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Slow start plagues Hawks, fall to Warriors 66-61

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Going into this game, the Hawks (5-2 in conference, 11-4 overall) and the Warriors (6-1 in conference, 13-2 overall) were the second and first place respectively in their competitive conference, the Wesco 3A South conference. This game had plenty of implications on who the number one seeded team would be going into the postseason, which is only four games away.

When the Hawks previously met the Warriors at the Terraceum earlier this season, they won 74-72, handing the Warriors one of their only two losses in the season.

The Hawks started very slow this game, getting only two field goals in the first five minutes, putting them at a nine point deficit, 14-5.

“We’ve been starting better but this is a good team,” head coach Nalin Sood said. “You want to know how you start better? You make shots. That’s it.”

The Warriors found a hole in the Hawks man-to-man defense when they opted to run a variant of the spread pick-and-roll. By doing this, they were able to find either an open shooter coming off the screen or shooter in the corner, or a rolling big man with a good look at the hoop.

The Hawks trailed 31-22 at the end of the first half. They struggled to make shots, but their deficit was still only single digits.

Coming out of the locker room, it seemed like the game was headed in the direction of a blowout. The Warriors were able to extend their lead up to 14 with 4:50 left in the third quarter. They led over the Hawks by 12 at the end of the third quarter, 50-38.

Down, but not out, the Hawks went into the final quarter of regulation fighting hard. Good looks and opportunities began to open up as open shots began to fall. Soon enough, the Hawks were able to cut what was once a 14 point deficit down to just four with 3:50 still remaining in the game. With momentum swinging to their side, it looked like a comeback was near.

The Hawks were able to get stops, but back-to-back turnovers off of miscues and bad passes gave away the opportunity to tie or take the lead, giving the Warriors enough time to weather the storm and strike back. They increased their lead from four back up to 11.

From then on, time became the Hawks biggest enemy as the deficit was too much to overtake, and the Hawks went on to lose this game, 66-61.

“We didn’t keep them out of the paint,” Sood said. “We got to work harder on our defense to keep them out of the paint and prevent them from dumping it off to their buddies. They won the points in the paint and that was the difference in this basketball game.”

But with every piece of adversity, there is a silver lining.

“We didn’t have a good start, but we were ready to go and we fought hard. With four games left to go, if we bring that type of fight, that type of energy, that type of enthusiasm, that’s going to dictate what the offseason is going to be like,” Sood said.

The Hawks have only four games left on their regular season schedule.The next game will be at home against Glacier Peak on Friday, Jan. 29th at 7:15 p.m.

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About the Writer
Irvin Zhang, Hawkeye staff
I’m Irvin Zhang, a junior at MTHS and this is my first year as a Hawkeye staff reporter. I cover sports. Currently football and volleyball. I plan on hopefully attending Syracuse University where I’ll then go study in the Newhouse School of Communications and major in journalism and become a sports journalist from there. My...
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Slow start plagues Hawks, fall to Warriors 66-61