Day 2: Midwest Junior Regional Tournament
BlazeSports Junior Hawks finished 2-1 in Day 1 to earn them three games on Day 2. The Hawks started with a 8:00 am re-match against #8 ranked Turnstone Flyers (IN). The Hawks easily handled the Flyers in their first meeting, winning 71-43. The Hawks started slow start but led at half-time 26-20, behind 12 points from Josh Joines and 6 points from Brent O’Grady. It took the first half for the Hawks to get back into their game and it showed in the second half. The Hawks had 8 of 9 players on the offense score sheet and scored 36 points in the second while holding the Flyers to only 14 second half points. Hawks win 62-34. Josh Joines led the Hawks with 16, followed by Brent O’Grady with 14 and Samuel Armas and Treyvon Smith both with 8 points. Cameron Elzey and Jordan Kolowski added 6, while Chance Boyd and KJ Reese each scored 2 points.
Like Saturday, Day 2 involved back to back games. Next up for the Hawks was the Nebraska Red Dawgs. The Dawgs are ranked #10, but all indications were they were all the team they have been the past 3-4 years, which was top 4 in the country. The Hawks’ offense stalled a bit in the first half. Offense powerhouse Josh Joines was held to only 2 points. Nebraska led 36-21 at the half. The Hawks made a run for it in the second half playing the Red Dawgs even, 32-32, but ended up short 68-53. Josh Joines finished strong and ended up with 24 points. Brent O’Grady and Samul Armas both scored 8 points. Treyvon Smith added 6 points and KJ Reese and Luke Hutchinson rounded out the scoring with 4 and I points respectively.
The loss sent the Hawks to the 3rd/4th place playoff game against the #3 ranked and local favorite Milwaukee Heat. The Heat had the upper hand on Day 1, beating the Hawks 44-38. However the Hawks were confident that they could play with the Heat. The offensive momentum was up for both teams in the first half and Hawks trailed 30-28 at the midway point. Josh Joines led the first half effort with 18 points with Brent O’Grady adding 4 points.
The second half was more of the same, a see-saw offensive game with neither team extending the lead by more than 4 points. The difference from the first match up was the Hawks were able to stay of out foul trouble. The Heat repeated their first half 30 point performance and led 60-59 with 12 seconds left to go. Hawks had possession and quickly move the ball towards the basket. Brent O’Grady received the pass and was able to score while being fouled. Brent makes the free throw and HAWKS WIN 62-60. Josh Joines led the Hawk with 28 points. Sam Armas had his best offensive game of the tournament and scored 14. The star of the game Brent O’Grady added 12 points, while Treyvon Smith and Chance Boyd rounded out the scoring with 4 points each.
For this young squad to earn a 3rd place finish in a regional tournament that had 6 top ten ranked teams, the Hawks are to be congratulated for one of their best tournament performance ever. Their scoring average of 58 points per game is the highest in Hawks history and a great sign as they prepare for the 2015 National Championships in April.
For more information on the BlazeSports Junior Hawks, contact Jessie Romito at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-270-2000