Hawks crush Knights
The Hendricken Hawks used a team effort to crush the Central Knights, 88-50, on Tuesday night in Warwick. Tyrone Weeks led the Hawks with 20 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Bobby Fiorito and freshman Angel Sanchez finished with 12 points each, and Justin Mazzulla added 10 points, 10 assists and four steals.
“I thought we had excellent balance tonight, in particular on the defensive end of the floor and on the glass,” Hendricken head coach Jamal Gomes said. “I thought we got off to a great start at the beginning of the game. That momentum kept us going. We were able to mix up our defenses and kind of create some havoc which led to offense.”
Hendricken scored 16 unanswered points to begin the game. First, Sanchez earned a steal during Central’s opening possession and dished to Mazzulla for a layup. Then, after another Central turnover, Weeks got an easy bucket. Mazzulla earned a steal next and assisted to Weeks, who was fouled. The junior made both free throws. After a missed 3 from Central junior Pedro Munoz, Mazzulla grabbed the defensive rebound and threw an outlet pass to Weeks for a layup. Lastly, Mazzulla was on the other end of a baseball pass and he made the layup to cap the explosion.
Central finally got on the board when Munoz buried a 3 ball.
Hendricken stayed aggressive. Fiorito assisted to Mazzulla, who threw down a dunk to go up 18-3. The Hawks suffered a shot clock violation during their next possession. Down the other end, Munoz hit another 3-pointer to pull Central within 12.
But the Hawks kept their foot on the gas pedal. With 8:17 left in the half, Mazzulla dished to Chris Hindle for a layup, making it 20-6. Then, Munoz hit another 3 ball for Central. However, on the Hawks’ next possession, Weeks found Fiorito for an open 3. The next two trips down for Hendricken, Weeks scored on a putback and Hindle earned a steal and went coast-to-coast for a layup, giving the Hawks a 27-9 edge.
Moments later, Mazzulla slashed to the basket before leaving it for Sanchez, who scored the 2-point basket plus a free throw to put Hendricken up, 32-11, with 4:55 left in the first half.
A little later, Fiorito hit a 3 and Isaiah Mylers followed it with a thunderous jam over three defenders, earning a loud roar from the home crowd.
“Isaiah (Mylers) is an amazing athlete,” Gomes said. “He’s a hard worker, he’s a good kid and when he gets a head of steam you better watch out. He gets off that one leg, he’s coming at the rim. He attacks it with ferociousness. Another outstanding job by him tonight.”
Hendricken went into the break holding a 49-20 edge.
A jumper from Central’s Mazin White started the second half scoring. Mazzulla responded for the Hawks with a layup. With 12:34 left, Sanchez buried a corner 3, putting Hendricken up 60-24.
Shortly after, Weeks scored back-to-back buckets before Fiorito hit a 3, extending Hendricken’s lead to 67-28.
With 9:34 remaining, Weeks came racing down the court on a fast break and finished with a left-handed splash to put the Hawks up 71-28. The Hawks flew to an 88-50 triumph.
“We’re coming down to the last week of the season, so we want to tighten everything up going into the divisional playoffs and the state tournament,” Gomes said. “But things are moving along. So, I’m very proud of our guys and the effort, intensity and enthusiasm tonight. I think that’s going to be the key for us moving forward. We got to have balance. And I thought from the No. 1 guy to the 14th guy, everybody came and gave energy and did their job. We just got to keep it going.”