by Jake DeLuca
The Armstrong River Hawks (5-6, 1-2) boys varsity basketball team held the Gateway Gators (4-6, 3-0), who average 60.2 points per game to only 38 on Tuesday night, but the River Hawks defensive efforts were not enough to secure the victory.
The key turning point in the game happened in the third quarter when the Gators outscored the River Hawks 14-2 to take a double digit lead.
After the game Armstrong Head Coach Greg Hutcherson explained what happened during the third quarter swing.
“It was the same thing with Highlands, the same thing with Mars, a lot of our losses where we weren’t able to put four quarters together. (Gateway) came out of the third quarter and got two stops in a row and scored off both stops. Some shots didn’t fall for us and for then we’re playing from behind 10, and we’re chasing, and we’re trailing. It’s something we have to try and correct, what we’re doing in the third quarter that’s causing us to not play well,” Hutcherson said.
The River Hawks would claw back to bring the score to within single digits thanks to 16 points in the fourth quarter, but the Gators were able to hold on to the lead in the final minutes.
The River Hawks have suffered four losses this season by 10 or less points showing critics that Armstrong can hang in with more favored teams. Hutcherson says it’s all about putting together four successful quarters.
“It shows us that we can play with these teams, but at the same time we can beat them. We’re sitting down and we’re studying film. It’s one, or two, or three plays here and there and it’s always in the third quarter that opens the game up for the other team, and that causes us to play from behind,” Hutcherson said.
The River Hawks will be back home this Friday to take on Franklin Regional (6-6) at 7:30 PM.