Women’s basketball makes quick work of Guelph

Coming into the season Felicia Mazzerolle didn’t think she’d be seeing much playing time. But an early-season injury to veteran Amber Hillis forced Mazzerolle into action and on Wednesday night, the rookie point guard found herself starting in a do-or-die playoff game.

And all the rookie did was pick a perfect time for one the best games of her young career.

Mazzerolle tied for the game-high in points with 15, adding two assists, two steals and two rebounds, while leading the Hawks’ offence in a dominating 73-47 win over the Guelph Gryphons in the first round of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) playoffs.

“I’ve gotten used to it, but this was a big game, so there was a little bit of nervousness,” said Mazzerolle of the pressures of playing point guard on such a big stage. “I think our team came out really strong, communicated well and our defence was really the main key in our success today.”

According to Laurier head coach Paul Falco, Mazzerolle’s performance in such a crucial situation was merely a continuation of how she’s progressed as the season’s gone on.

“She’s gotten better week by week, you can see her improving almost daily,” said Falco. “I think she’s going to be a force in this league.”

However, Mazzerolle wasn’t alone in leading the Hawks’ attack, which proved far too potent for the Gryphons on Wednesday night. With Hillis now healthy, Falco was able to utilize both his talented point guards, changing the pace of the game through substitutions and even putting Mazzerolle and Hillis on the court together.

“I think we’re a really good pair,” said Hillis, who had five points and four assists in the game. “We both bring different things to the court and even when we’re on at the same time we’ve worked really well together.”

Add in dominating performances from the ever-consistent veteran core of fifth-years Renata Adamczyk (15 points, six rebounds), Megan Grant (eight points, seven rebounds) and Mallory Kohlmeier (10 points, five assists) as well as fourth-year Christa Mancino (13 points, four rebounds) and the Hawks were simply too much for the visiting Gryphons.

“Our veterans have been why we are where we are,” said Falco. “We’ve gotten great leadership from Megan, Mallory and Renata and then Christa’s really stepped up, especially the past month or so. If we have that going into the next round anything can happen.”

The match-up that awaits the Hawks in that next round Falco was alluding to is a daunting one. This Saturday the purple and gold will travel to Regionals in Windsor where they will take on the Western Mustangs in the OUA quarterfinals.
The Mustangs finished with just three losses during the regular season, none of which came at the hands of the Hawks. However, despite the tall order the team is confident they can pull off the upset.

“It’ll be a challenge, but we can definitely take them,” said Mazzerolle. “They’re a team that can be beaten. All we have to do is play as good as we played today.”

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