By Darren Lum
Published Jan. 15 2019
A slow start didn't hurt the Hawks in their bid to stay among the best of Kawartha.
The junior basketball team returned from the holidays with the expected lethargy of post-holiday hangover (the over eating of rich foods kind) when they hosted the Brock Bulldogs.
At the end of the first quarter the Hawks held a narrow 7-6 lead.
Like any strong contender the Hawks found their gear and pulled ahead of the visitors in the second half scoring 27 points and allowing 16 points (some of which scored when the game was out of reach) to win the game handily beating the Bulldogs 47-24.
Hawks head coach Paul Longo anticipated the slow start for his team.
“It was predictably kind of ugly at the start but we had moments of nice stuff going on there. We played good D most of the game. We need to keep working on our rebounding and the third quarter offensively we started to hit our stride and our press worked really well” he said.
Longo pointed out a win against a single A school is always welcomed since it has playoff implications.
He adds the transition from a three-quarter press to a half-court press seemed to work in the Hawks' favour by the second half. Longo points out the entire team from the starters to the second and third unit groups applied the press after each bucket they scored.
“Guys are buying in. They know what they need to do. It didn't matter who was on the floor” he said.
The win gives the Hawks a three game winning streak and places them third in the Kawartha West division as of Friday Jan. 11. The Hawks are 4-2 two points behind second place I.E. Weldon and four points behind first place Lindsay Collegiate Vocational Institute Spartans who they will host on Tuesday Jan. 15. Tip-off is at 3 p.m. With the loss the Bulldogs have lost six consecutive games and drop to 1-6 in the Kawartha West division. The Bulldogs are a distant fifth place in the Kawartha West division and tied with Campbellford for the 16 spot (as of Friday Jan. 11) in all of Kawartha.
Longo acknowledged the disparity between the two teams. However he doesn't take anything for granted.
“It was a  point game at the half and you know what? Anything can happen. We had to buckle down in the third quarter and make a statement we're a team that should be winning these kinds of games” he said.
The team was scheduled to play I.E. Weldon earlier in the week for their first game after the holidays but a school bus cancellation for the region postponed the game and will be rescheduled.
Defence continues to be a strength for the Hawks this season.
Through six games the team has only given up 171 points. The only teams to allow less are Kawartha South's top three teams of St. Mary Catholic Secondary School with 128 Cobourg with 152 and Norwood with 162 who have all played five games one less than the Hawks.
Another quality for this team is its depth.
Longo appreciated his bench players for what they did offensively and cleaning up the glass.
Hawks player Carson Phillips not only pitched in with four points but also impressed on the defensive end Longo said. The coach also liked Tyler Martin who he called a “beast on the floor.”
Small forward Bronson McCord who is in Grade 9 had a “nice little defensive play at the end and then he almost made that bucket so it's nice to see our young guys starting to feel confident when they get on the floor.”
These contributions don't surprise the long-time basketball coach.
“We're 12 deep … We've got some guys that are plugging away and learning. On any given day anybody can be on that floor and contribute” he said.