Hawks men’s basketball shifts to overdrive, defeat Niagara in overtime

by | Feb 12, 2019 | News, Sports

Paige McGowan, Sports Reporter

Number two Humber Hawks men’s basketball managed to come back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter, forcing the Feb. 7 game to go into overtime against the Niagara Knights.

Hawks fans were on their feet when guard Micqueel Martin came in clutch and put up a shot in the last three seconds to tie the game in regulation.

“I was ready to do whatever it took for us to win this game,” Martin said. “The team knew to lockdown on defence and that’s ultimately what helped us pull out a win tonight.”

DeQuon Cascart, guard and team captain, led the Hawks in points, finishing with a game-high of 28 points, five assists and five rebounds.

Humber Hawks team captain, DeQuon Cascart goes up for a layup against the Niagara Knights. Humber defeated Niagara on Feb. 7, keeping their unbeaten streak of 17-0 alive. (Paige McGowan)

Guard Jordon Francis finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds, and Jaylan Morgan, a forward, earned a double-double finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hawks started off the game strong with a solid 13-2 lead over the Knights. But the Knights picked up their momentum after they called an early time out in the first quarter.

Hawks guard Jordon Francis takes the ball to the hoop despite solid defence from the Knights’ forward Kevin Cooper. (Paige McGowan)

The Hawks however managed to stay ahead and ended the quarter with an eight point lead, 26-18.

The Knights were aggressive in their desire to defeat the Hawks and it showed.

Hawks forward Jaylan Morgan puts up a shot in the short corner against the Knights. The Hawks won in overtime. (Paige McGowan)

They continued to force a comeback in the second quarter and after outscoring Humber 31-21, Niagara went into halftime with a two-point lead, 49-47.

With the help of their two leading scorers and rebounders, Knights guard Van Hutchinson Jr. finished the game with 21 points and 17 rebounds and forward Jordan McDonald finished with 21 points and 19 rebounds.

Both notching a double-double kept their team in the lead throughout the majority of the game as they continued to outperform the Hawks in rebounds.

Hawks guard Kevin Otoo goes up for a contested layup against the Knights’ Jordon McDonald. (Paige McGowan)

But the fourth quarter brought a change in energy as Cascart, Martin and Francis played pivotal roles in the Hawks’ comeback.

Humber had no intention of losing this game, hitting some big shots and slowing whittling away at the point gap.

The Knights had some chances to put up some easy shots, but were unable to land a free throw when it mattered most.

Jordon Francis goes up for a layup in the fourth quarter of the game against Niagara Knights. Humber took the game in overtime. (Paige McGowan)

With five seconds left in the game and down by two, guard Kevin Otoo put up a three in the hopes to win the game by one but it hit the rim and bounced out.

Hawks fans were devastated for only one second because this is when Martin came in, grabbed the rebound and tied the game, forcing the overtime.

“The guys came together in the fourth quarter,” Cascart said. “Niagara gave us a really good fight in the first three quarters but the guys pulled it together and forced it into overtime and really came together.

‘We realized we have a chance to win this game and we got the win and I’m proud of my team,” said Cascart, who fouled out half-way through overtime play.

Hawks guard Dequon Cascart goes up for an open layup after outsmarting a falling Knights defender. (Paige McGowan)

His ejection by fouls did not stall the Hawks drive as Morgan put up an exciting three-pointer with just slightly more than a minute left in overtime, giving the Hawks a two-point lead.

Otoo finished the game with a few seconds remaining with a flashy two-handed slam dunk that emphatically ended the game on a high note for the Hawks.

Hawks fans went crazy as their team finished the game with a final score of 102-95.

The Hawks improved to an undefeated 17-0 standing for the season after this game.

Hawks Jimmy Butler goes up for a slam dunk early on in the game against the Niagara Knights. Humber took the game in overtime, extending their record to 17-0. (Paige McGowan)

“We could have done a lot better,” Morgan said. “But we got the win, so we’re satisfied with that.”

With a three-pointer in the third quarter, Hawks’ Curwin Elvis moved up to ninth all-time on Humber’s career scoring list.

Humber’s next game was against the number five Redeemer.

Unfortunately for the Hawks, the sharp-shooting Redeemer team handed the Hawks their first loss this season with a final score of 106-74. Despite the loss, the Hawks clutched the OCAA West Division title.