SportsVarsityRookie helps Hawks remain undefeated

ETC StaffDecember 3, 20198 min

Jonathan Frasco and Remi Drouin, Sports Reporter

The St. Clair Saints hasn’t beat the Humber Hawks women’s basketball team since Jan. 31, 2009.

And the Windsor team’s 12- game losing streak continued when Kia Watt’s career high 23 points helped Humber beat St. Clair 68-58 on Nov. 24.

Humber’s record this season is now 7-0. That puts them second place behind the Fanshawe Falcons.

They’re also third in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s ranking list.

Heading into the game, Hawks head coach Ajay Sharma reminded his team they didn’t get to have a practice to iron out their wrinkles since the day before, when Humber played — and beat — the Lambton Lions.

“In your own headspace, figure out what you need to do better: St. Clair’s a pretty good team,” Sharma said. “We fully expect another tough game.”

Kia Watt trying to take a layup against St. Clair defender Noor Bazzi. (Remi Drouin)

Watt knew it was up to her to close out the final game of her team’s weekend doubleheader and the rookie shooting guard was on fire.

After a closely contested game in the first two quarters, the Hawks broke out in the third scoring 22 points to take a commanding lead.

In the fourth quarter, the Saints pushed back and cut the deficit to four points with three minutes remaining.

But then Watt scored a huge two points in the dying minutes of the game to extend Humber’s lead and squash St. Clair’s comeback.

“It was definitely hectic,” she said. “In times like that, we just have to stay composed, calm and be aware of the clock and shot time.”

Sharma was pleased with his players’ performance but thinks there’s plenty of room to improve.

“I think when we’re able to execute our practice habits and style of play, we can win big,” Sharma said. “But what we’re seeing now is teams know how we want to play and they’re starting to take that away.

“I also think we’ve been a little slow to adjust to it,” he said.

He said the girls were more energetic against St. Clair than in their previous game against Lambton.

Sharma thought Watt’s perfor- mance wasn’t even close to her po- tential.

“She’s a first-year player right out of the high school system, it’s unbelievable to see what she’s been doing and I don’t even think she had her best game,” Sharma said.

“She’s so talented,” he said. “We just need to get her to believe that she’s this talented.”

Watt said she’s happy with her performance.

“Hopefully, I can do better in the next few games, but I just have to keep my head on straight and not let this get upstairs or anything like that,” she said.

While the Hawks defenses held St. Clair three-point percentages to 13.2 per cent, the

Nov. 23 game against the Lambton Lions had a sluggish start. They struggled offensively and made lapses on defense.

Sharma was not happy with the team’s energy and focus as they shot just 12-of-42 in the first half against the Lions.

“We did everything we could to have them stay close,” he said.

But Humber’s defense kept Lambton at bay, limiting the Lions to only 29 points in the half giving the Hawks a seven-point cushion heading into halftime.

It was the same story to start the second half with the Hawks defense staying strong only allowing Lambton to score 12 points in the third quarter.

Humber lost gas in the fourth, allowing Lambton to bring it to with- in four points due to turnovers and late rotations on defense.

Watt came up clutch in the end by hitting the dagger three in the final minute to seal a 73-63 win over the Lambton Lions.

The undefeated Hawks will head north to play a doubleheader against the Sault Cougars on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.