The Horizon Hawks survived the weekend with a pair of wins, taking their league record to a perfect 8-0 on the season. The threat to that perfection came during their Friday home game against Condon/Wheeler, which ended with a score of 57-53.
“It was a good game,” said coach Darrin Lingel. “They threw a 1-3-1 defense and we don’t practice that much so it took a bit to get used to. The game slowed down a lot and we weren’t used to that flow.”
The surprise defense and tempo from Condon/Wheeler threatened to push the Hawks off their game, but they adjusted and kept their wits about them. With basketball, games are won by teams that can make changes whilst maintaining the core of their playstyle, and the Hawks did just that.
“We had to adjust for sure and the kids did really well with that,” said Lingel.
Senior Derek Johnston came up big for the Hawks with 27 points on 7/12 from the field and 10 free throws. He also recorded 10 rebounds, earning a double-double. It was that performance, combined with the Hawks’ determined will, that led them over Condon/Wheeler.
“He was able to beat his defender and take it to the rack multiple times,” said Lingel. “When he wants to take over the game and be the best player, he can do that.”
If Friday was a battle, Saturday was little more than a skirmish; the Hawks crushed Spray/Mitchell 71-47 with four players in the double digits for points. Coming off the big win at home, Horizon took the momentum and ran with it. Bailey Holste led the Hawks with 19 points, followed by Johnston and Alex Petshow with 12 each.
“We talked about how each game needs to be played with the mentality that we’re playing the best we’ve ever faced,” said Lingel. “We work hard to stay motivated against every team regardless of their record or whatnot.”
The Hawks will need to stay motivated this week, as they face another back-to-back situation this weekend. Both games are at home, Friday’s being against Echo and Saturday’s against Arlington.