The Hawks kept the ship straight Thursday in Woodward. Despite a rocky start to the night, Woodward-Granger (9-1, 7-1) blew passed Coon Rapids-Bayard (6-5) 70-51 to capture the team’s ninth straight win.
With the longest winning streak in over a decade for the Hawks, head coach Brent Achenbach said the night came down to defense as it has all season, it just took a moment longer than normal.
He said the team warmed up and started the game lackadaisical. The Hawks faced an 8-2 deficit five minutes into the game. Once the team regrouped, there was no stopping them as the Hawks went on one of the most dominant runs this season. They closed out the last three minutes of the period on a 14-0 run.
“We didn’t look good in the beginning. But then we got into our press and our defensive intensity picked up,” Achenbach said. “We were really getting the turnovers and getting momentum going.”
Bryce Achenbach’s stats alone speak to that production. His seven steals tie for the most on the team this season and helped him string together a handful of his 11 points and nine assists.
“When we started pressing, I knew I had to do something,” Bryce said. “So first I just started jumping in the lanes and then everyone just started going with me. Then our intensity got super high and started playing like we normally do.”
Achenbach’s role was relegated more to dishing out points than scoring. He was one of four Hawks in double digits along with Keith Braunschweig (16 points), Nick Buch (13) and Kaya Bowlsby (10).
Overall the team shot 28-of-45 on the night. Shooting 62.2 percent boosted the team to the fourth-highest efficiency in the whole state at 53.3 percent on the season.
Looking back at the rough start to the night, Bryce Achenbach said the team has learned how to regroup ever since the only loss of the season.
“Even if we’re not shooting great, we can still find ways to win games. We still play our defense. We still get steals and make layups and we’ll win,” Bryce said.
Even though W-G hasn’t lost since the first week of December, coach Achenbach said there’s still more to prove. He added that the team’s true showcase has yet to come this season, something they can prove against state qualifying conference foes Des Moines Christian (7-3, 6-2) and Van Meter (9-0, 8-0).
The latter was scheduled to play at Woodward on Friday night but will be rescheduled for Jan. 23 due to a weather cancellation. W-G’s next battle is Monday, Jan. 20 at Greene County (2-7).