Burlington, Ont. – Hilary Hanaka has been named IG Wealth Management Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Female Athlete of the Week, powered by Planters, for the period ending March 3, 2019.
Female Athlete of the Week – Hilary Hanaka (Hamilton, Ont.) – 5th Year – McMaster Marauders
If there is ever a way for a senior player to put a feather in the cap of their provincial career, it is with a championship under their belt, and for Hilary Hanaka, she was able to do just that in the Critelli Cup this past weekend. The fifth-year senior played a leading role in helping her McMaster Marauders claim provincial glory and advance to the U SPORTS Final 8 Championship.
In what was a heavyweight bout from start to finish, the Hamilton native proved she was up to the task against the top-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, with her veteran leadership and poise on the court helping McMaster overcome their hot-shooting opponent and answering the bell at every toll. Hanaka, who earned Player of the Game honours for the championship-winning Marauders, was the team’s most effective shooter on the night, connecting on 8-of-19 shots from the field – including 3-of-6 (50%) from downtown – and also fulfilled her usual role as distributor from the point (five assists). To round out her stat-stuffing performance, the first-team OUA all-star added three rebounds.
The numbers say a lot, but beyond the stats, Hanaka was a true leader when her team needed it most. She helped them overcome an early deficit, offered up big responses to keep her team in contention all game long, and came through in the clutch with several key fourth-quarter buckets and the decisive free-throws to lead her side to the championship win. All-in-all, Hanaka left everything she had on the court to carry Mac to their first Critelli Cup title since 2008 and cement her status as one of the best players the league has seen since she first stepped onto the university hardwood five years ago.