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Last home game ends in a loss and a farewell to sophomores

LIVERMORE — On Feb. 10, the Hawks hosted their last home game of the 2022-23 season against Skyline College. It was Sophomore Night to honor the sophomores who will be departing from the nest onto their future chapters in life. 

In Las Positas second matchup against Skyline, they lost 72-31 after being outperformed by field goals and lacking possession. Their first matchup ended in a 67-44 loss.

Skyline started off hot and took advantage of the Hawks’ slow start to the game. They led 12-4 when a timeout was called with five minutes left in the first quarter. 

Skyline continued its hot reign over the Hawks with a 9-3 run. The Hawks made its first of five three pointers, scored by sophomore guard and forward Semaj Steen, to make the score 21-10.

The Hawks tried to keep the deficit the same and stay within the game. They finished the first quarter with a nine point deficit of 21-12. 

The Hawks started the second quarter the way they wanted to start the first, a scoring run in their favor. The Hawks opened the second quarter with a 9-5 drive in the first five minutes. 

The final five minutes of the second quarter put the pressure on the Hawks, as Skyline made more field goals on possessions or off of LPC’s mistakes. 

At halftime, the Hawks had to regroup and find ways to improve to close out the game. 

“I told them it was a game that could be won. We just had to execute it down the stretch and in the third quarter. We had to come out hot and shoot the three. We did seek it out, but we did not have as much success knocking it down,” Theodore said. 

The Hawks started the third quarter warm with a three-pointer in their first possession. After stopping Skyline’s attempt to score on their first possession, the Hawks made two points on their second possession. A 5-0 start for the Hawks who want to fly back into the game. 

However, throughout the final quarters, the Hawks couldn’t be efficient at the line. Cavness missed 2 free throws, which would’ve put the Hawks down by ten instead of 12 when they were down 47-35 against Skyline. From this point onward, Cavness wouldn’t make any of her free throws in the game. 

Skyline extended their lead to 25 points, 60-35, at the end of the third quarter. 

Skyline showed no signs of slowing down despite their huge lead in the fourth quarter. They finished their victory with a 12-6 fourth quarter over the Hawks, who took another double digit loss at the nest by a score of 72-41. 

“I think, ultimately, it comes down to making shots. I’ve been very clear with our group that our goal is to make 35 field goals in a game if we want to be competitive. I believe we made 16 field goals tonight. We’re working towards it and there’s been steady improvement. We’ve had a couple 20 or more field goal games. That’s what it’s going to take for us to be successful in this league,” Theodore said. 

Las Positas sophomores Steen and Karina Mora, believe it was small rotation and confidence that contributed to their tough loss against their conference opponent.

“I think us only having six players and two of us six being injured, we definitely needed a lot more conditioning. It’s something that couldn’t be helped with such a low rotation. We did good at pushing through. We just needed a little extra push to help us get back,” Steen said. 

“We didn’t realize we had the court open. We were open to take confident shots, but some of our shots were not confident. We were hesitant when we should’ve taken more of them confidently” Mora said. 

The season is almost over for the Hawks with two final road games at Mission and Ohlone Colleges.

From the team’s perspective, they look to practice on passing and their performance on both ends of the court. Theodore is looking to improve on their pace and style of play in the game, especially against their last opponents. 

“How we plan to be successful against those two teams in particular is pretty similar to what we did tonight, which is play at a slower controlled pace, and that’s going to allow us to be successful against guards that like to be fast. When you slow them down, those guards are no longer as effective,” said Theodore.

After next week, that will be it for the sophomores’ time playing for the Hawks. The departing sophomores present at tonight’s game look back at their fond memories with their team, their family, and how they’ve improved throughout the season. 

“I think I enjoy most of the times we spend on the road in our van singing along to songs, the times we get to eat out after games, in the locker room. Just any time I am with my team and we get to laugh, joke around, and be ourselves. I think I’ll miss the family aspect of being with the team,” Steen said.

“I think we’ve improved a lot… passing to our chest, to our numbers, has improved a lot. We’ve gotten to see who’s good at what and use that to our advantage. We’ve been able to see the court open, keep cheering our teammates even if something went bad. A lot of our team bonding helped us a lot,” Mora said. 

Though the team will miss its sophomore teammates, the majority of the group will likely remain as the Hawks are a majority of freshmen. Theodore thinks with his returning core, there is hope for improvement and development in order to compete with conference rivals. 

“We’ve got a lot of things to work on in the offseason if we want to be competitive next year. City College of San Francisco is always going to have a great roster, so will Chabot and Skyline. If we want to have success this year, it’s going to come down to the time spent out of the regular season,” Theodore said.

“If they’re able to do all the things I know they’re capable of, it’ll be a different outcome next season.” 

Gibran Beydoun is a freelance writer for Express. Follow him @Gibran580MSCM.

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