With the win the Hawks improved to 20-7 and will now host Vardaman at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the first round of the 1A North State Tournament. Coldwater will host Houlka at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“We started stalling the basketball, which is something we really don’t do and it took us out of rhythm. We were trying to take at least a minute off the clock each trip down the floor and that nearly hurt us in the end. We started missing shots and they were able to get down and score in transition,” said Shaw Head Coach Anthony Davis.
The Hawks defensive pressure in the first quarter was the difference in the game as they managed to hold the Cougars in check only giving eight points for a 23-8 first quarter lead.
“We had a lot of energy in the first half. They strength is getting the ball to the middle of the floor and with the zone we were able to keep them outside and make them shoot jump shots,” Davis added.
The Hawks led the Cougars 39-20 at halftime. The Hawks maintained a comfortable lead through the third quarter as they went into the final period on top 59-42.
Although trailing Shaw going into the fourth, the Cougars outscored the Hawks 22-20 in the third quarter. The momentum from the third spilled over into the fourth as Devonte Roberts started the quarter off with a jump shot for the Cougars for a 59-45 game.
Jermarquis Stimage scored a layup for Shaw for a 61-45 game, but baskets from Bryan Polk, Jordan Robinson closed gap to 61-50.
As the game continued the Hawks held a 68-58 lead with 2:45 remaining in the contest.
A bucket from Roberts brought Coldwater to within eight points at 68-60 with 2:39 on the clock.
The Cougars picked up the defensive pressure and started trapping all over the court with their man-to-man full court defense and as a result forced turnover after turnover from Shaw. The results were easy baskets for Coldwater.
Over the span of one-minute the Cougars went from being down 10-points to trailing Shaw 70-67 with 1:20 remaining in the game.
With 48-seconds remaining Andre Pruitt went to the line for Shaw and missed both free throws. Coldwater rebounded, but was unable to score as they continued to rain three point attempts. Shaw rebounded and Octavius Stimage went to the line with 22.4-seconds on the clock. He missed both free throws to keep the score at 70-67.
The Cougars tried to tie the game again, but missed and after a scramble for the ball Jermarquis ended up with it for Shaw with 5-seconds left in the game. Jermarquis made both free throws for the Hawks to secure the 72-68 win.
Jermarquis led Shaw with 23 points, Zedric Bass scored 17 points, Malik Walker had 11 and Pruitt added nine points in the win.
Roberts led Coldwater with 24 points, Bryan Polk had 14 points, Earlando Blair scored 12 points, Devinte Newsom scored nine points and Jordan Roberts chipped in with nine.