By Jim Flick
Hubbard outscored Howland 18-3 in the third quarter.
HOWLAND — Playing strong defense as well as effective offense on Friday, the Hubbard High boys basketball team stormed out to fast starts in the first and third quarters to overwhelm Howland, 70-45.
Hubbard coach Rick Fox said he encourages his team to start fast and keep pounding away on the opposition.
“If you let a team hang around, you give them hope,” Fox said. “We push it more this year. And when you jump on a team, you can’t be particular on offense.
“These guys played hard.”
The Eagles’ strong defensive play was very important, Fox said. “Our defense is our offense.”
ox credited senior point guard Keith Drummond with kicking the team into gear.
“He’s a leader, a very strong leader,” Fox said.
Drummond was credited with seven assists and scored 12 points while leading the offense for Hubbard (4-0).
High scorer for the Eagles was junior Mike Lopuchovsky, who tallied 25 points, including three 3-point shots.
Just as Fox encouraged his players to do, Hubbard’s offense got off to a fast start. The Eagles burst out to a 12-point lead, 21-9 at the end of the first quarter
Howland (2-2) rallied in the second quarter, outscoring Hubbard in the second stanza 15-13 behind Dontea Dawson.
Dawson scored 11 points in the first half and 13 for the game.
Despite the efforts of Dawson and Matt Haering, who scored five point in the first two quarters, the Tigers trailed 34-24 at halftime.
But Hubbard took firm command on the game in the third quarter, outscoring Howland 18-3. Hubbard outscored Howland 18-0 and didn’t allow the Tigers to its first points in the stanza until only 35 second remained.
Haering connected from the field and then sank a free throw to account for all of Howland’s points in the third quarter.
Haering continued his strong play in the game’s final stanza, scoring 11 in the fourth quarter to reach a team-high total of 18 points for the game.
Hubbard led 52-27 after three quarters. With the game in hand, the Eagles relaxed. Howland and Hubbard each scored 18 points in the game’s final period.
“I give Hubbard credit,” Howland coach Dan Campana said. “They played well and they played hard.
“Once they started hitting their shots, that just took us out of our game.”
In the second half, as Hubbard scored point after point, Howland sank only nine of 27 shots from the field.
Haering’s strong efforts marked his best game of the season, according to Campana. Haering “did a nice job for us,” Campana said.
Campana said that despite Hubbard’s early lead, the Howland players “never quit. hey don’t ever quit.”