Hawks welcomed Bower Park Bucks to the Leisurezone for the first game of the new year. The Hawks were hoping for a change in fortunes since the start of last season. The game opened with a lot of promise, good ball movement and rotation see them open with some easy scores as Morris and White connected for some easy looks. Early foul trouble caused problems for the Hawks as a mix up in numbers see White hit the bench with 6 minutes gone on the clock. The Bucks made the most of the big man hitting the bench and attacked the middle of the paint for some easy scores. After opening up a 7 point lead the Hawks then found themselves on the other side of an 11-0 run. A late free throw from Haddow added a consolidation point to the quarter as the Hawks went in at the end of the first down 16-13.
The game remained close in the second. The Hawks were moving the ball well with scores from Haddow as he provided a throwback performance cutting down the lane with some solid moves and post looks. However it was still not enough to claw back the lead. The Bucks continued to use their athleticism to power through the middle and attack the basket, whilst also picking up offensive rebounds due to a lack of focus from the Hawks. Scores from Evans and Patterson added some points for the Hawks, however it was still not enough to make a difference as the Hawks went into the half down 41-28.
The second half opened with the Hawks taking it to the Bucks, Norkeliunas went strong to the basket unfortunately though he was unable to convert from the free throw line to trim the lead. Niaz hit a three to make up for the misses however the Bucks then found their rhythm again after some turnovers from the Hawks. Scores from Allan, White and Norkeliunas kept the Hawks in touch and the lead to around 10 points. However as soon as the Hawks took a step forward they seemed to take one back. The score at the end of the third was down to a difference of a 11. Bucks lead 53-42.
After a stern team talk at the end of the third Hawks went out in the final quarter determined to make up the difference however inexperience at the guard positions see the ball turnover multiple times and the Hawks start the quarter on the wrong side of a 10-0 run. Coach Niaz then rolled the changes with all 5 players hitting the bench. it had some impact with the Hawks finding some rhythm on offense and lowering the number of turnovers. Scores from Norkeliunas and Niaz kept the Hawks in touch however the lead was well and truly gone now with time running out. The game finished 75-57 to the Bucks.
Written By:- Tom White