Sunday 29th October saw The Hawks away against Bedfordshire Thunder. The squad was short with only one sub on the bench. The tip was won by Tom White and the Hawks started with the first offence of the game. A quick fire pass from Lee Morris to Rimantis Norkeliunas to open the scoring of the game. Followed by a three pointer by Lee Morris to extend the opening lead to 5-0 in the first two offences. The first quarter saw both teams trading points. The hawks saw a lead of 22-19 with scoring contributions from Rimantis Norkeliunas, Lee Morris, Mubbasher Niaz and Russ Allan.
The second quarter allowed the hawks to pick up the pace and extend their scoring lead. Tom White getting vital rebounds on the defensive end to stop the opposition from getting any second chances. Although there weren’t as many points scored in the second half from either teams, the Hawks were able to control the pace of the game through an active offence, many of the points coming from drives to the rim. Lee Morris showing his shooting lit up with 3 of 3 from 3 point range in the first half. Ball movement was key to the first half and the hawks led 38-30 heading into the second half.
The third quarter carried on the same rate of play to begin with. Both teams moving the ball well on offence and getting Open looks at the basket, however the hawks weren’t able to capitalise on the opportunities. Many fouls getting committed in the third quarter allowed the opposition to convert at the free throw line and edge the lead down. Mistakes were being made on offence which led to the oppositions fast break scores. A change of lead occurred in the third quarter and the hawks were now on the back foot. A combination of fatigue and loss of motivation set into the closing end of the third quarter. The offence became stagnant and many of the offences became on shot. The opponents had their foot on the gas and were in the flow. The hawks were outscored 28-14 and the lead was now with Bedford Thunder 58-52.
The hawks were still in the game heading into the final quarter. However they weren’t able to convert shots into points. Slow to get back into defence, the opponents took their opportunities with a few fast breaks to extend the lead early into the quarter. The full court press was dropped by the opponents however the hawks took too long to set up into the offence, still with minimal movement due to fatigue. The bigs on the Thunder found ways to get the ball into the ring from under the ring, however Tom White was still able to block a majority of the drives from the smaller players and secure rebounds off of misses. Russ Allan was able to find another gear and pushed up the court and was able to draw the fouls to get to the free throw line. As the lead began to escape the grasp of the hawks in the final minutes of the game it was too much of a lead to close. Attempts were made to bring the game back however there was no second chances as the defence had covered the key and claimed any rebounds. The game ended 77-66.
Written By:- Mubbasher Niaz