Hamilton ran into a wall in the form of Holland Christian, as the Hawkeyes lost 70-50. (Photo by Jessilyn Rockhold)

Hamilton falls behind early in loss to Holland Christian

By: 
Leo Martonosi

Hamilton’s boys’ basketball team gave Holland Christian all they wanted the first time the two teams tangled earlier in the season.
“We played very well in that game,” recalled Hamilton first-year coach Nick Kronemeyer.
It was a different story when the Hawkeyes and Maroons met in the rematch on Friday, Feb. 1, as the Hamilton offense was colder than the recent Polar Vortex at the start of their Friday, Feb. 1 contest.
“We couldn’t buy a bucket and they came out with a lot more energy than us,” Kronemeyer said after the visiting Maroons, who scored the game’s first 10 points, took a 70-50 win back to Holland with them.
“This was one of our most complete games of the season,” said Holland Christian coach David Kool. “The difference from the first game was our energy.”
Hamilton didn’t play with the same determination they did in its Jan. 4 clash with Holland Christian.
“We knew we were playing Holland Christian, but we didn’t have the edge we needed to have,” Kronemeyer said. “They’re too good of a team for us to not come out with more energy.”
Kool credited his team’s defense with his team’s strong play. In particular Kool mentioned Chris Mokma, who helped hold Hamilton’s top player, Brad Osborne, to five points. That was 24 points below the 29 he scored the first time the two rivals clashed.
“(Mokma) did a tremendous job on Osborne,” said Kool, who currently ranks as Western Michigan University’s all-time leading scorer.
Kronemeyer said a couple of other things didn’t go his team’s way on the first day of the new month.
“We didn’t focus on the things we needed to focus on, and we need to get back to believing in ourselves,” Kronemeyer said.
The Hawkeyes finally got on the scoreboard after Bobby Tasma swished two free throws with three minutes left in the first stanza. Hamilton’s first basket from the field came off a stunning move two minutes later by Jaden Groenheide.
Groenheide ended up scoring a team-high 10 points. Tyler Stezowski followed his teammate with eight points.
Holland Christian’s Ethan Alderink, who appeared to be nailing some shots from near his team’s dressing room, pumped in 22 points. Jaxon Halbert and Vince Overway checked in with 13 and 11 points in that order for the 11-2 overall Maroons.
Holland Christian, which held leads of 19-9 after one period and 39-24 at intermission, were in complete control by the end of the third quarter, leading by 25 points at 60-35.
 

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