Men’s basketball earn important sweep over Warriors
“With only six games left in our conference schedule it might be tempting to start looking for the finish line.”
That was Wolves head coach Scott Morrison’s mid-week advice to his squad as they prepared for the visiting Waterloo Warriors this past weekend. Thankfully, for players and fans alike, the squad seemed to have taken “the one game at a time” mantra to heart after sweeping the Warriors on Friday and Saturday night.
Consequently, it was mission accomplished for the 1st place, and CIS No. 8 ranked Wolves, as they altered their recent pace by sweeping a series for the first time in roughly a month.
Bringing in a team-leading 11.1 PPG into the weekend, the recently scorching Jamie Searle continued his recent scoring tear with another 25 points to go along with 9 boards in the process of helping the Wolves to the 63-58 win in the series opener on Friday night. He was not the sole contributor on the night, as Ryan Thompson and Andrew Hackner chipped in 15 and 10 apiece, and big-man Yoosrie Salhia dominated the paint with 13 rebounds, while also being an intimidating factor on the defensive end with three blocks.
On the flipside, Waterloo was led by Alan Goodhoofd’s 15 points and Ben Frisby’s 10.
Coach Morrison said his team, although they won, still need to improve in their consistency.
“It was good to see our guys step up with some clutch stops and shots down the stretch,” Morrison said, “However, our challenge remains maintaining our focus for the entire 40 minutes. In this conference a bad quarter can cost you a game and you cannot rest on anyone. Our goal is to come out focused tomorrow and set a tone in the first quarter that we can carry for 40 minutes.”
Despite a close finish, the script played out much like a sequel for the Wolves on Saturday night as they pulled out another victory. The only thing that seemed to change from Friday was the leading roles.
Stepping into the starring role on Saturday was Andrew Hackner, one of LU’s 3-point specialists (48% on the season), who caught fire from the field and finished with 19 points to help propel the Wolves to a narrow 65-61 defeat over the seemingly disheartened Warriors.
Hackner built upon his already superb season from behind the arc by connecting on three 3-pointers in the win, while Friday night’s hero Jamie Searle contributed another 16 points. And just as he did on Friday night, LU’s Yoosrie Salhia dominated the rebounding department with 12 boards, with seven of which coming on the offensive end.
Waterloo’s Goodhoofd led his team with a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Matt Hayes added 11 points.
Clearly the Wolves took to heart what coach Morrison had to say during the week, and it is only a hunch, but it may be safe to believe this week’s quip from the coach will be somewhat of a regurgitation of last week’s “one game at a time” mantra. With the Wolves still only being two points (one win) up on Windsor in the OUA West for first place, the team cannot afford to rest on their laurels as one misstep or miscalculation could result in their loss of the throne atop the OUA West standings.