The Hawks hosted the Meadowdale Mavericks, looking to extend their win streak to seven games as well as continue to sit atop the Wesco 3A South Conference. Due to a slow start and stagnant offense, the Hawks fell in too big of a hole and couldn’t put together a comeback, thus losing 50-54 to the Mavericks.
The Hawks came into the game with a record of 9-2 overall, 4-0 in the conference. The Mavericks on the other hand were 7-4 overall, 1-4 in the conference.
This game was also the 97th time in the schools’ histories that their men’s basketball teams played one another. The all time record was even at 48 wins apiece.
The game started out in favor of the Mavericks right from the tip off. They embarked on a 12-0 run through hellacious defense, causing the Hawks to turn the ball over on consecutive possessions.
“[Slow starts] have been our Achilles heel,” head coach Nalin Sood said. “We’re not starting the game mentally ready to go.”
Sood quickly took a timeout and the Hawks responded with a 7-0 run of their own. The Hawks went on to close the gap to four points at the end of the first quarter, trailing 12-16.
The beginning of the second quarter once again swung in favor of the Mavericks. They increased their lead to 11, leading over the Hawks 25-14. Just like in the first quarter, the Hawks were able to get their offense going in the latter parts of the quarter to decrease the gap to five, heading into the locker room with a score of 20-25.
Senior co-captain Derek Anyimah led all scorers with nine points at the half.
“[Being more aggressive] is my current mindset,” Anyimah said. “Whether it’s going to the basket or shooting the three, it all starts with my attitude.”
The Hawks once again started the quarter out with a ice-cold and stagnant offense. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to 12 before senior Gabe Altenberger hit a timely three-pointer to cut it back to single digits.
The Hawks trailed the Mavericks by 7 going into the final quarter of regulation, with time not on their side. Not to mention the Mavericks employed a slow-tempo offense that would bring the shot clock down to at least 10 seconds on every set that they ran. This not only slowed the game down for the Hawks but it didn’t allow much momentum to swing in the Hawks’ favor.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. Although the Hawks closed the gap all the way to three points, there was only 7.2 seconds left in the game. The Mavericks wanted no chance of losing this game, thus they started to intentionally foul to avoid giving the Hawks the opportunity to tie up the game.
The Hawks lost this game, 50-54.
“We weren’t mentally ready for this game,” Sood said. “We had spurts and they came at different times but we weren’t consistent. We aren’t ready to be a great team yet because we aren’t ready to take every team’s best shot. We got [Meadowdale’s] best shot tonight and we weren’t ready for it. That’s on me. I didn’t get them ready.”
This loss brings the Hawks to a tie for the top spot in the Wesco 3A South Conference with Edmonds-Woodway whom the Hawks will play on Friday, Jan. 22. The Mavericks meanwhile will take a slight edge in the all time series, pushing them to 49-48 over the Hawks.
The Hawks will travel to Shorewood High School next on Thursday, Jan. 14, and try to get back on track.