The Rhinebeck Hawks basketball team got their fifth win of the season Jan. 22, defeating the visiting Highland Huskies 56-37.
Three quarters of neck-and-neck ball between Highland and Rhinebeck led to a fourth quarter in which the Hawks hung 20 points on the Huskies and ran away with the game.
The situation didn’t look ideal for Purple in the opening minutes. Highland, longer at most positions, started the game with a 6-0 run, with all points coming in the paint. Rhinebeck’s Luke Matthews, who would flush 12 points in the game, put down a pair of layups four minutes into the quarter to get the Hawks on the board and shift the momentum away from Highland; the quarter ended with Rhinebeck trailing by only one.
In the second quarter, Purple managed to grab the lead for the first time on a fast break bucket after an early steal, and a Hunter Brandt three at 3:41 put Rhinebeck up 23-19. Rhinebeck’s defense forced the Huskies to settle for the long ball, in spite of their superiority in the hole. The Hawks went into the half up 25-23.
After a low-scoring third, in which Rhinebeck managed nine points to Highland’s six, the Hawks got busy.
“In the fourth quarter, I told them that Highland was going to bring energy, and that we were going to have to bring more,” Rhinebeck head coach David Aierstok told the Observer.
After Highland’s Travis Marnell hit a layup in the first minute of the quarter, cutting Rhinebeck’s lead to 32-31, the Hawks went off. Rhinebeck’s Nakym Carroll, who led Rhinebeck in scoring on the night with 14 points, led the salvo, putting down a layup at 6:17 to put Rhinebeck up 37-31 and later flushing a dagger three-pointer to make it 42-32 with 3:29 left on the clock.
“I was just confident in myself, and I just had the open shot and took it,” Carroll said of the three. “I scored a lot, had a lot of open shots — it was the best game, better than any other game I’ve had so far.”
Highland spent the remainder of the quarter firing from down town, or close to it, but they wouldn’t score again until there was one minute left in the quarter.
“The fourth quarter was the best we’ve played as a team,” said Aierstok. “Highland’s a good team, a very good team. We made some half-time adjustments, and they responded. We just got hopping.”