Hawks suffer first loss of season to Arlington 53-31
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Well that was…interesting?
In Tuesday night’s women’s basketball matchup, the Hawks fell to the Arlington Eagles (who finished second in the state tournament last year) 53-31.
The game was completely dominated by Arlington, who played (for the most part) a disciplined offense and defense, committing only scattered sloppy mistakes. By the end of the first quarter the Hawks trailed the Eagles 16-8.
Sloppy passes, poor communication and fouls upon fouls were the key to the Hawks’ defeat of the season. Said mistakes, paired along with 6’1″ senior post Lyndsay Leatherman were enough to put away the Hawks.
Leatherman absolutely dominated the post, consistently grabbing offensive rebounds and giving Arlington plenty of second chance points.
The Hawks’ defense was not where it was all season. Their high tempo and aggressive passing defense was missing. When the defense is working for this team, so too is the offense as well.
Several routine shots refused to fall for the Hawks early in the game, giving Arlington the momentum going into the half, where they led 27-13. Layups often rolled around the rim before bouncing out of the hoop, and jump shots bounced off the back of the rim. Despite getting a fair amount of good looks before the half, the Hawks could not get a shot to fall.
Another big reason for the Hawks’ demise was foul trouble, especially early in the game. Primary scorer Samantha Romanowski picked up two fouls before even reaching the midpoint of the first quarter. After picking up her third early in the second half, she was forced to sit out approximately 2/3 of the game, something the Hawks have not had to experience all season.
Romanowski ended up fouling out of the game on an intentional foul for apparently “intentionally” elbowing an Eagle player in face. Coach Zach Wilde proceeded to protest by sitting on the bench and refusing to acknowledge the official when she prompted for him to substitute a player for Romanowski. This ended in a double technical against the Hawks and four free throws for the Eagles, three of which were made.
By that point, with just over six minutes to play, the game was nearly out of hand, with three of the Hawks’ primary scorers-seniors Nikkie Forehlich and Maddy Kristjanson, as well as Romanowski-all in foul trouble.
The Eagles held a secure lead and won with a final score of 53-31.
The Hawks will the rest of the week to refocus and retool before they take on the Shorewood Thunderbirds (3-1) Friday at 7 pm at the Terraceum.