Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Golden Hawks add key scorer, look to secure backcourt

Coming off an encouraging playoff run that began with an upset victory at Western and culminating in an 8 point loss at eventual OUA West champions Windsor Lancers after being tied at halftime, Peter Campbell's Laurier Golden Hawks look to take the next step with the arrival of another in the growing, annual line of top newcomers:  6'6" Pat Donnelly, originally from Oakville, who spent last season at Procter Academy Prep in the US.  Donnelly joins former OUA West Rookie-of-the-Year 6'5" Kale Harrison, who last season joined the Hawks career 1,000 point club, and All-Freshman team choice 6'6" Max Allin to potentially form an imposing front line.  Campbell must find a replacement for graduated 2nd team OUA West all-star Jesse MacDonald, who was his toughest and best decision making back court player.  5'10" Travis Berry looks to evolve into that decision-maker, encouraged by his team-high 18 point effort in the playoff loss to Windsor.  Laurier also loses 6'8" shotblocking sensation Andrew Pennycook (graduated) and 6'5" Evan Schwantz, who will be on year-long academic exchange abroad.  Underrated, hard working 6'5" Matt Buckley will provide depth up front as will 6'5" Connor Meschino but the need for the back court to develop led by Berry and 6'1" Sharif Wanis will go a long way toward how well the Hawks progress.  Expect 6'3" freshman Jamar Forde 6’3” G/F (Mississauga, ON/St. Francis Xavier) to also be in the mix in the backcourt with his ability to defend and rebound.  Expect another freshman 6'3" Matt Blaha (Oakville St Thomas Aquinas) to stretch defenses with his long-range shooting - Blaha also has a shooter's mentality who will not lose confidence but does have room to work on his ball handling and ability to get to the rim.  The Hawks host UBC and UQAM in pre-season games at home and also host the Hawk Challenge with Concordia, Cape Breton their opponents (Mac is the fourth team).  Laurier also travels to Sudbury to participate in the Laurentian tournament where among their opponents will be Dalhousie, coached by Peter's son John Campbell.

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