The Hawks welcomed the Saints Wednesday evening to the Leisurezone still trying to find their first league win in the Essex League. The night started well, good early defensive effort saw the Hawks run out an 8-4 lead after 2 three pointers from Niaz and Morris. The Hawks picked up two more when White was sent to the free throw line following an unsportsmanlike foul following a kick and elbow from the Saints point guard as he ran into White’s screen. The Hawks found themselves still in the lead halfway into this quarter however as the bench then rolled in the same early intensity on defence dropped and the Saints went on a 14-0 run to end the first quarter closing it 20-10.
The Hawks struggled to contain some good shooting from the Saints as they opened the second with 13 and 11 for the Saints causing the Hawks problems as they dropped three’s from the outside. The defence remained flat throughout the second quarter, the early noise that had dominated the first quarter fell and silence rang around. On the offensive end Hawks struggled to find the bucket against a physical Saints team. Scores did come from White, Allan, Evans and Whytock, however the Saints followed their opening 20 point quarter with another in the second. At the half the Hawks were down 40-23.
The third quarter followed a similar pattern as the second, the Hawks struggled to find the basket on the offensive end with only Allan, Whytock and Niaz finding the basket in the third to combine for 12 points. Turnovers this time were the cause as Hawks rushed offense and seemed to lack ideas at times as they tried to break down the inside. The defense upped the tempo as the team became more vocal and rediscovered their voice early on as they left the half time talk. However as the half progressed and the Saints started to score consistently the noise fell again.
The 4th quarter started silent and as a result the 5 players found themselves hitting the bench as Coach Niaz pulled them for a lack of effort on defence and rolled in the changes after 1 minute. This change produced some fire from the bench with the defence stepping up and stopping the Saints opening there scoring for the next 4 minutes of the quarter. Scores from Ramirez and White started to spark the idea of a comeback however the Saints then hit a big 3 from number 13 who’d caused problems throughout. The changes then rolled to see out the game a late score came from Evans to seal the night off for the Hawks as they continue to search for a win in the Essex League.