The Hawks facing their 2nd of their 5 back to back road games, were preparing physically and mentally for their 8th game of the season. With only 7 players the Hawks were at the disadvantage however this did not phase them. With a few of the starters absent, Christain Haynes (7) and Jacob Juniper (9) Joining Mubbasher Niaz (13, Joshua Haddow (11) and Matt Flemming (14).
The tip off was won by the Opponents who wasted no time and went on a 9-0 run in the first 2 minutes. However Hawks were out of the game without a fight. Matt Flemming opened up the game for Hawks hitting 1 of 2 free throws which ignited another 2 baskets bringing the game to 9-5 in the Opponents favour. Once again the opponents opened up to another run bringing the game to 17-5. With a time out called the Hawks took the opportunity to re group and began a run with fast breaks and passes hitting the Hawks players as they got to the basket. Kyle Mantere drew the foul and finished as well as converting the free throw to take as vantage of the and 1 play. With picks being set to perfection the Hawks pressed the fast breaks with Matt Flemming and Joshua Haddow leading the pack. The Hawks got the better of the Opponents and forced them into the foul bonus giving the Hawks the upper edge as the first quarter began to round off, with final baskets scored by Joshua Haddow and Mubbasher Niaz the final score for the quarter was 29-20 in the Opponents favour.
Going into the Second quarter the Hawks put Karim Tadros on the court. Yet again the Hawks pushed the ball downhill and hit players on the fast break, however the opponents beginning to notice they dropped the press and played a half court. This caught the Hawks off guard and they weren’t able to finish at the rim although they got sent to the free throw line for the majority of the second quarters points. With a new sight the Opponents began to spread the play and hit passes to players ready to pop the 3 ball thus opening the lead. Coming onto the court Karim Tadros became a presence as he filled the key and deterred many possible drives by the opponent which led to many shots being put up. Joshua Haddow and Matt Flemming picking up the rebounds like apples from a tree, out letting it to Mubbasher Niaz who was ready to pass the ball full court to Jacob Juniper who had stretched the play and given the Hawks less pressure to bring the ball up. The second quarter ended up with the opponents edging a 29 point lead into the second half of the match.
Coach Lee recognising the play of the game gave very valuable instructions during the half which were taken into the 3rd quarter. Hawks with possession began the first quarter with a slick pass from Mubbasher Niaz to Matt Flemming who had timed his cut into the paint from a perfect screen set to him. Points were exchanged basket for basket as the Hawks failed to recognise the 5th man catching the fast break ball after a brilliant set play ( from the Hawks offence ). Joshua Haddow really began to light up the hall as he used his size advantage and skill advantage over his opponent. Putting up a remarkable display and range of offence from baskets beyond the ark in the face of the defender to dunks from smartly timed fast breaks. Joshua Haddow earning 13 points from the 3rd quarter alone, answering all of the Opponents offences. Also unwilling to let Joshua Haddow run the offensive show, Karim Tadros took a piece of the action himself as he gets to the bucket and putting the ball in whilst absorbing the contact, then converting the free throw in his and one. Christian Haynes locking down on the opponents hot shooter managed to keep their points down as the quarter was even point for point as both teams earned 22 points which meant the Hawks were still 29 down heading into the fourth quarter. The score being 88-59 to the opponents.
After a quick break the Hawks were ready to play the last quarter of the game. With a 29 point deficit there was going to need to be excellent play by Hawks on both ends of the court. The opponents didn’t take their foot of the gas as they continued to push the floor and getting into the their offence. However the Hawks had learned the plays and were anticipating every outcome ready to get a steal or a block. Matt Flemming stole the ball out of the air for the defensive play of the game which boosted the teams hunger for a win. The Hawks draw the opponents fouls and they are on the bonus by the 4th minute of the game. Yet again the Hawks are able to press the ball into the lane as the opponents step down in avoidance of getting cheap fouls. Jacob Juniper getting into the lane and drawing the foul. Converts both free throws and the score is getting closer. With a few minutes to go Christian Haynes subbed into the game to put pressure on the opponents on the wing, putting pressure and forcing wayward shots. The game is eventually settled as the opponents take the pink sheet with a 106-80 win over the Hawks. A good game was played and both teams shake hands leaving everything on the court in a very sportsman manner.
Written By: Mubbasher Niaz