Finally, it looks like with the West might be set with two weeks left. Lakehead is solely in first place after Laurier’s loss to McMaster on Saturday night. Lakehead had a bit of scare against Waterloo, but won’t have too much competition until the playoffs start. Windsor took a tough 2 point loss against Laurier last Wednesday, but could make a push for third place. McMaster is probably the happiest team with third place theirs and it seems like they’re picking up momentum at the right time. Brock and Guelph continue to struggle, while Western is playing the spoiler role and beginning to threaten fifth place.
Western 69 vs. Guelph 66
Wednesday, Feb. 1
Guelph continues to free fall into oblivion with another loss. This time it was to one of the hottest teams in the West since the break in Western, who looks to have gelled as a team. Ryan Barbeau put up 27 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds for Western. Kareem Malcolm had 18 points and 9 rebounds for Guelph. The Gryphons outrebounded the Mustangs 43-27, but turnovers were key in this game. Guelph had 15 compared to Western’s 11, which doesn’t help when the Mustangs get 17 points off those rebounds. Guelph hasn’t been able to put anything together since coming back from the Christmas break, while Western’s come together and are only four points out of fifth in the West.
Waterloo 74 vs. Lakehead 84
Friday, Feb. 3
This was all about Lakehead’s bench in a game that was far closer then it should’ve been. The Thunderwolves were helped by 52 points off the bench, while the Warriors were able to get a respectable 20, but not near anything needed to compete with Lakehead’s. Still, despite losing, I imagine Waterloo is somewhat happy they could go up to Lakehead and only lose by 10 points and 12 points on Saturday. I know that’s not saying much for Waterloo, but when you’re the worst team in the West you look for positives everywhere. Adam Johnson had 26 points and 9 rebounds in 18 minutes of playing time off the bench. Mike Wright led the way for Waterloo with 19 points and Andrew Melbourne had 14 points to go with 11 rebounds. Although it seems minor, Lakehead’s free throw shooting held them back. Those are normally easy points and when you go 15-24, they’re essentially taking an additional 5 or 6 points off the score sheet.
McMaster 82 vs. Laurier 72
Saturday, Feb. 4
I really thought Windsor had the best shot at beating Laurier, but it looks like McMaster was a bit more motivated to get it done. The Golden Hawks really only had two players show up on Saturday. Max Allin had 23 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists and Kale Harrison contributed 27 points and 8 rebounds, while everyone else decided to take the night off for the most part. Adam Presutti finished with 26 points and 8 rebounds and Victor Raso had 19 points to go with 6 rebounds. McMaster also had 37 bench points to Laurier’s 13. Losing this game almost puts the West division out of reach for Laurier and they can’t be happy about seeing the chance of winning the division slip from their grasp. Unless Lakehead comes up with a bad night, the West is the Thunderwolves' from here on out.
Player of the Week
Adam Presutti - McMaster Marauders
Presutti was key in both of McMaster’s wins against Brock and Laurier this weekend. He helped knock both teams off, but was absolutely vital against beating Laurier. He put up a combination of 40 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists in 53 minutes of playing time. He also shot better than 50% in both games. Presutti made shots when he needed to and earns the player of the week award for the West.
Upcoming Game of the Week
Windsor vs. Laurier
Saturday, Feb. 11
Both teams will be desperate for a win if they’re going to try and move up a spot in the rankings. Windsor can still challenge for third, while Laurier has a slight chance at overtaking Lakehead. More importantly, a loss by Lakehead will have them struggling to maintain their current spot with McMaster closing in on them. Also, both teams have struggled slightly in the last few weeks and neither have easy schedules in the last two weeks of the regular season. No one wants to go into playoff basketball playing shaky, so don’t be surprised if both teams pick up their level of play for this one.