Hawks storm past Bearcats in season opener

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Hawks storm past Bearcats in season opener

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After taking a lead in the first quarter, the Hawks never looked back as they tipped off their season with a 61-54 win over the Monroe Bearcats Tuesday night in the Terraceum.

The Hawks and Bearcats both started off fairly slow against one another relying fully on their defenses, but near the end of the first quarter, junior wing and co-captain, Gabe Altenberger caught fire and ended up scoring 10 of the Hawks 15 first quarter points.

The second quarter was similar to the end of the first; all about offense. The Hawks and Bearcats went back and forth at one another, exchanging buckets left and right. In this offensive shootout, the Hawks prevailed through junior forward, Derek Anyimah who got on a roll and scored more than half of the team’s second quarter points. The Hawks outscored the Bearcats 22-16 in the second quarter and were able to extend their lead to 10 as they went into halftime up 37-27.

The third quarter was more of the same for the Hawks as they led by as much as 14 points.

The Bearcats, though down, were not out just yet. Near the end of the third, they were able to gain momentum and carry it into the fourth and final quarter. The Bearcats, went on a 10-0 run capped off by their starting senior guard Alex Johnson who hit two big threes.

When it seemed like a comeback was imminent, the Hawks stayed composed and were able to bring the lead back up to 7 and eventually put the Bearcats away.

“We had to weather the storm,” Coach Sood said. “They went on a 10-0, and it’s my mentality to not call a timeout. It’s a teachable lesson there. They’ve got to learn to work through it which they did.”

This win gives the Hawks a 1-0 record for the season.

“We did a lot of things well,” Anyimah said. “When they went on a 10-0 run, we were able to come close and stop them. We were able to shoot the ball well, and our defense came down to our mental toughness which we showed.”

Although the Hawks got the win, they saw that there were several things to clean up before going into the next game.

“It’s the Achilles heel of for any team and that’s free throws,” Sood said. “We want to get better at that, we want to get better at the turnovers, and we want to get better at the defensive rebounding. We don’t have a lot of size. It’s sort of like if you don’t have a lot of big guys to tackle the opponent in football, they have to gang tackle, like two or three people have to bring one person down. That’s what we have to do with rebounding.”

The leader scorers for the game were Altenberger and Anyimah who had 23 and 19 points respectively.

Although Altenberger led the team in scoring, his response was very humble as he credited it all to his teammates.

The Hawks face off, next, against the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks in the Terraceum at 7:15 pm this Friday.

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