Jimmy John's Order Now

Skyhawks fall to Maine Red Claws at the buzzer, pick up 108-107 win

The Maine Red Claws defeated the College Park Skyhawks, 108-107, by a late drive to the basket Sunday evening. Before this matchup, Skyhawks came of a two-game losing streak. The Red Claws came off a loss from the Long Island Nets, which ended their seven-game winning streak. Two-way player Charlie Brown Jr returned for the Skyhawks after playing a few games for the Atlanta Hawks.

In the first quarter, the Skyhawks had a slow start, miscommunication which led to turnovers on defense in a few plays. Prior to the game, head coach Noel Gillespie knew that the Skyhawks had to reduce their turnover rate. Tahj McCall The Skyhawks started hot with drives to the basket, often sending him to the free-throw line. After the first quarter, the Red Claws hung on to a two-point lead.

In the second, Red Claws’ Jaysean Paige heated up from the three-point line. The Skyhawks’ matchup zone defense gave the team problems because the Red Claws were able to swing the ball and find an open three-point shooter. The Skyhawks took advantage of the opportunity to drive to the paint when 7 foot 6-inch Tacko Fall was on the bench. The half ended with the Skyhawks up 55-47, behind 24 points in the paint.

After the game, Skyhawks’ head coach Noel Gillespie expressed how to gameplan around Fall.

“They are unique, you saw. When Tacko is in, we play inside out. Our bigs pop [out] to shoot against Tacko when he is inside,” he said. “When Tacko came out of the game, we had an advantage with Derrickson in the four [because] they went small. [We] tried to go inside against their smaller guards.”

College Park’s McCall talked about how tough it is to score on someone like that.

“Definitely something, [I’m ] not used to,” McCall said. “I remember going up for one layup and I thought I had him but I was not even close. It catches you off guard. You think it is not that big of a difference. I don’t even know if he’s a human.”

In the third quarter, Red Claws’ Carsen Edwards seemed unstoppable as he knocked down consecutive three-pointers. As for the Skyhawks, Marcus Derrickson was the MVP in the third as he put the team on his back and making much-needed plays.

Jimmy John's Order Now
Jimmy John's Order Now

In the fourth, the Skyhawks let it slip. With two opportunities to score, the Skyhawks could not put the ball in the basket with 17 seconds left to go. On the following play, the Red Claws scored in the lane with .7 seconds left to go. The Skyhawks inbounded the ball on the sideline and shot a three, but it did not go in. 

“We had a baseline out of bounds play, we called timeout, drew up a play and did not get the look we wanted,” Coach Gillespie said, recalling the final play. “We ended up turning it over. Give them credit, they drove to the basket and made a tough two. By the time, we had the ball back it was 1 second left on the clock.”

The Skyhawks will have to regroup and get ready to face Lakeland Magic at home this Friday.