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Basketball: Two wins in six days for Hawks

Lifestyle / Thu 21st Nov 2013 am30 11:28am

Hatfield Magic 42 v 61 Harlow Hawks TWO wins out of two in the space of six days has certainly ignited Harlow Hawks’ promotion ambitions in division two of the Herts Basketball League.

Shab Niaz’s men followed up their narrow 84-82 victory at Herts Warriors with a 61-42 thumping of Hatfield Magic on Monday.

The first quarter started impressively for the Hawks who were up 11-2 within four minutes of the quarter. Once again Lee Morris scoring 5 of those points including a three pointer. However, Rimantas Norkeliunas and Sam Kmita combining for 12 points to take the lead by 14 points. Harlow cruised out the first quarter with ease which finished Magic 9 Hawks 23.

The second quarter was a complete reverse of the first and one which the Hawks will want to forget only managing to score 6 points in the entire quarter. Hatfield Magic caught the Hawks napping in defence and managed to bring the score back to within 1 point scoring 19 points. Turnovers and cheap fouls led to this poor performance and leading Coach Shab Niaz having to call a time out to regain team composure. The scores at half-time were Magic 28 Hawks 29. Coach Niaz led the players outside the hall for a solid team talk in order to turn the game around.

The team talk did not seem to get through at first as Magic took the lead by 2 points in the opening minute. The Hawks started trading baskets with Magic and baskets from Russ Stonehouse and Tom White getting on the scoresheet in the first couple of minutes to keep Hawks in the game, this led to Coach Niaz making some changes as the team needed to step up a level. It was in the 4th minute that Harlow found another gear and went on an 18-2 run in the last 6 minutes of the quarter. Points came from across the team including Rimantas Norkeliunas, Sam Kmita, Russ Allan, Russ Stonehouse, Stuart Burgess, plus a three pointer from Roan Lenihan for the last basket of the quarter. Hawks increased their lead by 13 points ending the quarter Magic 37 Hawks 50.

Harlow never gave up the lead and kept the pressure on Magic throughout the fourth quarter. High intensity defence and some neat steals caused the Magic continued problems as they turned over the ball only for the Hawks to capitalise with a few fast breaks. Rimantas Norkeliunas scored five of the eleven points in the fourth quarter and other baskets came from Tom White, Roan Lenihan and Steve Martin. The Magic could not break down the Hawks defence and managed to score only 5 points for the whole quarter. Hawks capped off a topsy-turvy evening with another impressive away win. The quarter finished Magic 42 Hawks 61.
Hawks’ consecutive run of away games ends in Aylesbury on Sunday night, when they face the Dux.

HARLOW: S.Kmita 12, R.Norkeliunas 12, R.Allan 8, L.Morris 7, R.Lenihan 7, T.White 4, R.Whytock 4, R.Stonehouse 3, S.Martin 2, S.Burgess 2, S.Friedner

Previously Harlow had travelled to Bushey to play Herts Warriors in their run of mid-week fixtures and with a full team of 12 players.

Harlow started the first quarter strong with Lee Morris scoring all Hawks’ 10 points in the first 4 minutes including two three pointers. The Warriors however, replied equally and matched Hawks for points. Harlow started to pull away, with 17 points by the 7th minute only for Warriors to keep scoring points and taking the lead briefly. Harlow managed to level the scoring in the final minute and the quarter finished Warriors 21 Hawks 21.

Harlow kept the momentum from the first quarter and started well in the second quarter. Points started to come more readily with big plays from the Russ’ Allan and Stonehouse. It was a much better quarter from the Hawks with a better operating defence and stopping Warriors getting a hold in the game. Coach Shab Niaz was using the bench to good effect with points for Craig Lovett and Roan Lenihan. The half-time scores were Warriors 35 Hawks 43.

In the third quarter the Warriors came out more aggressively and started to gain some ground and by mid-way through the third quarter Warriors had 44 points to Hawks’ 46 points. Over the next few minutes Hawks pulled away again making 8 points back to back to increase the lead by 10 points. There was some great play this quarter from across the team. Russ Stonehouse and Rimantas Norkeliunas combined for 8 points and the quarter finished Warriors 52 Hawks 58.

It seemed the Warriors were not to be pushed over easily at their home court and they brought the game back to the Hawks in the fourth quarter. Hawks and Warriors traded baskets in the first half of the quarter but it soon became tense when the Warriors hit a couple of three pointers to bring the game within 2 points in the last two minutes of the game. Hawks player Roan Lenihan scored two important three pointers either side of a Rimantas two point play and Russ Stonehouse scoring important baskets when needed. Hawks were up by 4 points with a minute to go. Warriors went to the free throw line and made both free throws bringing the game to within 2 points. Russ Stonehouse scored an important basket to bring the lead back to 4 points but Warriors made a four point play to bring it level with less than 30 seconds to go. Roan then scored two points to take back the lead. The

Warriors replied with scoring a single free throw Harlow executed a set play to end the game with Russ Stonehouse scoring one of his free throws to end the quarter Warriors 82 Hawks 84.
HARLOW: R.Stonehouse 15,R.Lenihan 15, R.Norkeliunas 15,L.Morris 14,R.Allan 11, T.White 6, C.Lovett 6, S.Martin 2, S.Friedner, S.Burgess, A.Khatiri, H.Adnan.

Read more: http://www.harlowstar.co.uk/Sport/Other-Sports/Harlow-Hawks-Basketball-Club-second-after-two-victories-20131120105348.htm#ixzz2lDBBZ696

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