Young Warhawks endure rough start to season

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Dec. 10, 2014 By Justin St. Peter

After four starters graduated from last year’s third place team, growing pains were expected for the Warhawks this year as they have lost as many games (five) this season as they did all of last year.

The ’Hawks faced a tough stretch playing four teams that were ranked in the D3hoops top 25. The ’Hawks began that stretch with losses to both George Fox University and DePauw University.

On Nov. 25, they were able to win a tight game on the road against Illinois Wesleyan 75-72 for its win of the year.

They then fell to the No. 13 ranked UW-Oshkosh Titans in their home WIAC opener 72-58.

Head coach Keri Carollo said she was disappointed with the team’s performance.

“We don’t take care of the ball the way we should, so we have to continue to value the basketball and make decisions when we have opportunities on the offensive end,” Carollo said. “We are just not very disciplined at times defensively. We allow teams to put runs together, which is tough, particularly when you are playing against a good team.”

The Titans were nearly perfect from the field to begin the game making 14 of their first 18 shots. They were leading 31-21 before the ’Hawks defensive pressure was ratcheted up to go on a 9-2 run to end the half. The ’Hawks forced three turnovers in that span, and freshman guard Brooke Trewyn turned it into seven points.

The Titans then got hot from the field in the second half again, making their first seven field goals to lead 47-36 with less than four minutes into the second half.

The ’Hawks then went on a 10-2 run at the 7:14 mark in the second half. After pulling within four points, 60-56, the Titans then scored the next seven points to put the game away. Eight of the last 12 Titans points were from the free throw line.

“We were all just thinking that we really could win the game, and we just had to play better defense,” junior guard Abbie Reeves said. “It was a good game, and it just didn’t fall the way we wanted to.”

The Titans shot 50 percent to the ’Hawks 39.7 percent from the field for the game. The Warhawks never led in the game.

The ’Hawks were led by Trewyn who had 17 points and seven rebounds. Freshman center Kate McCay was the only other Warhawk in double figures, posting 10 points and six rebounds.

On Dec. 6, the ’Hawks traveled to face the UW-Platteville Pioneers and fell 90-84 on the road.

After an early 4-0 lead, the Warhawks spent most of the first half trailing by double digits. Sophomore guard Andrea Olsen finished the first half with a three-point play, to bring the ’Hawks within seven at 43-36.

The ’Hawks continued to chip away at the lead and brought it to 74-71 with 4:17 left in the game before four straight Pioneers Points. Reeves then drained a three and sophomore forward Lisa Palmer hit a free throw to bring it to 78-75.

The Pioneers made 11 out of 12 free throws from the line in the last minute to close the game out and secure the 90-84 victory.

“We really didn’t get stops,” Reeves said. “We could score pretty much anytime we wanted. You can’t really win games when the other team scores 90 points.”

Reeves led the ’Hawks with 18 points and five rebounds.

Three ’Hawks were in double figures off the bench. Olsen contributed 14 points and junior guard/forward Jaya Perkins had 11. Freshman guard Malia Smith had 12 points and seven rebounds as well.

The ’Hawks will face another tough test when they host No. 9 Wheaton College at 7 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the Kachel Gymnasium.

Carollo looks forward to see the team grow throughout the year.

“With a new group all playing together for the first time, it is a challenge for them to gel quickly,” Carollo said. “We are waiting for that light bulb to go on, and once it does, we will be a tough team.”

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