Hanna Hawks coach Courtney Jackson emptied his bench Wednesday in Hanna’s opening round North Coast Section game against International Christian.
Hanna won 81-62, but the game wasn’t that close. Hanna’s starters played the first quarter and part of the second, then sat out the entire second half as the Hawks used 13 players.
It was a mismatch from the start as International Christian is in its first year and only had six players suited up. By the end of the first quarter, Hanna had a 30-8 lead and they stretched it to 49-18 at the half.
“The game was pretty much in hand mid-way through the second quarter,” Jackson said. “I wanted to get my bench some playing time so we won’t burn out our starters. And because as we go further and further into the playoffs, the bench will be playing lesstime.”
Hanna only had three players in double figures, but 12 of the 13 players scored.
Senior Mike Veregge led the Hawks with 13, junior Isaiah Kelly had 12 and senior Francisco Marquez had 11 including three 3s. Senior Jesus Tremillo had nine; senior Josh Manzano had eight; sophomore Rolando Lucero and junior Ian Hernandez both had five; senior Dakota Woltering, junior Yuerra Blaylock and junior Jeremiah Watkins each chipped in with four while senior Roberto Rivera had two.
Watkins and Lucero both had six rebounds to lead the team. With the win, the Hawks will host California School for the Deaf in second round action Saturday night.
The Hawks will be looking for some payback as the California School for the Deaf knocked them out of the playoffs two years ago.
“They’re a difficult team to play,” Jackson said. “They’re systematically sound – but we have to disrupt them.”
Jackson said in the last game, when they’d pull down a rebound, they’d stop and get a sign from the coach which play to run.
“We’re going to press,” the coach said. “We’re going to make it difficult.”
He said the California School for the Deaf likes to slow it down.
“They’re looking to keep the score in the 35-to-40-point range,” he said. “We want it up in the 80s. We want to get up the floor and put a shot up within 15 seconds.”
Tuesday’s win gives Hanna a 24-4 record on the season. The California School for the Deaf comes into Saturday’s contest with a 20-9 record after beating Round Valley 58-37 Wednesday night.