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Hailey MacLeod having stellar rookie season with Cape Breton Capers women’s basketball team

Hailey MacLeod of the Cape Breton Capers women's basketball team looks towards the basket during recent Atlantic University Sport action at Sullivan Fieldhouse in Sydney. MacLeod is in her first year with the Capers and is currently third on the team in points per game.
Hailey MacLeod of the Cape Breton Capers women's basketball team looks towards the basket during recent Atlantic University Sport action at Sullivan Fieldhouse in Sydney. MacLeod is in her first year with the Capers and is currently third on the team in points per game. Vaughan Merchant/CBU Athletics
SYDNEY, N.S. —

When a player makes the transition from high school to university sport, growing pains are very well expected.

But, in the case of Hailey MacLeod, it didn't take long for the Marion Bridge product to find her game at the Atlantic University Sport level.

The Cape Breton Capers first-year player has improved throughout the season and has quickly put the league on notice with her recent play.

"I feel like I'm getting better and better every game," said MacLeod. "My game is slowly improving by the day and I'm hoping to continue the process for the remainder of the season."

The 18-year-old, who once starred for Riverview High School, has been a key part of the Capers season to date.

Cape Breton has a 7-10 record and has already clinched a playoff spot at the AUS championship tournament next month in Halifax.


BIO
Hailey MacLeod

  • Hometown: Marion Bridge, N.S.
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 5'11"
  • Position: Forward
  • Team: Cape Breton Capers (Atlantic University Sport)
  • Study: Bachelor of Arts

Despite mostly coming off the bench for the Capers, MacLeod is currently ranked No. 16 in the conference in points, averaging 11.3 points per game.

She's also third in team scoring, only behind McKenzee Ryan of Glace Bay (17.4 points per game) and Monique Calliste (13.8 points per game).

"I felt like I brought a lot of energy to the bench once I came off the bench," said MacLeod. "I had a fresh set of legs to go out there and to give it my all."

In her last four games, MacLeod has recorded 85 points. Three of those games saw the rookie drop 20-plus points. Her best game during the span came on Feb. 8 against Saint Mary's, scoring 31 points in a 96-91 loss in Halifax.

MacLeod, who started both games last weekend, believes her recent play has helped with her confidence and hopes to build on it as the season continues.

"I know that I'm good enough to start games and I know I can do anything Fabian (McKenzie) wants me to do," said MacLeod. "It shows that he has confidence in me starting - I'm capable of doing this and getting things done."

Capers head coach Fabian McKenzie said MacLeod is proving many people wrong with her play on the court.

"She had some doubters," he said.

"People said she didn't work really hard, she may not be as good as we thought, but I never listened to them, I had a relationship with Hailey and I listened to what she said she can do."

Despite the roller-coaster season, McKenzie was impressed with MacLeod's work ethic and her future in the AUS.

"I'm really excited with her because she's like getting a piece of clay that you can model the way you want," said McKenzie. "She's raw, she needs skill work and needs understanding of the game, but she's grown and she's gotten better and better every single day."

MacLeod began her basketball career at Marion Bridge Elementary School. She later went on to play for Malcolm Munroe Junior High School, before attending Riverview for her high school years.

MacLeod received her first opportunity at the high school level in Grade 9.

"I didn't expect to make the team the first year," said MacLeod. "There were a lot of good girls trying out for the team, and just being so young, I didn't know if I would have a chance."

During her four years with the Royals program, MacLeod helped lead Riverview to three Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation regional titles and was eventually recruited by the Capers.

"My family was a big influence on wanting to stay in Cape Breton for basketball," said MacLeod. "I like playing in front of them and my grandparents love to watch me play, so It was something I wanted to do so they could see me play more often."

In her final year of high school basketball, MacLeod was coached by former Capers' star Alison Keough, who MacLeod credits for helping with her development.

"Alison knows the game really well and she went through it all and was part of the RHS program," said MacLeod. "It was good to have her with us as someone to look up to."

MacLeod and the Capers will be in action this weekend when they host the Acadia Axewomen in a pair of games. The teams meet Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Sullivan Fieldhouse in Sydney.

Acadia (14-3) are in first place in the league standings, while Cape Breton currently sits in fifth place, tied with the New Brunswick Reds (8-9) with 24 points.

Meanwhile, Cape Breton's men's basketball team will also be in action, hosting the Acadia Axemen. The teams play Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. at the CBU venue.

Cape Breton and Acadia are tied in the league standings with matching 6-11 records and 16 points. The Memorial Sea-Hawks (6-10) are two points back of both teams for a playoff spot.


HEAD-TO-HEAD
Women
Cape Breton Capers

  • Record: 7-10 - 24 Points
  • Standings: Fifth in the Atlantic University Sport
  • Points For: 1,200
  • Points Against: 1,261

Acadia Axewomen:

  • Record: 14-3 - 40 Points
  • Standings: First in the Atlantic University Sport
  • Points For: 1,358
  • Points Against: 1,131

Men
Cape Breton Capers

  • Record: 6-11 - 16 Points
  • Standings: Sixth in the Atlantic University Sport
  • Points For: 1,316
  • Points Against: 1,404

Acadia Axemen

  • Record: 6-11 - 16 Points
  • Standings: Fifth in the Atlantic University Sport
  • Points For: 1,323
  • Points Against: 1,443

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