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(Photo Credit: Trevor Mahoney/Adam Gagnon)
(Photo Credit: Trevor Mahoney/Adam Gagnon)
Hawks host Varsity Blues in home openers
WATERLOO, Ont. (November 16, 2012) - The 2012-13 editions of the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks basketball teams will be unveiled to the home town fans for the first time Friday night as the Hawks welcome the Toronto Varsity Blues to the Athletic Complex.

The women's and men's games will tip off at 6 and 8 p.m. respectively and will be webcast on Hawk TV Live and audiocast by Radio Laurier.

For the Laurier women, currently ranked No. 9 in the country, this season has shown early on that it will be a promising one for the squad. The Hawks posted a 6-1 preseason record, including big wins over McGill and Acadia, two teams who were at the CIS Championship last year. They followed up their preseason success with a 68-64 season opening victory over the Queen's Gaels last weekend to move to 1-0 on the year for the third straight season.

The early season success has come on the heels of some key personnel loses in the offseason that saw veteran forward Christa Mancino graduate followed by the departures of the last two rookies of the year in guard Felicia Mazerolle and forward Shelby Kurt. However, head coach PAUL FALCO has done an excellent job in filling the holes with some key additions. Falco has added three transfer players to this year's squad, including 6-3 forward Whitney Ellenor of Pickering, Ont., as well as guards Lee Anna Osei of Toronto, and Nadine Chomyc of Barrie, Ont. When rookie guard Kaitlyn Schenck of Kitchener, Ont., is added to the mix, the loss has been less noticeable than what had been predicted.

The four incoming players join a group that has grown together over the last number of seasons. Led by guard Amber Hillis of Hamilton, the Hawks now boast a talented and deep group of players in all areas of the floor. Hillis is complemented in the back court by fellow returners Laura Doyle and Bree Chaput, both of Guelph, Ont., while up front, Doreen Bonsu of Oakville, Ont., and Kimberley Yeldon of Ottawa, can make life miserable for opponents in the paint.

In the late game, the Laurier men will be shooting for their first win of the season after seeing a fourth quarter lead slip away to the Gaels last Friday night. For the men, their team has also felt the loss of a number of key players due to graduation. All-time leading scorer Kale Harrison, Matthew Buckley, Conor Meschino and Sharif Wanas have ended their time as Hawks clearing the path for a group of nine incoming new faces to this year's team.

Highlighting the new group of players are a couple of big men in 6-7 forwards Matthew Chesson of Whitby, Ont., and Nicolaas Lau of Owen Sound, Ont., as well as guards Michael Grantis of St. Catharines, Ont., Garrison Thomas of Burlington, Ont., and Filip Cvrkalj of Kitchener, Ont. All five of these players, along with transfer Jemar Smith of Brampton, Ont., are expected to have the opportunity to contribute to the Hawks success this season under the guidance of head coach Peter Campbell, who enters his 13th season with Laurier.

Although there are a number of new players on this year's team, the Hawks still boast some of the top talent in the OUA in the form of guards Maxwell Allin of Chatham, Ont., and William Coulthard of Oakville, Ont., along with forward Patrick Donnelly, also of Oakville, Ont. Allin demonstrated in the Hawks' opener against Queen's that he is poised for a big season, as he dropped 30 points and pulled down 18 rebounds in the game. Both Coulthard and Donnelly also have the ability to put up big numbers on any given night and fans can expect a large majority of the offence to come from those three individuals.

Asides from featuring two exciting basketball matchups, Friday night will also see one lucky fan have the chance to "Roll Away for 40K" , presented by GradVantages. At the halftime of the men's game, one fan in attendance will roll four dice and if they all come up with the GradVantages logo, they will win $40,000. 

Tickets for Friday's game, as well as Saturday's doubleheader against Ryerson, are just $2 for Laurier students, $8 for adults and Children 12 and under are Free.
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