestone as Hawks down Warriors
Maxwell Allin pumped his fist after sinking his final three-point shot of the day.
The first-year winger and his Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s basketball team defeated a powerful Waterloo Warriors team 73-57 on Saturday.
“I just got open looks, and when I had the opportunity, I was just burying them today,” said Allin. “Everything was just working.”
Allin had 18 points while team captain Jesse MacDonald had 21 in the win, which brought the team out of a two-game slide.
Just three days before, the Hawks had lost to the Windsor Lancers 80-73.
The Hawks got off to a tremendous start on Saturday, going on a 20-5 run and holding the Warriors to just 17 points in the first 17 minutes of the game.
“In the last 10 minutes, we held them to eight points as well,” said head coach Peter Campbell.
“We have that ability, but we lose our focus sometimes…. There was a bend there, but we made some big shots.”
The Warriors kept the Hawks honest, coming to within five points of the lead, but the purple and gold stuck to the game plan and pulled out the victory over their cross-town rivals.
Part of that game plan was to contain the Warriors’ star forward Cam McIntyre.
“He kept getting away from us,” said Campbell, as Mcintyre finished the game with 22 points.
“He’s a great shooter and if you don’t have somebody on him all the time, he’s going to make shots and every time we made a mistake, he lit us up. But I thought we identified him well; Jesse [MacDonald] covered him most of the time and tried to make him go to his next best move.”
MacDonald celebrated the win, as well as cracking the 1,000-point plateau in his career as a Golden Hawk.
The feat was met with a warm ovation from a strong Laurier crowd and even some applause by the Warriors’ supporters who had made the trek down University Avenue to watch the two rivals go head-to-head.
“They’re having a good year, they’re 8-6, locked up at a playoff spot I’m sure and that makes it bigger, but there’s always a cross-town rivalry there,” said Campbell.
“The guys see each other when they go out so I’m sure there’s some bragging rights involved in that process.”
Allin echoed his coach’s sentiments. “We’re two minutes away from each other and it’s a really big rivalry, so we look forward to it every time it comes up on the calendar.”
As the season wears on and the stretch drive becomes tougher, thoughts of the playoffs have begun to creep into the minds of the players and coaches.
“I’m trying to get us to a point where we’re not terrified of whether we’re going to make the playoffs or not, so it’s a bit of a life and death struggle right now … beating Waterloo makes it bigger,” said Campbell.
The Hawks will try to keep their winning ways going tonight when they visit the Brock Badgers.