Jeremy Yudin, Sports Reporter
The Humber Hawks put on a defensive display in their final home game to defeat the Mohawk Mountaineers 70-46 on Feb. 13.
Prior to the game, seniors Leticia Lopez, Laura Meadows, Anna Jacobs, and Eboni Beals were honoured for their careers at Humber. All four players were part of last year’s championship team.
Beals and Jacobs traditionally come off the bench during most games, but on Wednesday night, Coach Ajay Sharma slotted all the graduating seniors into the starting lineup.
“We had girls that played on our national championship team last year, but they didn’t carry a lot of minutes,” Sharma said. “Now because of graduation, they’re in a situation where they’re going from 10 minutes a game to 30.”
He said his team still lacks experience so games like this are still important.
Mohawk had experience issues as well. Nine players are inactive, so new players carried the responsibility of a bigger role.
“We’ve had to play a lot of young kids this year. It’s only going to make them better for next year,” said Mountaineers head coach Kevin Duffy.
The veteran presence of Beals and Jacobs gave the Hawks a boost as they locked down defensively.
Hawks forward Miea Campbell-Johnson got hot late in the first quarter as her team went on a run to finish the quarter 24-12.
Lopez made four threes in the second quarter to push the lead to 43-26 at the half.
Humber continued its defensive intensity in the second half as Mohawk was held to 20 points over the final two quarters.
Sharma said despite the success this game, it was hard for his players to concentrate for long stretches during the season.
“They’re young, and that’s a very common thing players deal with,” he said.
Beals said it won’t be hard for her team to sustain a high intensity level in the playoffs because their players have a strong mentality which gives the group a boost.
“Our bench is great at that so when our starters get down, our bench comes in and gives us more energy,” she said.
During the final seconds of a blowout win, Humber fans stood up and started cheering for an unprecedented three point shot taken from Beals.
Beals said she never shoots threes. In her last game as a Hawk, she wanted to change that.
“To make this three, it would have meant alot, but it didn’t drop unfortunately,” she said.
Beals plans to be a vocal leader on the court when the playoffs start.
“When our team gets too antsy, (I’ll) tell them to just calm down, we still got this, we practiced so hard to be here so let’s not ruin it by getting all combobulated,” she said.
The Hawks finished their season two days later with a win beating Sheridan Bruins 58-47.