Senior Hoops Hawks feather the Nest in home opener
By terrance Gavan
Luke Watson is taking his victory lap this season.
And Hal High coach Roland Zilla is pretty happy that Watson, a power forward with a handsome touch and strong inside game, chose to stay for his cohort year.
Watson was a dominant presence for the Red Hawks senior club last season and he returns to the Hawks, a year wiser and a season smarter.
Watson remains a hellzapoppin’ firecracker; a game-changer with game.
Last Tuesday in the Hawks’ home opener, Lanky Luke scored 20 points to lead all scorers in a convincing 43-22 victory over Brock High School.
Shooting guard Jesse Walker and pivot man Jesse Lefebvre each added six points to the cause.
Chris Allison, Caleb Zilla and Damon Flatman took turns feeding the beast as Watson prowled the paint and outer edges of the Brock zone, scoring at will.
“Watson is a solid player, but he can still play better,” said Zilla after the game. “We’d still like him to go up a bit stronger, but he really played well out there today. “
The win moves the Hawks seasonal tout to 3-1, but that record was challenged on Wednesday when the class of the Kawartha league Lindsay’s I.E. Weldon comes to visit. (Results from that game will be in next week’s Voice.)
Zilla said that Weldon – with a league-leading 4-0 record – remains the team to beat, a triple A threat with depth..
“Weldon beat Brock by 50 points, and they have 12 athletes that can all play,” said Zilla.
Zilla said that one of his team’s strengths is the ability to rise to occasion.
A trait that will certainly come in handy as the Hawks attempt to deal with the Weldon juggernaut.
Sitting in the stands watching the junior Hawks play out the doubleheader against Brock, Zilla was already planning for the Weldon game.
He said the key to beating the Wildcats is ball control.
Play run and gun with the long bench and quick transition game will only lead to trouble.
“We plan to play a strong half court game,” said Zilla. “Our skill level always rises when we play Weldon and last season we were the only team to challenge Weldon all year.
“So we’re going to try again, a good half court game and see what we can do. If we can hold them to under 50 we’ve done a great job and we’ll have a chance at beating them.”
Zilla, who plans on retiring from the hardwood wars next season, is assisted this year by retired coach and teacher Walter Tose and newcomer Dave Waito.
Waito brings a brand new set of eyes to the mix and he’s impressed.
“I was really happy with how Luke was a little more assertive going to the hole today,” said Waito. “he’s certainly a guy that we can rely on for a good chunk of our offense through the year if he has that mindset to take the ball to the hoop. Lefebvre is pulling down our boards quite consistently and Allison… we’d like to see a little more production out of him, getting the shots to drop but that’ll come.”
The annual red Hawk alumni game is slated for Thursday afternoon, Dec 23. Yours truly will be blowing one of the whistles, creaking up and down the hardwood and taking no prisoners.
Twitter @terrancegavan. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org.