Game Story by Ronny Musikitele
Hamilton, ON - Friday night was a very entertaining game, if you were a Hawks fan. The Hawks were up against a tough crowd in their second regular season game at the David Braley Athletic Centre. The gym was packed and the special olympics Ontario basketball team also made a guest appearance. The 55 points coming from the bench and the 25 points scored off turnover helped prevail the Hawks to a commanding 109-74 victory over the Mohawks Mountaineers.
In the first quarter, the Mohawks Mountaineers took advantage of their home court advantage, as they converted on multiple big shots. The Mountaineers controlled the game early and maintained their lead throughout the quarter. With 1:12 minutes to go in the first, the Mountaineers took a 22-16 looking to run away with the game. Coach Samson wasted no time and called a timeout. That's when everything changed for the Hawks. Coming off the timeout, Jerome Gayle nailed a big three pointer, and in the ensuing play, he hit a highly contested layup in the paint. This fired up the Hawks, and help them go into the second quarter down one, 22-21.
The Hawks started the second quarter on fire. After three big steals leading to fast breaks, Curwin Elvis hit an incredible And1 layup. The Hawks followed up with an 11-0 run with only two minutes into the second quarter. With all the momentum on the Hawks side, Curwin converted on another incredible layup. Jaylen Morgan then followed up with back to back threes. It became a clear indicator that the Hawks were about to put on a show. After a dunk by Milos Mladjan, the Mountaineers fans got back into the game. But Fowzi Mohamoud silenced them right back after nailing a 3 pointer, keeping the Hawks hot quarter alive. Jerome Gayle then got a put-back slam that got his teammates even more fired up. After a half court shot by Terrance Lennox on the Mountaineers, the Hawks went into halftime with a 54-40 lead.
In the third quarter, Jalen Brown's aggressive play helped keep the Hawks double digit lead still intact. Midway through the third, it was the Hawks defence that took over the game. Despite shooting a low field goal percentage, they prevented the Mountaineers to get any type of offensive momentum. After consecutive steals leading to back to back fast breaks, Micqueel Martin put the icing on the cake after a big dunk. This gave the Hawks a 20 point lead, 73-53 with 1:00min left in the third.
The Hawks silent the big crowd in the fourth quarter. Their athleticism appeared to be too much for the Mountaineers to keep up with. The Hawks began the quarter with a 13-5 run in the first 3:00minutes. They took a 92-62 lead midway through the fourth quarter making a statement. Salum Saady helped the Hawks reach the century mark in a fancy way, with a no-look pass followed by a big three pointer making the Hawks bench get off their seats. In all, it was a very impressive win for the Hawks. They not only blew out the Mohawks Mountaineers in a tough opposing crowd, but did so in a very entertaining way. The Hawks came ou with a big 109-74 victory. A total of five players finished in double digits. Curwin Elvis finished with a game-high 22 points and shot 75% from the field.
We spoke to Curwin about the Hawks big win and his highlight plays after the game.
"I think we had a very difficult preseason. We saw a lot of things we did well and a lot of things we did wrong. Our extensive preseason scheduled prepared us for what we need to do in the regular season. We try to do what we're good at, that's pushing the ball in transition and find our shooters."
When asked about his incredible layups he said:
"I have to thank my teammates for pushing the ball and seeing me in spots they think I could be successful. Everytime I go to the rim. I try and out the ball in glass and give it a chance to go in."