Hawks Are No Longer Undefeated at Home
If there is one common trait amongst Baltimore sports teams, it has to be winning most home games. Up until last night, the Hawks hadn’t lost a home game. They felt that they were representing the city well, and didn’t believe anyone would take them out at home. Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Jersey Express players didn’t buy into that belief. They were riding into Baltimore on a six game winning streak, and looked to keep that going at St. Frances Academy Academy. This shared winning mentality was on full display from the tip-off to the last buzzer.
In the first quarter, Jersey Express controlled most of the game. Point guard Donald Hennie (Express) was hot behind the three point line while center Almin Hodzic (Express) was having his way under the basket. Both players led their team to an early 14-9 lead. With three minutes left in the quarter, the Hawks began to wake up. PG Terry Hosley (Hawks) jump shot was back to its usual effectiveness and PF Juwand Rheubottom (Hawks) provided some much needed points in the post. Behind their play, the Hawks went on a 12-5 run to end the quarter up by five (29-24).
With her team going into the second quarter down five, coach Blount inserted shooting guard Travis Conyers for a much needed offensive spark, and he definitely came through. Conyers and guard Bashir Grimes (Express) combined for eleven of the team’s twenty-four points in the quarter. Jersey Express was also beating the Hawks on the boards. They
nearly doubled the Hawks in second chance possessions in the second, and later throughout the game. By the end of the second quarter, Jersey took back the lead by one, and went into the locker room with a 48-47 lead.
Knowing their undefeated home record was on the line, the Hawks started the third quarter determined to get the lead back, but Jersey matched their efforts. Both teams were shooting effectively, but Jersey still dominated the boards. At the five minute mark the game, the score was 64-60 Express, and coach Blount decided to bring Conyers back in the game. He once again provided an offensive spark for Jersey by scoring eight points and two assist in the quarter. Express also continued to out rebound the Hawks by a three to one advantage. The Hawks fought back to keep the score close, but saw themselves
down 85-71 at the end of the third.
Going into the fourth quarter, the Hawks knew they had a challenge on their hands, being down fourteen, but refused to give up their undefeated home record so easily. Though they were losing the battle for rebounds, the Hawks transition defense picked up. They caused six turnovers and turned nearly all of them into points. Their efforts got them back into the game with two minutes left, as the score read 107-109 Express, but Jersey went back to what worked for them earlier. They once again began to dominate the offensive boards, and Adams (Express) and Conyers (Express) provided most of the scoring. The
final score read 117 – 111 Express, and the Hawks were feeling the pain they’ve caused for many other teams this season, a home loss.
Despite this loss, the Hawks did prove they were fighters, another staple of Baltimore sports teams. Though their fans were disappointed, they left the gymnasiums knowing their team fought hard, and stood firm behind the team. The Hawks have an opportunity to show their resilience next Saturday, February 7th, as they face the Fayetteville Flight at home. Will they use this loss as motivation, and come up with another home win? We will have to wait until next Friday to find out. See you there.