25 year losing streak snapped, Lady Hawks defeat Meadowdale 40-36
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25 years and no Hawks team could do what this team just did. They brought down perennial powerhouse, the Meadowdale Mavericks with a 40-36 victory on Friday night at Meadowdale.
Early in the game it was clear what Meadowdale’s gameplan was-shut down junior phenom Samantha Romanowski. And for about 60% of the game, one could say they succeeded, which is more than any other team has been able to do thus far. The Mavs held Romanowski to just 12 points, but those 12 points were still enough to tie with Nikkie Forehlich for second most on the team.
Romanowski still was able to help her team, particularly late in the game with several big steals and broken plays against Meadowdale. Compared to previous games however, this was by far the most clearly defined example of the Hawks having to put forth a team effort to hold on to a small lead against a very talented team.
Maddy Kristjanson finished the night with fourteen points, and they were fourteen of the hardest earned points any player will score this season. Matched up with 6’1″ post Ndey Sonko, who carries a great physical presence just by standing on the court, her job was anything but easy. Kristjanson held her own against the extremely phsyical Sonko, constantly being thrown to the ground, and not always being on the favorable end of the call. Sonko was held to just six points.
Zucker continued her outstanding defensive play, while Pagaling and Forehlich did an outstanding job moving the ball around and commanding the offense. Forehlich stepped up her game while the Hawks figured out ways to get Romanowski the ball, carrying much of the scoring through the half as well as finishing the game with several key free throws.
The Hawks also continued their trend of slow starts, allowing Meadowdale to jump to a 7-0 lead before even scoring, and trailing 12-7 at the end of the first quarter. Just three minutes into the second quarter, while on a 6-0 run, the Hawks took the lead and never looked back, with the exception of a short period of time in the fourth quarter where the Mavs tied it up a 28-28 after a Sonko layup.
Also compared to last game, officiating was much tighter, and the officials established early in the game that they were in control, calling essentially every single textbook foul. The Hawks were on the better side of many early calls and owe a slight amount of their small comeback run to not being plagued by fouls as the Mavs were. In the first quarter alone, the Mavs picked up eight fouls to the Hawks’ one lone foul.
The biggest key to victory, as it has been all year with this team, was their ability to effectively play a full court trapping defense. Their swarming defensive showcase has been signature to this team and has consistently led to an effective offense. When the defense is working, the baskets come a lot easier than when it’s not. It forces opponents on their heels and creates a difficult situation for them to counter.
The Hawks’ women’s team have improved to 5-0 and take on 4-0 Arlington next Tuesday.