Hoop Hawks improving with every game

By Terrance Gavan – Sports

Walter Tose is neither shy nor, apparently, retiring.

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Tose, a long time Haliburton Highlands Secondary School teacher, mentor and coach, left teaching a few years back.

But, he’s never really left Hal High. Since his retirement Tose has found plenty of time to enjoy life, travel toEngland, but more important he’s been able to spend quality time with his family.

He’s also found time to indulge a few of his more esoteric passions. Walt, along with fellow retiree Paul Morrisette helped to build the infrastructure of a very healthy and successful track and field program at Hal High.

Tose is still available, when called, to assist new track coach Bruce Griffith with the throwers. For the past three years Tose has also been assisting longtime basketball coach Roland Zilla.

This year Tose stepped into the fray in earnest, volunteering to coach Hal High’s senior varsity girls hoops squad. For the first time in recent memory the Hawks were not able to field a junior team. Thus 12 young women carry the torch for fall hoops this season.

Tose is a positive influence and that’s a good thing because these girls have encountered only one exhibition win to date this season. In high school every year is a rebuilding year and Tose is working with a very young squad.

“We’ve made steady progress since our first few games,” says Tose. “We were losing by 10 or 12 points per game at the start of the season. We’ve had only that one win against Gravenhurst in a tournament.

“It’s a great group of girls they’re working really hard. They never quit. We have 12 games in the season and we’ve played seven. In our first game against St Thomas Aquinas we lost by 12 (28-16) but in that second game (last week) againstSt. Thomassecond game againstSt Thomasthe score was much closer (25-20). I knew we’d have a better game because I’ve seen real improvement since the start of the season.”

The Hawks have five more games remaining in their season and Tose is confident that there are a few wins out there. “We lost 29-26 against Fenelon and we have a shot at beating them in the next game,” says Tose. “Brock was a 12 point winner but we get to play them again in the last game of the season, and they are our toughest AA opponent.”

Tose adds that, “the story has been improvement going from defense to offense and we now have a zone press that we run and it’s been very effective. We’re able to steal the ball, but it’s our inability to score in transition off the steal, to put points on the board that hurts us. One game we created six turnovers but could not convert on any of those steals.”

Tose is quick to point out that those things, taking the ball strong to the hoop in transition are teachable.

“They’re becoming better at understanding the type of offense we’re trying to run,” says Tose. “But we haven’t been able to get over that 30 point barrier.” It helps that the Hawks scrambling defense led by hustling ball hawks Maia O’Sullivan, Casey Pringle and Bailey Walker.

Jessica Rider is still running the floor from the point position, but Tose would like to get Rider placed up front and haveWalkeror O’Sullivan run point. He says that Carley Shaw, Tessa Iles, Megan Lapierre, Kate Deniston, Jaimie Dack, Kirstie Cook andKaylaShorehave all made progress over the season.

Alex Litwin is the lone grade 10 on the young squad and Tose says that she’s added to the mix and fits in nicely with the older girls.

For now, it’s called learning on the fly. The Hawks are adding eggs to the omelet along the way, but it’s a lamentably short season.

“We’re focusing on offense and making sure they understand what we’re doing,” says Tose. “The girls are shooting, rebounding and boxing out much better than at the beginning of the year.” They’re learning and improving.”

The Hawks play at home on Wednesday Oct 19 next week.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]