The Hawks have begun the season at a slow pace. That’s a mild truth.
After beginning the season with a nice run during the LPC tip-off classic, they have faltered and fumbled and often look like their own worst enemy. Since the tournament, the team has lost four of their last five -their last by one basket in double overtime.
That game was against San Joaquin Delta College, at home this past Friday. It was heartbreaking to say the least, with a final score of 96-94.
That loss was preceded with a loss at home against Hartnell, which followed a loss against Butte. Guard B.T. Shabazz posted his best scoring numbers of his young season at LPC during that game with 27 points.
The teams only win since the opening was against Siskous College, a thin win of 70-69.
Around this time last season, then coach Tony Costello’s main goal was “to not allow so many second chance shots.”
Rebounding has historically been a slowly learned need for the team and one that was definitely reinforced by tough losses last year. Once that team did start crashing boards with both hands, the losses slowly became more rare and uncommon, when the team found themselves competing for the state championship.
This season, interim coach Ward Farris has not been able to reinforce the rebounding issue, yet. The season is still young and there are still two tournaments and two games until conference play begins in January.
The tournaments will be the best time for the young team to sort out their weaknesses and build on their strengths. One strength, B.T. Shabazz, is one that can really materialize with hard work. Shabazz is 32nd in the state for points-per-game and that ranking could find it’s way into the top 10 if the team can move the ball and dampen the attention he gets from defenders.
In the loss to Hartnell, sophomore forward Jacob Contreras played nearly the entire first half and logged three steal and seven points, albeit committing four personal fouls in the game. Freshman Juwann Springfield is also somebody who is a proven shooter, along with Kellen Sweetwyne who’s averaged 10.9 ppg along with 71 rebounds on the season.
Their division, the Coast Conference North Division, is one of the more competitive in the state and once play begins within the conference, every possession will count.
Their first is Jan. 11, against Foothill College at ‘The Nest.’