Top-ranked Wolves pull away from Hawks late


Junior guard Tim Hart rises up for a shot after he was left open at the top of the key.

The Hawks’ Nest had an excited buzz Tuesday night as the Plano West Wolves entered the gym. The crowd oohed and aahed as the top-ranked Wolves showed off spectacular dunks in their warm-ups, which were mainly performed by Division 1 athletes Mickey Mitchell, D.J. Hogg, and Soso Jamabo. Not many people gave the Hawks a chance, believing that West’s fast breaks and athletic advantage would blow the home team away.

That was not the case, however. The Wolves were sluggish in their half-court offense and failed to consistently get good looks at the basket. Center T.J. Hamrick was huge for the Hawks, nabbing rebounds away from Mitchell and Hogg. Guards Riley Ellis and Tyler Williams took several key charges that took away the momentum from the Wolves’ offense.

Midway through the fourth, Ellis hit a three that tied the game at 53 and had the Hawks’ student section going crazy. His triple was the end of a string of plays that put the game within reach, as Williams had made several baskets in the paint on previous possessions.

The momentum swing didn’t last long. On the next possession, Hogg nailed a contested three and the Wolves finished the game on a 15-3 run to escape with a 68-56 victory. Hogg lead the Wolves with 20 points, helping to keep the team unbeaten in district play.

The Hawks fell to seventh in district 6-6A with the loss, making playoff hopes bleak with just four games remaining in the season. However, three of the last four games will be against teams in the bottom half of the district (McKinney Boyd, Plano, and Marcus), with the fourth game being against a Plano East team that barely beat the Hawks in overtime earlier in the year.