Hawks soarrrrrrrr past Cardinals


photo by Jaxon Ward

New bling? The Hawks with their new trophy before they put it in the trophy case for all to see. Meridian’s fresh-soph team defeated the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals to win the Cardinal Classic 2019 trophy.

by Tyler Ward, Reporter

In a championship game for boy’s basketball on January 24, the freshman and sophomore classes of Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals and the Meridian Hawks faced off to see who would take home the trophy.

Fresh off a win against the Williamsville Bullets, the Cardinals advanced to the championship game to play the Hawks, who had just come off of a win in a close game against Maroa-Forsyth.

Before the game, Meridian Hawks’ junior varsity coach, Dustin Clark said, “I’m confident in our team and our ability, I know we are capable of winning.”

The Hawks started off the game with a lot of mid-range shots and layups in the first quarter. The Hawks full-court press wasn’t executing, so the Hawks freshman/sophomore head coach, Ponce Palmer, took off the full-court press so the Cardinals wouldn’t get uncontested layups and three-point shots in transition.

When the second quarter came around, the Hawks went on a run due to the lackadaisical passing of the Cardinals to end the first half. Therefore, they had the lead heading into the locker room to prepare for the second half of this championship battle.

The Cardinals came out of the gates in the second half with easily made shots. They were also able to get to the free throw line, which lead the Hawks into foul trouble. The Cardinals battled their way back into the game to end the third quarter with a nail-biter of a game in the making.

Close games like these separate the men from the boys, and both of these teams wanted to leave with the beautiful golden basketball tournament trophy.

Both teams came out with play that was extremely physical, which meant both teams started to get into foul trouble. However, the Hawks started to attack the rim and run plays which would run the clock out, therefore, the Cardinals had to foul the Hawks to stop the clock.

The Hawks started to get stops on the defensive end and the Cardinals started to foul. The Hawks were in the double bonus with two minutes left of the fourth quarter. The Hawks hit their free throws and the Cardinals started to force shots, some heavily contested.

The buzzer sounded and the Meridian Hawks had won the freshman-sophomore tournament with a final score of 52-43.

Before the tournament trophy was awarded to the Hawks, Cristian “CJ” Scott was awarded All tournament team and Riley Day was rewarded MVP of the game.

“It was an intense game, the Cardinals performed well on their end and tried to make us feel uncomfortable as possible,” said freshman forward, Storm Carroll, “We tried to stop the Cardinals on the defensive end, they made some athletic plays but we came out on top.”

Head freshman coach, Ponce Palmer, after the game said, “Seeing you guys wanting to go out there and compete and really want it [the championship] and seeing you guys rewarded makes me proud.”

In the locker room, Ponce Palmer left the team with this, “You guys have a bright future, very unselfish, fun to watch, I can’t wait.”