Hawks downed at home

Rhinebeck loses hard-fought game to Ellenville, 55-44

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Rhinebeck Hawks boys varsity basketball fell to 4-10 on the season after a loss to Mid-Hudson Athletic League opponent Ellenville on Feb. 8.

The Hawks came out strong on the boards, pulling down four straight offensive rebounds on their opening drive. Rhinebeck’s John Hanaburgh flushed the team’s first basket at 6:26 and was followed by Luke Matthews, who drained a long two at 5:45. In spite of Ellenville’s refusal to shoot from beyond the paint, the Blue Devils took the lead, 8-6, at 3:13, and never gave it back. Rhinebeck’s Hunter Brandt scored on a driving floater to score the team’s last bucket of the quarter, which ended with Ellenville leading 10-8.

Rhinebeck couldn’t keep it close in the second quarter. Their first points came from a pair of sunk Hanaburgh free throws, which were followed by a 13-0 scoring run from the Blue Devils. The Hawks checked in 6’4” center John Walsh to help contain Ellenville’s interior scoring; Brandt drilled a three at 2:07 to end an almost-five-minute scoring drought for the team. In the final two minutes, Nick Hoynes scored on a short-range jumper and Sean Phelan scored a three to make the score 27-18, Ellenville leading, to close the half.

The situation didn’t improve for the Hawks in the third period until the final three minutes. Rhinebeck couldn’t get a lucky roll on the basket and Ellenville scored almost entirely on transition baskets off steals and long passes. Coach David Aierstok had the Hawks run an effective full court press at the end of the quarter, which led to a nine-point scoring run sparked by a Matthews’ three at 2:41. Rhinebeck came out of the quarter trailing 27-18.

Rhinebeck’s press didn’t let up in the fourth quarter, but Ellenville broke through to score three of their first four baskets of the quarter. Rhinebeck had trouble finding a shot until the second half of the quarter, with the Blue Devils leading by more than 10 points. The Hawks put out their best effort in the waning minutes, with Will Burns, Paul Henke, and Hoynes all scoring from the field, but the Blue Devils left Rhinebeck with a 55-44 victory.

The Hawks managed 14 fouls in the second half to Ellenville’s 7, although Rhinebeck’s final five hacks came in trying to send Ellenville to the foul shot line to squeeze some extra time out of the clock. Hoynes led all scorers with 14 points on the night.

“I thought we played well enough to win. Give credit to Ellenville, but we didn’t shoot the ball well,” Coach Aierstok told The Observer after the game. “We rebounded well, but I can’t imagine what our shooting percentage was.”

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