By Zach Hicks
The Warhawks men’s basketball team flexed their muscles this weekend, validating their No. 3 ranking in d3hoops.com’s top 25 poll, by maintaining a perfect record with wins against the Aurora University Spartans and the Carthage College Red Men, clinching the Carthage Classic title, held in Kenosha, Wis.
Six players scored in double figures for the ’Hawks in their 107-68 victory over the Spartans. Sophomore guard Quardell Young led the way with 24, followed by freshman forward Darnell Harris who had 13, junior guard Cody Odegaard, 13, junior guard Eric Bryson with 12, sophomore guard KJ Evans added 11 and senior forward Luke Knoble scored 10.
“The number one thing that came out of the games was that a number of guys stepped up at different times,” head coach Pat Miller said. “The other important thing was the number of contributions across the board.”
Young has provided a spark to the team’s hot start so far this season, averaging 17.3 points per game and 3.3 steals per game.
“Quardell is playing with a lot of confidence right now,” Miller said. “We were able to get him into space at times. He is a dynamic athlete.”
Young, a Kenosha native, was excited to be able to show off his skills in his hometown while donning a Warhawk jersey on his back.
“The support was the same,” Young said. “It was nice to be back home [in Kenosha]. I’ve got support both here and there [in Whitewater.] A lot of players stepped up and contributed in a lot of different spots.”
The 3-0 ’Hawks have relied heavily on their deep guard play so far this year. In addition to Young’s team-best 17.3 ppg., junior guard Eric Bryson is second in points with 13.3 ppg.
Evans who has started the last two games after coming off of the bench in the season opener, is third in points with 11.7 ppg. and Odegaard is fourth on the team with 10.7 ppg.
The ’Hawks’ second game of the tournament was closely contested against the Red Men, an in-state rival and the hosts of the tournament.
At the half, the ’Hawks led the way with a 39-24 lead. But the Red Men stormed out of the locker room after halftime, with a 13-4 run, pulling up to 43-37.
From there on, the game was a battle, but the ’Hawks sealed the victory in the waning seconds of the game off of three free throws by Bryson, securing the 74-69 victory.
The ’Hawks next play Dec.1 at UW-Stout in Menomonie, Wis.