Jason Leskiw, Sports Editor
The Hawks offensive play was spotty. In the final round, the team just couldn’t manufacture any points whatsoever for over three minutes, while allowing Contra Costa to go on a nine point run. The deficit continued until LPC took a 12 point loss in a game which, up until then, they seemingly controlled.
During the final two rounds, LPC played tough, physical basketball. It’s something that any team needs to do in order to succeed. Coach Farris was able to mold a group of mostly freshmen into a formidable opposition. The only problem? LPC was unable to maintain that sort of pose after 30 minutes of play in the championship round.
The Hawks have one of the tallest players in the conference in freshman Justin Wolfe. Wolfe is six-foot-seven and was the tallest of any player on the court during the three LPC games. The issue is that Wolfe seems unable-or unwilling- to use two hands when grabbing boards. It’s almost reminiscent of the tale that came from Jerry Rice some years ago:
“My Father was a brick layer. I learned how to use two hands when catching by working with him and it also enabled me to judge when to go for the ball as well.” –Jerry Rice
If Wolfe improved in this region-and uses more physicality down low-he could be a team MVP. Until then, he is a guy that will max out around 10 minutes and never see what he clearly has the capability to be.
Team Effort: C+
The team play was just spotty. At some points they would come off as unstoppable, but at other times they seemed lifeless and self-centered. A starting team is five players and a finishing team is eight or more. LPC has 14 players, some of which are very talented but succumb to their own success. They get greedy and forget that there are others that want to contribute. LPC’s high scorer BT Shabazz led the team in points scored for all three games, but once Contra Costa took a look at the box score, it was clear to see that they needed to apply more pressure. They did during the second half and the result was five second-half points for Shabazz. Continue that same story down the line of shooters.
Team MVP: BT Shabazz
Shabazz is a player with an unordinary amount of talent. He’s someone that can shoot the three well, but drive the ball home for the lay in as well- over guys that are much larger than he. He will be the player to watch moving forward, but Shabazz needs to also work hard if he wants to be similar to last year’s star Jarred Jourdan. If he does, he may be playing prime-time on ESPN also.
The tipoff classic’s primary objective for teams and coaches is to gauge their level of play. LPC has shown that it has the players to succeed in a statewide competition. But, that’s once again if the players are truly willing to work for it.