Hilbert college men’s basketball team won a nail-biter over Keuka College earlier this month, by the score 98-97.
The game was an extremely exciting contest for the fans as it went back and forth all afternoon long with the Hawks holding on after Keuka had a chance to win the game with the game’s final possession.
Hilbert started the game on fire being up as many as 13 points at one point in the first half, before going down early in the second half. However, they closed out the game strong and ended up winning the game by one point.
Any fan who bought a ticket was definitely entertained, but these games can be tough for the coaching staff to watch. Head coach Rob deGrandpre was happy that his team managed to hold on to the game and get the win, but not overly pleased with how they played.
“I like our start, I don’t like the fact that we give up a lot of points,” deGrandpre said. “It puts a lot of pressure on us to rally. I’m sure the people who bought a ticket tonight got their money’s worth but that’s not how we draw it up,”
One key to the high score was the amount fouls taken by Hilbert’s defense. To start the second half the hawks had seven defensive fouls in the first five minutes. That’s a lot of free points to be handing out to the opposing team.
“Usually in practice we certainly harp on defending without fouling,” deGrandpre said regarding the Hawks’ foul troubles. “It really comes back to being fundamental. You’ve got to be a disciplined team if you want to have success. And while we try to take advantage that when other teams do it, we can’t do that and expect to win games”.
A huge positive in Saturday’s win was the way bench stepped up for the Hawks, scoring 39 points. deGrandpre pointed out, “The good news for us is we have other guys that can step up and contribute and they did for us tonight. One of the keys going into the game was for the bench to contribute and give us a lift.”
One of those bench players that provided the team a huge lift was Kyreese Fisher who had five points in the Hawks win Saturday afternoon. He provided a spark on defense and was trusted to be on the floor in the final minute with the hawks protecting a lead.
“Coming off the bench I just try to focus on my defense because I need to ty and bring energy to the game,” Fisher said. “The easiest way for me to do that is being up on defense and pressuring the opponent.”
Another Hawk who really brought his game was senior Alex Karamanos, who played 27 minutes for the hawks and scored 24 points in the contest. He was very energetic and physical all night long being hard to handle for Keuka.
“We’re all really close and we all trust each other that any five of us can make a shot and I think that’s how we keep our composer and it worked out pretty well,” Karamanos said.
The Hawks are now 4-1 on the season and will play their next game on Tuesday November 26th at 6:00pm in University of Pittsburgh Bradford.