With nothing to play for but pride the Red Hawks senior boys basketball team showcased the skill and depth that has served them well all season.
The Hawks finished with a comfortable 56-42 win against the visiting Titans of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School on Thursday Feb. 6.
In light of the recent decision by the Trillium Lakelands District School Board to cancel extracurricular activities during school hours the Hawks’ season is now done.
Hawks coach Paul Longo was proud of his team and confirmed the finality of the season.
“This looks like our last game barring a miracle” he said. “It’s unfortunate we’re the only board in Ontario that is not allowing the extracurriculars to continue on at this point. With that said I’m proud of the boys and they showed a lot of heart in the second half. We were a little bit flat in the first half but I really liked the way we played in the second half. We played Haliburton ball. Good pressing. Caused some turnovers. We were patient with the offence. Worked the ball. Good buckets. We hit some shots and opened up the lead to finish off” he said.
He said the difference in the second half for his team was the improved team commitment to defence which limited the Titans’ shooting efficiency and how the team did grabbing rebounds and converting on the subsequent fast breaks for easy buckets.
The game was in jeopardy of not being held due to the board decision but St. Thomas rescheduled their departure to accommodate which Longo was grateful for.
“I’m really happy that St. Thomas was able to shift their schedule and come up and meet us for a 3:30 game. It’s not ideal but I’m really glad they were able to accommodate us and get up here” he said.
Despite the final score the Titans put up a valiant fight through much of the game before the Hawks could pull away for good.
“I give St. Thomas a lot of credit. They improved a lot since the last time we played them. They really worked hard and gave us a good battle tonight so a good way for us to end if that is the end” he said referring to the 64-46 win on Tuesday Dec. 17.
Although the Hawks were up by as many as nine points at the halftime break 22-13 the Titans narrowed the deficit to one with a few minutes left in the third.
Midway through the fourth quarter the Hawks were still unable to lose the tenacious Titans.
The game was tied 35-35. With a combination of strong execution and their increased pace of play the Hawks showed which team was superior led by the guard play of Brian Kim who finished with 11 in the fourth and 24 for the game to lead all players. The Hawks closed out the game with a 21 to 3 run and gave the home fans a lot to cheer for in what was likely the last game of the 2019-2020 season.
There are six graduating players but 11 first year seniors are expected back.
Longo said he made a point of playing all his players such as Nigel Smith who had been sidelined by a hamstring injury since October.
The youthful characteristic of the team is something that Longo will remember and makes him optimistic for next season.
“I’ll remember that we were a predominantly really young senior team and were able to compete with everybody and played hard ball and played very effectively. It really bodes well for next year and hopefully we have a contract settlement and everything will be back to normal and we’ll be playing some hard ball” he said.
The team finished with a 4-3 record according to COSSA results.
Due to the changing nature of this semester’s sports season details regarding upcoming games may change. Information is up to date as of Monday Feb. 10.
There has been some indication as the Minden Times goes to press that student athletes may be playing this week both in volleyball and basketball.