Seniors lead Hawkeyes into HC game

This Friday the Hamilton boys basketball team will play one of the most important games of their season, when they face rival Holland Christian at the Civic Center. The two teams played earlier in the year, with Holland Christian winning 61-54. Both teams are having strong season, with Holland Christian tied for first place in the conference and the Hawkeyes just one game back. The outcomes of Friday’s games will be crucial in how the OK Green shapes up. If Hamilton can win then they will be tied with Holland Christian, and tied for first place in the conference, barring a Holland loss. Causing yet another three way tie. But, if Holland, who is heavily favored over Byron Center, can avoid the upset, then they will sit alone once again in first place. If Hamilton loses though, they will more then likely fall out of contention in the conference and will have to look to a playoff run as their next goal.

The Senior heavy Hamilton lineup has seen it’s fair share of ups and downs in the last week. The highest of highs came in a upset win over Holland to put them in a tie for first place. But, the next game the Hawkeyes fell to Byron Center, who gained their first conference win of the season, after starting 0-4. Heading into the Holland Christian game, both teams see the importance. The rivalry will only¬†heighten the atmosphere even more. The game will be defined in the paint, with the marquee match up being, Grant Wolfram and Sam VanderSluis. VanderSluis is coming off of a 22 point, nine rebound game in a win over South Christian last year.

“You have to force him off the block, expand his range.” Coach Haverdink said about VanderSluis. “He shoots the face-up 15 footer pretty well, he’s very agile with his back to the basket, you know he’s gonna make a few, but you can’t let his misses become offensive rebounds.”

Wolfram has been a similar threat for the Hawkeyes this year, a great rebounder and the go-to scorer in the Hamilton offense, he holds a point-forward role for the Hawks. Handling the ball and posting up, he has become one of the hardest players to guard in the conference thanks to his inside-outside presence and his great driving ability. Hamilton will also rely on the play of Senior point guard, Evan Woodke. Woodke has averaged around 15 points a game and is a key cog in the Hamilton system. Hamilton’s defensive specialist Gerrit Eding, will see major playing time and will be tasked with shutting down HC guards, like Tyler Hyma, who is coming off of a 23 point game on Tuesday.

“To win that game, it would be one of the bigger wins of the year, for us and the conference,” Wolfram said.”It’s the last time (the seniors) play Holland Christian at the civic center.”

It should be a packed house and a loud crowd at the Civic Center tonight, as both teams should be fueled by the atmosphere.



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