By Darren Lum
Published Jan. 3 2017
The junior Red Hawks won the half but lost the game 35-30 to the visiting Falcons in Kawartha High School Basketball League action.
When the junior Hawks player Austin French scored on a drive to end the second quarter it had the partisan red and white crowd in hysterics on Monday Dec. 19 in Haliburton. The scoring layup gave the home team a two point lead 16-14 to enter the halftime break after being down 14-11 a few minutes earlier.
However the visitors from Fenelon Falls Secondary School were unperturbed as they seemed to use the deficit as a catalyst in the third to get their first win of the league season. The Falcons came out scoring in the third. It took close to three minutes for them to score their first basket but they piled on the baskets and went on a 13-0 run before Haliburton scored their first bucket of the second half.
The Falcons won the quarter 15-4 and built what would become an insurmountable lead.
The red and white fought back and closed out the quarter strongly winning it 10-6 but couldn’t overcome the deficit built in the third.
Hawks head coach Gord Cochrane loved his team’s effort and willingness to execute on the things he has taught them this season. With a league game and a tournament cancelled the inexperienced team has sorely missed more action on the floor.
“It’s difficult. The one thing that is heartening for me is I work with them on shooting reverse layups. I work with them on shooting hook shots. I work with them on shooting jump shots and so they are now doing those things” he said. “I told them: They don’t have to go in at this point because it’s a brand new shot for you and you’re just developing it. They’re all improving and that’s the main thing.”
The main goal he said was to get everyone in the game and that’s what happened.
Some players made the most of their opportunities.
With limited minutes Hawks player Caden Little took full advantage of his few minutes in the fourth to score four points. Two of which were scored at the free throw line when the Hawks really needed to keep pace. His shots brought Haliburton to within four points late in the game. The Hawks couldn’t get the stops they needed and that was as close as the juniors would get to tying.
Cochrane said 19 turnovers in the second half and taking too many fouls didn’t help the cause to win their first game of the regular season (as of Wednesday morning Dec. 21).
He adds even before the game started the roster had to be shuffled with four players absent for the game because of sickness. To add to the roster issues two of his players fouled out in the fourth when the team was getting close to tying.
Despite the challenges the team is showing progress he said.
“They’re improving. They’re improving. They just need to play a lot more basketball because they’re getting the idea and they haven’t played enough. Many of these 10th graders didn’t play last year” he said.
The situational challenges on the court become heightened without game experience.
“They’re all working hard. They’re trying hard and I can’t ask for more than that” he said.
Hawks notes: Austin French and Steven Dudgeon led the Hawks with eight points.