The Waterloo Warriors played the Laurier Golden Hawks at the Laurier athletics court for the Battle of Waterloo on Feb. 1. The Warriors Women’s team, second in the Western Conference at the time, took on the Golden Hawks, who were fourth. The Men’s teams that played later that evening held an opposite standing; the Warriors placed fourth in the West and the Golden Hawks placed second.
The Women’s game tipped off first — the ball going out of play almost instantly, with a touch from the Warriors. The Golden Hawks gained possession, slowly converting it into a 3-pointer. The Warriors responded with a lay-up from Beth Howlett, but it was Summer Pahl who led the scoring for the Warriors in the first quarter. Posting an 8-point quarter was not enough to put Warriors on top of the scoring though, with the Warriors down by two at the end of the first quarter at 22–24 due to the efforts of Golden Hawk’s Miranda Campbell, who scored nine points to put up a fight.
The second quarter was dominated by the Warriors, a trend which continued for the remainder of the game. Kaitlyn Overeem from the Warriors scored 10 points in the second quarter and contributed with an assist and a block on the defensive end. She was assisted on the defensive end by Meghan Sharp, who took two steals, and Jamie Newell, who took a block and a steal to help keep the Laurier Golden Hawks at bay. Brittyn Graves did her best, contributing eight of the 11 points the Golden Hawks managed before the end of the second half.
With the score starting at 45–35 in the Warriors’ favour in the second half of the match, both teams seemed to slow down. Campbell scored five of the seven points for and got two of three steals, alone summarizing the plays by the Golden Hawks. With Overeem’s 7-point and assist, the Warriors were already set to beat the Golden Hawks for the quarter, but Howlett and Maddy Adams scored a combined 11 points, and the Warriors outscored the Golden Hawks to take a 21-point lead heading into the fourth.
The fourth quarter painted the lowest scoring quarter for the Golden Hawks this season, with Alexa Sawchuk’s 1-point free throw being the only good point by the Golden Hawks. Ghiselle Poblete’s efforts of three steals with Overeem leading the scoring for Waterloo for a third straight quarter sealed a dominant 31-point victory over the Laurier Golden Hawks in the women’s category. The two points put the Warriors Women’s Basketball team at the top of the Western conference.
In the subsequent hour, both of the men’s teams took to the Carl Totzke court at 8:00 p.m., with the Warrior’s trailing the University of Western Ontario by a margin of five wins. The Warriors got off to a strong start; Ethan Andrew posted 10 points in the first quarter, doubling the highest individual score of any Laurier player, namely Taye Donald. The quarter ended with the Warriors leading by a margin of five points, thanks to a strong defensive effort by Cristian Craciun.
In the second quarter, the Golden Hawks came back with a recharged outlook on the game. The Warriors were unable to stop them, getting no blocks and only one steal through the entire quarter. Kuel Thomas scored six of the 10 points scored by the Warriors before both teams headed for halftime, but Donald, for the Golden Hawks, earned a 10-point quarter. The score at half-time was separated by just five points, at 38–33.
The third quarter saw Jahmyah Brown Jeffers and Ben Stevens lead the offensive charge against the Warriors, with Donald taking three steals. Although Stevens had an impressive 75 per cent shot accuracy in the field, Kanayo Nnadi of the Warriors shot four good from five, with an 80 per cent accuracy to wrestle against the 25-point quarter the Golden Hawks presented.
The Warriors were more aggressive in the last quarter, outscoring the Golden Hawks by a 6-point margin. Donald scored a 9-point quarter to cover the Warriors, but with five different players scoring for the Warriors from the field, and Stefan Djukic adding a free-throw, the Warriors were finding the rhythm to claw back at the 14-point deficit that the fourth quarter started with. Unfortunately, the end of the fourth quarter came too soon, with the Laurier Golden Hawks winning by an 8-point quarter.
The Warriors men’s team still stands in fourth of the five teams in the Western Conference and will hopefully move up the order throughout the remainder of the season.