The Woodward-Granger boys basketball team earned their third win - ninth in their last 10 games - after a 57-49 performance against West Central Activities foe, the Panorama Panthers (5-6, 3-6) on Tuesday, Jan. 8. uik

“Every game in our conference is a battle. If you don’t show up and play well you can get beat,” Hawks head coach Brent Achenbach said.

And show up they did.

Playing in front of the home crowd, W-G starters Bryce Achenbach, Reese Jamison, Noah Hoyt, Kaya Bowlsby and Keith Braunschweig set the tone early.

The five Hawks, along with several role players, kept the Panther’s offense in check in the first quarter with just seven points to their 24.

It was a much tighter contest the rest of the way with both teams stepping up their defense and keeping each other in check.

After two quarters the Hawks (9-2, 8-1), had added another point to their already 17 point first quarter lead after a 15-14 second.

The double-digit lead gave the Hawks the ability to slow down the pace of the game and chew up the clock.

The final 16 minutes saw the Panthers attempt to claw their way back with an 11-10 third and a 17-8 fourth quarter. But the home team’s margin was just big enough to keep their opponent at bay.

Three Hawks starters finished in double digits. They were led by senior Hoyt, who finished with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 1-of-2 from beyond the arc.

Juniors Bryce Achenbach and Braunschweig combined for 27 points (11 and 16). The latter also led the team in rebounds with eight. Bryce Achenbach dished out five assists and junior Bowlsby blocked two shots.

As a team, the Hawks sank 21 of their 47 attempts from the field, were 12-of-18 from the line and had 13 assists and five steals.

The victory keeps the Hawks a game ahead of WCAC third-place, the Madrid Tigers (7-2), and one game behind undefeated and conference leaders the Van Meter Bulldogs (9-0).

The Bulldogs continued their winning ways after thrashing the Interstate 35 Roadrunners 74-23 at home on Jan. 8.

The Hawks have a chance to inch closer to their conference rivals this Friday, Jan. 11 when they travel to Van Meter to take on the Bulldogs.

“We have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Hawks coach Achenbach said. “Reigning conference champs and undefeated make them the standard we’re shooting for in our conference. We need to meet the intensity they play with and see if we can knock them off.”