The Humber Hawks men’s basketball team beat the St. Clair Saints 86-82 on home court, ending their three-game losing streak.
Head coach Omar Miles said the team has struggled to close out games in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to get stops on defence and key baskets towards the end of the game, which we haven’t been able to do all season,” he said about the recent win.
The Humber Hawks men’s basketball team started the 2022 season with a 2-3 record in their first five games, which contrasts with their OCAA championship-winning season last year. They have used every game as a learning experience to work on defending their title.
“We gotta protect the hawks nest, there’s lots of history and tradition,” Miles said. “After games, it’s about celebrating for five minutes and moving on to the next game.”
Since last year’s victory, the team has seen many changes, including adding six rookies.
Miles said part of the team’s success will come from providing experience to young players.
“The best experience you (can) have are through opportunities and getting these guys on the floor and getting them playing time is the best experience,” he said.
Before the game against St. Clair on Saturday, second-year rookie point guard Sydney Kabongo reflected on the importance of team building.
“I feel like we are still trying to get acquainted, learning how each [of us] play,” he said.
“The fact that it’s a fairly new team, we just have to get used to the principles and play together, but we have all the right pieces,” Kabongo said.
He said the key is in the bonding activities they experience during practice and the conversations they share during their training.
Third-year forward Raheem Dennis said it was also important to build friendships.
“We’re always in the gym, we have group chats, we’re always talking to each other, we’re playing video games,” Dennis said.
“We learned to stay together even through bad moments, keep our cool, stay together and everything works out from there,” he said.
As the team looks forward to their next match, Miles said they need to remain confident and not give away any leads.
“We just need to relax in crazy moments like this and if we can play with some poise and some confidence in the fourth quarter, we can win all the games that we typically haven’t been winning,” he said.
The Hawks will face the Redeemer Royals on Nov. 26.