The Bishop Hendricken basketball team continued its strong start to the season with a big 86-32 win over host Cranston East last week.
The Hawks were coming off a tough defeat to rival La Salle in the prior game, their first league loss of the season, and Hendricken coach Jamal Gomes was proud of his club’s response.
“We talked about that, what I told them in the locker room today was that a sign of a good team is having the ability to bounce back, having resilience after a tough loss. We had a tough loss at La Salle, we didn’t play well and they played great. We had one day at practice to regroup then we played today, I was happy with the response,” said Gomes.
The Hawks jumped out to a 48-28 lead in the first half but were even better in the second. Hendricken’s defense stifled the Thunderbolts down the stretch and allowed just four points in the second half to run away with the victory.
“What I was very happy about with our group today was the defense, we responded very well on the defensive side of the ball. That’s going to be what is most important for us to win this year, we have to be keyed in on the defensive side of the ball every night, regardless of who the opponent is,” said Gomes.
Ten different players got on the score sheet for Hendricken, including junior Sebastian Thomas who scored a game-high 27 points, including four three-pointers, to continue his breakout season. David Lynch scored 14 points for the Hawks, while Angel Sanchez added 13.
Although the Hawks offense was also impressive in the victory, Gomes felt that improvement on defense was the most important development of the club’s night.
“I told them that win or lose, our goal today was to get better. We need to get better with how we guard the ball and play defense, that’s what I wanted to see the most. We had a set amount of points that we wanted to allow tonight on defense, It wouldn’t have mattered if we scored 120 points, if we (didn’t get better on defense) then we weren’t better. We gave up four points in the second half and that’s what I wanted to see,” said Gomes.
The Hawks improved to 5-1 in league play with the win and hosted the defending state champion North Kingstown Skippers on Monday night for their biggest test to date. The results were not available at press time.
Gomes hoped to see his club continue to play strong defense against the high-flying Skippers and cement their place at the top of the standings.
“It’s going to be a great matchup. They’ve got three really good guards so we’ll have to play great defense and play very hard,” said Gomes. “NK has been one of the best teams for the past three, four years, so we’ll have to bring it. We are really getting into the meat of our schedule.”
For Hendricken-North Kingstown coverage, visit Thursday’s Warwick Beacon.