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Basketball Hawklets Ready to Take Flight in Postseason

Basketball Hawklets Ready to Take Flight in Postseason

Rockhurst basketball flies into district play Thursday riding a three-game winning streak and nine of their last ten. The team used elite defense and a balanced scoring attack to secure a two-seed in the Class 6 District 6 tournament. They open postseason play against the team hosting the district tournament, Truman High School.

The Hawklets’ final two games of the season offered a contrast in adversity. The penultimate game versus Lincoln Prep tested the Hawklets’ bench, as three of the team’s main scorers did not play due to a coach’s decision. Led by junior Callen Eskew’s 17 and senior Ethan Hansen’s 11, the Hawklets eked by 60-56.

“It was definitely a wake up call,” said Eskew. “We beat them pretty bad last year and they came back with a vengeance that we had to fight through. I’m proud of the guys who stepped up and made the winning plays.”

The team then celebrated Senior Night as they hosted Center for the last game of the regular season. Before the game, Rockhurst recognized the nine senior basketball Hawklets and their contributions to the program over the past four years.

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“You don’t realize how much you’ve done until it’s all laid out in front of you,” senior guard Braden Lamley said. “I’m so grateful and proud of what we’ve done over the course of my career and I’m ready to get to the playoffs and hopefully come away with some hardware.”

Every senior who suited up against Center got in the scoring column. The seniors were led by Brady Maher’s eight points and Thomas Coppinger’s seven, including the first three pointer of his career, as the Hawklets handily defeated the Yellowjackets to the tune of 59-41. 

The team gave up 16 points in the first half, showcasing their suffocating defense that has propelled them to a 17-7 regular season record. Their opponents score 47.3 points per game on average, which is the second lowest in 16 years, behind only the 2019 team (47.2). The defense ranks better than both the 2018 district champion team and the 2013 state champion team.

“We’re a defensive team, plain and simple,” said senior guard Luke Johnson. “We are built to make third and fourth efforts on D, the stats show that. It’s an honor to be on the same level as that 2019 team who had so many players go on to play college ball, but it’s not a surprise.”

On the other side of the ball, the team spreads out its attack. While sophomore Kevin Sullivan leads the team in scoring with ten points per game, nine different players have led the team in scoring during the season.

“We always try to find the best shot,” said sophomore guard Max Moylan. “We feel that everyone on the court can make an open shot. There’s not one guy that we have to rely on on offense and that allows us to play more unselfishly and that’s a lot harder for a team to guard.”

The Hawklets had a winning record playing home, away, and neutral court games. This will come in handy as they will play only away and neutral court games throughout the postseason. The team feels their best basketball is ahead of them, and used the week and half break to recoup and get ready for the grind of what they hope will be a deep playoff run.

“I think our record shows what our team has done this season,” said sophomore guard Cohen Robinson. “We consistently got better over the course of the season. The six-game win streak really shows how hard we’ve worked throughout the season and we’re excited to go on another streak to end the year off right.”

The basketball team will play their district games at Truman High School in Independence. The 2-seed Hawklets will play the host 7-seed Truman Patriots on Thursday at 3:30.


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About the Contributor
Eli Rourke
Eli Rourke, Staff Reporter
I’m a senior member of the Prep News Staff. I joined Prep News at the recommendation of fellow staff reporter, Mitch Forbes. I attended elementary school at Cure of Ars in Leawood, Kansas. This is my first year as a Prep News Staff Member. I joined Prep News because I want to know more about my community and maybe inform Rockhurst students about the happenings in and around the building. Outside of writing for the newspaper, I am a member of the basketball team, a Freshman Retreat Co-Chair, and an NHS Officer. I’m currently undecided on where I want to attend college. However, I am interested in studying finance.
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