This game between the Hawks and the Vikings started out as a battle that was back and forth, and both teams never let up the entire game. At the half, the score was only a 3-point deficit, with the Hawks leading the Vikings 35-32. These two teams met for the second time this season, and they picked up right where they left off. The first meeting on January 7th was also a very dramatic ending that was forced into overtime; the Hawks would go on to win 72-64. Throughout the game the Hawks seemed to spread the wealth around to all of the players and were firing on all cylinders. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings came into the game very well prepared and tried their best to control the game in their favor and make every possession count.
TJ Williams (pictured right) was the leader on the court for the Hawks, and recorded a double-double on the night. Williams ended the night with 17 points, and came down with 13 total rebounds. However, the Hawks did do a very great job with working as one unit in this one. As a team they had 16 assists, and a total of 35 rebounds, every player on the Hawks would bring in at least one rebound. Team chemistry, hustle, and focus is what separated the Hawks in this win.
This win for the Hawks was well deserved, and the players never gave up from start to finish. The most positive aspect on this game was the fact that the players are showing that they are still hungry for wins, and are still determined to be the Big 8 champions. This late in the season is when teams want to peak and be at their best. The Hawks have a great coaching staff, with that being said; it is showing because these are the close games that you want to win at the end of the season to make a run at the championship. "This is where a player's mental toughness and resilience really show," says, Assistant Coach Nicholas Podesta. The Hawks are showing that they are mentally tough and physically tough, especially this late in the season when mostly every player is not 100%.
Next, the Hawks will face American River College at their court on Tuesday, February 4th at 5:30 PM. The Beavers have an overall record 3-17, and a record of 0-8 in the Conference, ranking them last in the Big 8. The Hawks cannot take the Beavers lightly because it is still a Conference game and anything is possible. Wise words from Coach Podesta on this late in the season match ups, when wins matter the most is "We know what we need to do to win games and be most effective. It's just a matter of execution."