College Park Skyhawks (8).jpg (copy)

College Park’s shooting was cold from the beginning as the Westchester Knicks took home the win over the Skyhawks.

COLLEGE PARK — Poor shooting night for the College Park Skyhawks lead to 2020 loss against the Westchester Knicks Thursday night at Gateway Arena with a score of 113-94.

The Skyhawks played Westchester not even five days ago but there was a lot that was different than the last time. Charlie Brown, Jr. was back with the squad after being sent back on Jan. 1 and Cat Barber had been on an upward trend since the G-League Showcase in Las Vegas.

But it didn’t pan out properly for the Skyhawks Thursday night against the Knicks. Brown was struggling in the first half and only played for 10 minutes and the shooting was an 0-5 collar that progressively got worse until his first make in the second half.

“Yeah, I just think he kind of pressed a little bit with his shot,” College Park head coach Noel Gillespie said. “The big thing with him is we try to get him going early here — trying to get him to the rim. But he knows, we talked about how he can get out of the slump by doing the intangible stuff offensively.”

Of course, Gillespie wasn’t too critical of his player. It was more a team issue as the Skyhawks collectively made just 12 of their 41 shot attempts while Westchester wasn’t flawless but the 22 made shots just outlasted the Skyhawks.

“It’s on everybody and you know tomorrow we’ll practice, watch film and try to get better and make corrections for Sunday,” Gillespie said. “Good news is we got a quick turnaround on Sunday afternoon.”

Shooting from beyond the arc was also stagnant for the Skyhawks and it began early in the first half. More specifically, the first quarter.

The team only converted one three in the first quarter from Barber before a 14 minute lull in deep-range shooting hindered the Skyhawks’ offensive output. Jordan Sibert was the only other player to make a three in the first half for College Park, which was successful two times in the second quarter.

On the other hand, the Knicks seemingly found the back of the net on each and every possession down the court. What also stood out was the inability to corral their own boards as Ivan Rabb pulled in 12 rebounds, 11 of which were defensive.

The Skyhawks’ leading scorer was Nick Ward at halftime but he was only limited to 10 points while the rest of the lineup were a step behind.

Things didn’t get any better for the Skyhawks in the second half. College Park was a shocking 5-for-21 from the floor while the Knicks continued to score well in the third quarter to roll to a 25 point third quarter. It was the third quarter in a row where the Skyhawks were outscored and further pushed the team behind.

Despite heroic shooting in the fourth quarter. The deficit that began at 78-61 was just too much to overcome as College Park’s shooting against the Knicks was matched in the final quarter.

Ward led the Skyhawks with 17 points and 13 rebounds while McCall added 15. Armoni Brooks scored 14 while Sibert (12) and Brown (11) each chipped in on the effort.

Westchester’s Rabb finished with 20 rebounds and 13 points while Andrew White III knocked out 22 to lead all scorers. Lamar Peters also chipped in 21 in the victory.

Sports Editor

Graduated from South Carolina State University in 2015. Been with the Henry Herald and Clayton News in two capacities as a sports journalist and interim sports editor.

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