Emotions are high, crowds grow bigger, and the inten- sity on the court skyrockets.
Simple signs that the playoffs have started.
Lift for Life coach Terrence Hobson knows what his team has to do now, “Survive and advance…It’s playoff basketball, it’s win or go home.”
Lift for Life Sophomore guard Rico Singleton led the charge on Monday night with a game-high 24-point game, including 10 in the first and the final drive that put the Hawks over the Carnahan Cougars. Sophomore PG Demarcus Sanford Jr had 17 of his own in their 59-57 win.
Singleton and crew controlled the game’s tempo and kept Carnahan from gaining much momentum in the first while never losing the lead. The Hawks walked into the locker room at half with a comfortable lead of 32-27 and more importantly, control of the pace.
Carnahan missed 6 free throws in the second. Something that just can’t happen in the do or die playoff scene.
Carnahan wasn’t going to let their season die that easy though. After a strong defensive stand in the 3rd quarter, the Cougars clawed back. Lift for Life was kept to only 8 points throughout the 3rd. It was all square at 40 going into the forth.
It was anyone’s game at that point.
The final box of the contest saw Carnahan come alive. The Cougars traded baskets tit for tat with the Hawks up until the very final minute. Junior forward Christopher Rodgers led the charge with 6 points and gave the Cougars hope of extending their season at least another game.
Carnahan took its biggest lead of the game with just over 1:12 to go in the game but with a few seconds left on the clock, turned it over by stepping out of bounds. Singleton found a way to the basket for a final floater that sank without much time left on the clock. It was all but over.
Then came free buckets.
An unfortunate foul on Phillip Johnson as time expired sent him to the line with the potential to tie and take this game into overtime. No dice.
Coach Terrence Hobson will take the win but says his team has work yet to do. “We got to get back to work and clean up some stuff,” Hobson says. “Get better and try to take a shot at it on Wednesday night.”
Hobson is referring to their match up against Vashon. The Hawks have a tough second round matchup against the Wolverines at home on Wednesday and will need to be on their A-game to pull out a win.