COLLEGE PARK — Streaks are made to be broken.
Unfortunately for the College Park Skyhawks, their win streak came to an end where it began, at home. Grand Rapids won 101-96 over the Skyhawks snapping the four-game streak.
It all began in the second quarter. Turnovers were a factor, but it wasn’t the killer early. Instead, it was the lack of rebounding through the second quarter and the cold-shooting from deep that did the Skyhawks in.
When the College Park Skyhawks took to the court, it was just a slow start. Missed shots from Jordan Sibert and two turnovers from Tahjere McCall and Marcus Derrickson looked to doom the Skyhawks early. Until Charlie Brown, Jr. knocked in a dunk that started everything off.
From there, College Park just turned up their intensity. From deep and from the inside, College Park couldn’t be stopped. It ultimately led to College Park leading after the first quarter 23-16.
In the second quarter, the defense began to struggle for the Skyhawks. The Drive out rebounded College Park and ultimately outscored the team in the second quarter. The positive, turnovers weren’t a problem.
Before the game, head coach Noel Gillespie talked about turnovers and how much they hurt the team in their last two games.
“That’s been emphasized in the film study and the practice and the shoot around,” Gillespie said. “I think we kinda shot ourselves in the foot against the 905 and Windy City especially. Those self-inflicting wounds where we turn it over and we don’t get it back, so it’s compounded. It’s one thing to turn the ball over but to not get back in transition makes the game so much tougher. It shouldn’t be that tough when we’re shooting the ball like last game.
“We were shooting 55% from the floor, 50 from three and 100 from free throw and we’re only up seven because of those turnovers.”
The good thing was that the Skyhawks did what Gillespie asked. But the bad was, they still struggled to stop the turnovers at the end of the game.
The third quarter was just as bad as the second for the Skyhawks. Nothing seemed to go in from deep as the team struggled with the deep shots and there was little that could be done from the floor as they were again, outrebounded. Grand Rapids threw in some blocks for an added measure in the quarter and rocketed out to a 38-point quarter, the largest of the two teams.
After three quarters, College Park trailed 83-74 and was in danger of getting handed a loss before they could get to five wins in a row.
The Skyhawks held Grand Rapids to no points in the first three minutes of the first quarter, meanwhile, the shooting was getting hot. After going on an 8-0 run, the Drive called a timeout, but it led to a period where no one scored for two minutes.
The closest College Park got to the lead in the fourth quarter was off a Sibert three-pointer ahead of the Drive going on an eight-point run.
College Park was led by Nick Ward’s 22 points and 18 rebounds, Sibert chipped in 19 as Brown had another 16. Cat Barber managed 11 as Armoni Brooks picked up 11 in the loss.
In the end, College Park coughed the ball up 24 times and part of it was due to the Drive’s Tra-Deon Hollins who caused five turnovers alone.
College Park dropped to 15-11 on the season with the loss. The Skyhawks take on the Capital City Go Go on the road on Jan. 17.