Hawks take DI showdown over Central

Posted 1/25/23

The Bishop Hendricken Hawks conquered the Central Knights 83-60 on Monday night during a Division I Basketball duel at the Providence Career & Technical Academy.

Hendricken came into the …

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Hawks take DI showdown over Central


The Bishop Hendricken Hawks conquered the Central Knights 83-60 on Monday night during a Division I Basketball duel at the Providence Career & Technical Academy.

Hendricken came into the contest with a league-record of 10-0, while Central came in at 9-1.

“I think their only loss was to La Salle,” Hendricken head coach Jamal Gomes said. “But Central is a dangerous team. (Jayden) Livent is a dangerous scorer and they have the big guy inside.”

“This is not an easy place to play,” Gomes said. “I’m really happy for our guys, that we’re showing improvement. And that’s what we need. We’re smack-dab in the middle of the season now. Can’t go backwards. I was telling them, we’re two and a half weeks away from senior night, and then the divisional playoffs, and then the state tournament. So, we’ve got to keep getting better.”

The Hawks were headed by senior Azmar Abdullah, who topped all scorers with 29 points.

“He’s done that all season long,” Gomes said. “Azmar is a monster. He is tough to guard. He is an extremely hard worker. He can flat out play some serious basketball. He can put that ball in the basket in so many different ways. And Central tried to take him out. They tried to double team him, face guard him, and he’s just a handful.”

Eze Wali, a senior, finished second in scoring for the Hawks with 23 points, while senior Devin Lynch was third with 11 points.

Central was led by Livent, a senior, who scored 13 points, and Steven Jaquez, also a senior, who added 10 points.

The Hawks flew out of the gate on fire and jumped out to an early 14-0 edge.

Senior Mike Paquette scored the first bucket of the game, and then Lynch followed it with an old-fashioned 3-point play.

Next, Matt Brock sank a pair of free throws, and then Abdullah added a flashy layup.

Wali, who dons jersey number 5, concluded the run with five straight points, via two free throws and a 3-ball.

Central got on the scoreboard with under three minutes remaining in the first quarter when Livent buried a 3-point shot, and pulled the Knights within 14-3.

The Hawks closed the quarter on an 8-5 spurt, where Marcus Sukkar made a layup, and Abdullah and Paquette sank a 3-pointer apiece, which gave Hendricken a 22-8 lead.

Central sophomore Lestor Rodriguez started the second quarter with a steal, and then a lay-in, before his teammate Jesus Folger, a junior, scored with a driving bucket, and got the Knights within 22-12.

However, James Caldarella, a sophomore, answered with a 3-pointer for Hendricken, and then Lynch tacked on a layup, and Abdullah, a pair of free throws, which increased the Hawks lead to 27-12.

Hendricken ended the second quarter on a 6-0 flurry where Lynch, Wali, and Abdullah all made a layup each and gave the Hawks a 41-21 edge heading into halftime.

Central senior Justin Odsen began the third frame with a corner 3-pointer, and then, Jaquez added a layup, and pulled the Knights within 41-26.

A few minutes later, the Knights got the deficit down within 49-37 when Rodriguez and Christian Rosario made back-to-back buckets.

Nevertheless, the Hawks concluded the third frame with a 10-1 run and built a 59-38 buffer.

That spurt started with a pair of free throws from Abdullah, and then a layup from Lynch.

After that, Wali was fouled by Folger, who was also whistled for a technical foul.

Therefore, Wali went to the charity stripe and drilled all four free throws.

Hendricken also received the ball as a result of the penalty and Abdullah concluded the third frame with a dazzling up-and-under layup.

Wali kicked off the fourth frame with a 3-pointer and that ballooned the Hendricken advantage to 62-38.

The Hawks kept their cushion near that margin for the remainder of the contest.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Gomes said. “We’re starting to show some improvement every game we go out and play. The key to our success is always defense, rebounding, and toughness. The offensive side of the ball will take care of itself. We have some good offensive players, but for us our goal is every game to come out and play our hardest. Play tough on the defensive side of the ball, rebound the basketball, play smart, and play together. And our guys did that tonight. So, I’m very proud of them. We’re getting better. It’s two games in a row that we’re showing some good growth as a team.”

With the victory, Hendricken improved its conference record to 11-0.

On Wednesday, the Hawks hosted Classical, but that score was unavailable at press time. Hendricken will play next on Friday at 8 p.m. at North Kingstown.

Hendricken, Hawks, basketball


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