In a game that saw the Hawkins Hawks play the Tyler HEAT for the third time this season, it was the Hawks who came away with a nail biting victory Friday night 71-69.
The Hawkins Hawks varsity boys team used their up-tempo fast-breaking style to add to their eight-game win streak that started just over a month ago when the Hawks beat West Rusk Dec. 7.
Hawkins’ swarming defense dominated the first period as they held the HEAT to only 14 points. Undeterred, the HEAT kept attacking with some great outside shooting. By halftime the score was 43-29 in favor of Hawkins. Camron Taylor who played a great game overall was especially effective as he had 21 heading in to the locker room. Taylor finished with a game-high 27 points.
In the third period the Hawks struggled mightily as the HEAT defense allowed only eight points in the third. The HEAT’s offense executed some great fast-break plays and the HEAT’s three-point shots started finding their mark as they outscored the Hawks by 13 in the quarter. As a result, Hawkins’ lead had vanished in just eight minutes as the HEAT were up by one at the end of the period 52-51.
The fourth period was hard fought and came down to the wire with six seconds left. The Hawks were up two and came up with a crucial stop as time ran out on the last possession to secure the win for the Hawks.
Hawkins’ guard Tristian Garrett showed off his well-rounded game with fast hands defensively and long-range shots. Garrett finished with 19 points.
Hawkins point guard Everin Gipson also displayed his solid ball-handling skills as he pushed the ball from end to end creating great opportunities for the Hawks most of the night. Gipson finished with 10 points. Jayden Dacus also had a solid game for Hawkins as he finished with seven points.
Next week, Hawkins begins district play on the road against Overton on Friday with tipoff set for 8 p.m.