Hawks’ defense prevails over Fairfax

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Doug Petrowski | MLTnews.com Chauncey Hill (44) dunks over Greg Bowman and Loren Lacasse (41), with Marquis Armstrong looking on.

By Luke Luttrell

The Hawks men’s basketball team beat Fairfax High School of Los Angeles in a tight battle in the King Showcase on Monday at the ShoWare Center. The Hawks showed that their defense really works as they squeezed out a 38-36 victory against the Lions who were, at the start of the season, nationally ranked.

Any basketball team shooting 22.6 percent from the field in the first half will struggle to find themselves a lead. But unlike most close games, this was purely a defensive battle. Even though Terrace was overmatched on paper, the Hawks proved to be a team that can focus on getting the ball in their hands.

“Whenever we got a stop, they kind of jogged actually, so we tried to push the ball,” senior guard Blake Fernandez said. “If we push the ball we get numbers, it would be like 3-on-2 and then it would be an easy basket. But even if (the Lions) scored we would try to get the ball as fast as we can, beat them down the floor and score on them.”

The Hawks led the Lions throughout the game, only letting them take the lead twice in the game for a mere five seconds before scoring again. The Lions appeared to be a team that could dominate over any given opponent, but shot 31.4 percent (16-for-51) the whole game with only one 3-point shot made by Jonathan Brown. Although the Hawks shot 30.6 percent (15-for-49), they put up four 3-point shots, two of them coming from junior post Greg Bowman.

“(We) just (kept) playing like we knew we could,” Bowman said. “We knew if (we) just kept battling away we could definitely win the game.” Bowman had 11 points, with 11 total rebounds as well. His rebounding counterpoint on Fairfax was senior post Chaunce Hill, who had 12 rebounds along with 12 points to finish the game as the high scorer.

Hill slammed down four dunks – three of which tip dunks off missed shots. “Obviously he could jump,” Bowman said. “We had to get a body on him because he had most of his points on put back dunks and (things) like that, offensive rebounds. And give a lot of credit to (fellow junior post) Loren (LaCasse). He boxed Hill out really well and always shut him down for the most part.”

“I just tried to block out all he was saying and all the talking he was doing,” LaCasse said. “He was talking a lot and I would just push him back because I know he’s just a high schooler, and I’m not (any) different. No one else is different.”

With 39 seconds left in the game, Hill tipped a dunk off a missed layup to shorten the Hawks’ lead to just three points 36-33. Following the dunk, the Lions fouled LaCasse with 22 seconds left to send him to the line. LaCasse drained both free throws to give the Hawks some airway but the Lions weren’t done yet. Fairfax guard Jonathan Brown ran down the court and hit the only 3-pointer for the Lions to make it 38-36.

With 10 seconds left to play, the Lions intentionally fouled Fernandez for another one-and-one free throw opportunity. However, Fernandez missed and the Lions had one chance to either tie the game or win with a 3-point shot. Fernandez jumped back on defense and guarded Brown for the final possession as Brown rushed up to the 3-point line to try and get a shot off, but Fernandez was all over him when Brown stepped around on an off-balance shot that came up short as time expired.

“First I was thinking just make your free throws, which I didn’t do,” Fernandez said. “So we had to get back on defense and make sure we got a stop, so we could win the game.”

“We had to D-up,” LaCasse said. “Don’t let them get off any good shots. Just D-up. And for me personally, (I) just don’t let my guy touch the ball.”

The top scorers for the Hawks were Bowman and Fernandez with 11 points each, along with Marquis Armstead with eight and Loren LaCasse with six.

The T Birds-Hawks matchup can be seen on the Hawks Live Sports Network right here on TheHawkeye.org or at MLTnews.com with Steve Willits providing all the play-by-play.

UPDATE: (1/23/13) The T-Birds v. Hawks game from Shorewood High School will NOT be available via the Hawks Live Sports Network, nor will the Hawks game at Shorecrest next Tuesday. HLSN regrets this change in scheduling, but HLSN has been denied access to the two Shoreline School District gyms for these games. The Hawkeye will, however, provide coverage via its Twitter feed @MTHSports.

 

At ShoWare Center

Fairfax (Cal.): 8 6 12 10 36

Terrace: 11 5 11 11 38

Lions: Chaunce Hill 12, Jonathan Brown 8, Sage Woodruff 8, Reggie Theus Jr. 4, Olisaemeka Nwachie 2, Pierson Ro 2, Lindsey Drew, Tommy Mitchell.

Hawks: Greg Bowman 11, Blake Fernandez 11, Marquis Armstead 8, Loren LaCasse 6, Jesse Zerom 2,  Michael Lotz, LeTrae Sarden.

3-Pointers: Bowman (2), Armstead, Fernandez, Brown.

Records: Fairfax 13-8, Mountlake Terrace 15-2

 

See: How did Terrace end up in King Showcase? Talent, fan base.

See: Jack Pearce on KING-5 News talking SuperSonics 


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