HAMILTON – The Hawks are bound for the semifinals.
In the second quarter-final matchup at the 2023 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship in Hamilton, the Humber Hawks rolled to the 84-63 win over the Augustana Vikings to punch their ticket to the semifinals on Thursday afternoon.
The Hawks were led by Britney English, who was named Player of the Game for Humber after recording a game-high 23 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Lauren Cardinal recorded 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Vikings, en route to earning Player of the Game accolades for Augustana.
“We came into this game with the mindset of being ready to compete and play the way we normally play,” said English post-game. “Coming from OCAAs to Nationals, we knew that this was going to be a gritty game so we just wanted to play our game.”
Early on, the Vikings were going shot-for-shot with the Hawks. The ACAC Silver Medalists led by as many as five in the first quarter, as a layup from Maren MacDonald gave the Vikings an early 11-6 lead. The Hawks cut the deficit down to one, but a three from Kamryn De Klerk in the final minute put the Vikings ahead by four after the first.
In the second quarter, the Hawks started to flex their muscle on both ends of the floor. They held the Vikings off the scoreboard for more than four minutes to start the frame, and it was only a matter of time before they took the lead for good.
Nicole Chateau hit one of two free throws to give the Hawks a brief 20-19 lead before the Vikings answered to retake the lead on the next possession. Shortly thereafter, with the score in favour of the Vikings by one, English connected on one of her five three-pointers and the Hawks wouldn’t trail the rest of the way.
Humber pushed their lead to nine before the half as Kia Watt scored six of the Hawks’ final 10 points in the half to send them into the break with an extra momentum boost.
Watt would finish the day with 22 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
The second half started with an 8-0 run for Humber, prompting a timeout from Vikings Head Coach Megan Wickstrom to try and settle the ship. Tayah Fiveland got a layup to drop out of the break, igniting a quick 7-0 run for the Vikings to cut the deficit to 10. However, the momentum was already squarely at the backs of Humber, and the Hawks answered with a 7-0 run of their own to halt any wind in the sails of the Vikings.
Humber stretched their lead to 18 before the third quarter was out, and the fourth quarter was more of the same. The Hawks would lead by as many as 29 points midway through the fourth, and they soared to the 21-point win in the process, 84-63.
Kayah Clarke chipped in with 19 points off the bench for the Hawks in the win. Kamryn De Klerk led all Augustana scorers with 15 points in the loss.
With the win, the Hawks secured a spot in Thursday’s semifinals, where they will take on the RSEQ Champions, Les Geants de Saint-Jean.
The Vikings move onto the Consolation Side of the bracket. They will look to keep their medal hopes alive when they take on the MSVU Mystics in the first of two Bronze Quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.
- T. Bennett