Written by Ken Karson
RedHawks respond well to pair of challenges
The only thing that tops defeating an archrival is beating the very next opponent on the schedule.
That’s not always the easiest assignment for a sports team. So much energy and emotion typically gets poured into a showdown game that athletes on the winning side tend to have difficultly stepping out from under the glow of gratification.
Such a worry may have crossed Marist coach Gene Nolan’s mind in the aftermath of his squad’s 52-40 victory over neighborhood foe Brother Rice last Tuesday in Mount Greenwood. Admittedly, Nolan, having played in a few of those bragging-rights contests himself, didn’t attempt to downplay the RedHawks’ success against the Crusaders.
“Obviously, the win on Tuesday was a great win when you think about Brother Rice and how great they are,” he said. “It was a meaningful win for us.”
But Nolan also desired another one on Friday, when Marist re-entered the East Suburban Catholic Conference fray to tangle with Nazareth Academy. He got it, but not without periods of struggle.
The Roadrunners were tied at 50 with the RedHawks 2½ minutes into the fourth quarter, and Nazareth was still within four points almost three minutes later. Chamar Hawkins finally gave Marist some breathing room by hitting a floater and then a layup on consecutive possessions.