After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Tuesday against Kenowa Hills, the Hawks longed for a win to redeem themselves. The boys’ freshmen team had the perfect chance against their rival Catholic Central. The last matchup ended with Eastern losing by 1, and was filled with a lot of trash talk from both sides.
The game started rocky, with several turnovers and an injury to electrifying guard Logan Jacobs. Following the rough start, Sawyer Donley and Eega Ntanyl came up with big defensive plays and scored tough 2-pointers. The full-court defense worked exceptionally well against CC’s weak ball handling. After two timeouts by Catholic Central, frustrations grew as Catholic Central made many more mistakes. Eventually, at the end of the first, the Hawks held an extravagant lead, 20-9, after a deep mid-range by Kenric Penkevich.
Eastern struggled against Catholic Central kicking off the second quarter but turned it around after a two-pointer by Tyson Hunting. The score was kept close at the mid-way of the second quarter following a couple of baskets by CC. Then, the game took a sudden turn after the Cougars took a slight lead at the end of the 2nd, causing the Hawks to take a timeout. The Hawks persevered through the hardship and started to go on a run of offensive points and stops. Notably, Eega Ntanyl made a challenging layup to end the half 28-32 in favor of the Cougars.
Beginning the third, Hunter Morris scored a three-ball off an incredible step-back. The middle of the third started slow until Sawyer Donley made a play to Kenric Penkevich for the three, tying the game at 34-34. The Hawks took their first timeout of the second half. After a well-developed fast break, Ben Fausey hit a pull-up three to bring the game closer. Afterward, Eega Nyanyl hit a midrange with a minute to spare. In the rest of the third, there were many poor decisions made by CC, leading to turnovers. The third quarter ended 43-47.
The Hawks kicked off the 4th quarter with a Sawyer Donley block. In the next possession, Eega Ntanyl took a shot after a
crossover. Hunter Morris threw a dime to Nytanyl, leading to a three that tied the game. The next possession for CC show into a turnover after poor communication. Utilizing the turnover, the Hawks came up with a three, now leading the game. CC seemed to have been collapsing after a scoring drought, but eventually, they equalized with a three. Tied at 52-52, Eastern took a timeout to recollect themselves. Following the timeout, Tyson Hunting hit a three. CC answered back with a shot of theirs. With 3 minutes left, Eega was fouled and knocked down both free throws to set the Hawks up by two. After these clutch free throws, CC never had an opportunity to win due to the number of poor fouls. After the Hawks led by 6, CC had no choice but to foul, since there wasn’t much time. Hunter Morris, Ben Fausey, and Eega Ntanyl knocked down free throws to seal the game, giving Eega 31 points, and the Hawks +1 to their record, winning scoring 64-58. In conclusion, the Hawks overcame hardship, utilizing resilience to win the game, after suffering a loss against them last time.