Story by: Ronny Musikitele
CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI: The 2018 Mickey Place Memorial Basketball Tournament began in heartbreaking fashion for the Humber Hawks Men's basketball team after falling 92-90 against the University of Maine-Fort Kent Bengals. Three of the Hawks five preseason losses have all come from 3 points or less. Today's feeling seemed all too familiar, a trend that they plan on leaving behind in the preseason. Their offence showed a lot of promising signs as the ball was moving, and shots were falling. But it was their defence that struggled, as they let Jonathan Caldwell hit a total of nine threes. Caldwell's hot shooting ultimately led to the Hawks defensive meltdown as there was simply no answer for the guard from Oakland, California.
In the first quarter, Hawks guard Jordan Rose came out the gates firing as he hit multiple threes to start the game. The newly acquired Cy Samuels, who played in his first preseason action came out with some great energy. His presence was greatly felt from the locker room to the court, proving that he will be a major factor throughout the year. After trailing 16-12 with 3:00 minutes left, the Hawks finished the first quarter with a quick run led by Jalen Morgan to give them a 20-18 lead to end the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bengals began catching fire as they took a 40-31 lead with 4:00 minutes to go. The Hawks battled back and made a push of their own and went into halftime trailing 45-41. In the third quarter, the Hawks seemed to have made the right adjustments and began having the momentum back on their side. They took a 52-51 lead with 5:00 minutes to go, but the Bengals kept fighting back. Both teams caught fire from behind the yark, as they began exchanging back and forth three pointers. The crowd started to cheer loudly as both teams put on a show from downtown. The third quarter ended in a tie, 68-68 setting out to be another challenging ending for the Hawks.
Jonathan Caldwell began the fourth quarter with a personal 8-1 run, knocking down back to back threes and giving the Bengals a 76-69 lead with 9:00 minutes to go. The intensity of the game began to rise, and that's when an unsportsmanlike foul and a technical foul was called. The Hawks converted on their two free throws and narrowed their deficit 79-75 with 6:00 minutes left to the game. Unfortunately for the Hawks, there was still no answer for Caldwell, who made all his three point attempts in the fourth quarter. Despite fighting and managing to bring the game within 3 points with 15 seconds left, the Hawks had no answer on defence. They lost 92-90 in their first game of the 2018 Mickey Place Memorial Basketball Tournament.
They will look to bounce back against a tough Holland College team tomorrow.
We spoke with the newly acquired Cy Samuels about tonight's lost, what he is looking forward to and what he's learned thus far.
"Today, obviously we weren't too happy with the results of how things went, but as a whole, there's a lot of upsides. There's a lot of guys that can contribute to our success this season; it's just a matter of us blending. We have a lot of new guys myself included, so it's just a matter of adjustments. It's going to take some time, but the talent is there. I'm excited to see where we start and where we end. It's going to be a great journey. This is my first game, but I have seen some films, and I already see the adjustments we've made from Guelph to where we are now. We keep losing games by 1,2 or 3 and soon we're going to be on the other side of that, it's going to happen soon. We just need to get more comfortable with each other."