Warriors ground Hawks
One of this season’s most exciting games ended with a win for the Warriors Jan. 16. Waterloo came ahead of its rivals, the Laurier Golden Hawks, to the tune of 67-60. The first half saw Waterloo take a sizable lead on Laurier, but the game was very close by the last quarter and it took stand-out Warriors making big plays to claim the victory.
The Warriors started off strong with Wells Davis scoring the first basket of the game. Both teams seemed energetic at the beginning, but the Warriors pushed themselves hard defensively and made a noticeable effort. They kept lots of pressure on the Golden Hawks from the first whistle.
Although Laurier played conservatively, they ended up ahead at 11-12 by the end of the first period.
Waterloo’s best scoring period was the second; they kept the Golden Hawks at bay while capitalizing on passing interceptions and breakaways. The Warriors tripled their score from the first half and gained a 10-point lead over Laurier by halftime, leaving the score at 33-23.
By the third quarter, it was evident that the Warriors were tiring. Both sides’ defence was noticeably less energetic, but the Golden Hawks offensive game picked up steadily. Laurier used this opportunity to overtake Waterloo, and led 37-38 going into the final quarter.
There was a large crowd at the PAC, but most stayed quiet until the fourth period. Stand-out players made some spectacular plays and both teams started to get into a point-scoring groove. Waterloo gained and maintained their lead for the final quarter, but Laurier played their best offensive period and threatened to overtake the Warriors until the final buzzer.
Throughout the game, the Warriors played an energetic, but questionably coordinated man-to-man defence. The defence played hard and threw themselves at the Golden Hawks, but they tired themselves out quickly, collided awkwardly, and sometimes lost possession. Waterloo kept Laurier at bay for the first half, but they wavered in the second and let a few extra points through.
While the Warriors’ defence waned in the last two periods, their offence gained traction. Kyrie Coleman and Mike Helsby brought Waterloo back into the lead and kept them there, while Wayne Bridge awed the crowd when he sunk three consecutive free-throws after a foul by the Golden Hawks.
Talented individuals on both teams stood out and were responsible for the most exciting plays of the game. Laurier’s Jamar Forde weaved through Warriors’ defenders to score many baskets for the Golden Hawks in the latter half, but Coleman himself had lots of crowd-dazzling shut-downs and hard-earned points.
Men’s basketball at Waterloo has been struggling so far this season, but their win against Laurier could be a sign of change. If the Warriors can maintain their defensive energy throughout their next few games and continue to capitalize on offensive opportunities, they could easily turn their season around.