COLLEGE PARK - College Park is back in action Thursday evening against the Westchester Knicks but considering how the team battled back for a win on the road without their two-way players, expect the vibe to be the same.
The way the Skyhawks battled back on the road against the Knicks wasn't easy. They had a 21-point deficit at the beginning of the game and were trailing through the first quarter by as much. In the second, College Park remained consistent in their pursuit of the victory to close out 2019.
But how would that roll into this week against the same team that gave up a commanding lead is a question that head coach Noel Gillespie was prepared for. The team was arguably short-handed last week without the likes of Brandon Goodwin and Charlie Brown, Jr. in the lineup.
Due to some injuries on the Atlanta Hawks main roster, the two-way players were called up suddenly. But it was still a team win at the end of it all.
"Obviously, I think last game was a big win when you're short-handed," Gillespie said. "Anytime you're short-handed, meaning without our two-way guys, and you're in the second half of a road back-to-back we came out of the gate slow and we were down 21 in the first quarter and down 19 at halftime. Our guys stuck together, and they got opportunities, our defensive intensity picked up and we were able to hold them to 13 in the fourth. It was a big team effort."
The 108-104 victory for the Skyhawks would be even sweeter this week if they're able to take the Knicks down one more time this week. Another win would help the Skyhawks build a bit more momentum as well as they're looking to start a streak of wins.
"That's obviously a goal and it's something we're harping on," Gillespie said.
"So, hopefully tonight we get two in a row and get one for 2020."
On the other end of it all, even though Goodwin isn't back in the lineup. The Skyhawks did get Brown back and he's expected to play a considerable amount of time in his return.
"He's going to be thrust into the starting lineup, and we're going to try and go to him early," Gillespie said. "I know it was a taste when he was with the Hawks for one game but sometimes for a guy to wear the uniform and be with the team kinda gives them that extra juice. So hopefully that'll prove right tonight."