Winning weekend for men’s basketball

Consistency is all Peter Campbell asks for, and that’s what the head coach of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s basketball team got from his players on the weekend.

The Hawks played their best basketball of the season as the team came away with two wins against the York Lions on Friday and the Laurentian Voyageurs on Saturday.

But it was how they won that truly mattered to Campbell, as the purple and gold got out to sizeable leads in both games, but stumbled late against York in a 66-55 victory.

“We came out at the start of the second half, and we had a big lead going into the fourth quarter and we proceeded to let it go because we were thinking we had it won,” stated Campbell.

However, good teams learn from their mistakes; much to Campbell’s delight, the Hawks weren’t about to disappoint their coach again.

With a 42-18 lead at halftime on Saturday, the Hawks’ guns didn’t stop firing just because they were in a comfortable position, and went on to handily vanquish the Voyageurs 83-55.

“[Last night] made it easier today, to stay focused on the defence,” Campbell said after Saturday’s affair. “One of our weaknesses before is we get into scenarios where we have a chance to gap people and we make mistakes and all of a sudden they’re back in the game and now it’s a panic situation.”

It was a weekend in which the Hawks couldn’t afford to panic. With the two wins, the team improves to 3-5 on the season and are working their way up the competitive West division from eighth spot.

The team got solid contributions from stand-outs Jesse MacDonald and Kale Harrison as well as budding star Maxwell Allin. But it was the supporting cast which drew the praise of Campbell with Travis Berry, Sharif Wanas and Evan Schwantz providing some much-needed secondary scoring.

“On our bad days, it’s Jesse and Kale, Jesse and Kale, so they’ve got [all their players] running at those two,” said Campbell. “But when everybody else starts contributing then the other team has to worry about them, and that takes the pressure off.”

The Hawks’ defence didn’t miss a beat after a tough outing two weeks ago, in which the team gave up 97 points to Carleton and 73 points to Ottawa.

The improved defensive play from the team allowed the Voyageurs to score only 18 points in the first half.

“We’ve got to start at the defensive end and build out,” stressed Campbell. “If we do a good job, we’ll get some easy baskets going the other way and we’ll get rebounds.”

The Hawks will break for the holidays and return in late December for an eastern road swing that sees the team travel to tournaments in Cape Breton and Halifax, Nova Scotia.