By Darren Lum
Two days after opening the season with a win on the road in Lindsay the Red Hawks dominated the visiting Brock High School Bulldogs 38-24.
The team is 2-0 on the season (as of Friday) and this is mainly owed to the team’s defence said coach Dave Waito.
“That press we’re putting up in the beginning is causing a lot of disruption and they’re playing really hard for it which is good. It’s one of the big advantages we got with the amount of experience we have on the team” he said referring to fourth and fifth year players. “We’re starting at a point this year where we were maybe midseason last year in terms of knowledge and understanding of the system. They’re doing a good job of that and playing within themselves and learning what the character of the team is going to be which it seems right now is defence and working the ball inside.”
Waito is happy for his team and pointed to forward Nick Thompson with his six early buckets to start the game well for the Hawks and Caleb Schmidt’s “hard nosed” defence.
Despite the domination Waito acknowledges his team’s letdown midway through the second quarter which he called defensive “complacency.”
“We’re still struggling with boxing out. They got a few offensive rebounds and they hit a couple of shots but they were getting the shots off of second chance points right. We need to do a better job of making sure we find some bodies when the shot goes up and we’re actually going to create some space to make the rebounding a lot easier. It’s really hard to keep momentum going if you’re letting those little things like offensive rebounds go. If they get two chances to put the ball in the hoop every time down the floor that’s going to hurt us” he said.
With the score tied at seven in the first quarter following a Brock timeout the Hawks regained control with a strong defensive stand for a 15-2 run to go into the halftime break with a 22-9.
Besides the stifling defence by the home team the Hawks were effective in working the ball inside.
However finishing the shot was another matter the coach said.
“Even though we were getting inside shots I think we were 30 or 32 per cent from the floor today so we’ve got to work on finishing a little more too” he said.
Brock did not drive the ball into the key and resorted to a perimeter game taking mainly jump shots inside and beyond the arc.
Waito was more than willing to let the Bulldogs shoot outside the paint and protect closer to the net.
The strategy worked as the Bulldogs only finished with a total of 12 points in the game and nine in the final quarter from three three-pointers.
Although the Bulldogs won the final quarter 13-6 the Hawks’ lead was insurmountable as it had easily outscored the visitors in every quarter before.
Thompson led the Hawks with 10 points in a physical game and Schmidt also contributed six points in the win. Post players Jalen Campbell and Travis Carroll both chipped in with four points. McKay Coneybeare also scored four points in the win.
With just six shooting fouls awarded to both teams the officials weren’t calling very many fouls.
Hawks forward Hunter Smith had four of the six shooting fouls and earned five points on eight attempts. He could have easily made a case for at least four more fouls against him as he regularly drew contact on a dozen drives.
A greater challenge for the team will be in week when they square off against the Falcons of Fenelon Falls Secondary School in Haliburton on Dec. 14 Waito said.
“Those guys will be more of a force than what we’ve played against. It’ll be a good gauge to see where we’re really at” he said.