The Harper College men's and women's basketball teams played big games against Milwaukee Area Technical College on Wednesday night, not only in the conference standings but also for seeding purposes in the upcoming regional tournament to be hosted by Harper in February.
Men's coach Tony Amarino went so far as to call his game a "must win," and the women's team also needed a win to keep pace with league-leading Madison.
In the women's game, the Stormers seemed more like a team chasing down a league leader. Milwaukee (3-13, 1-4) erased a 14-point first-half deficit and earned a 63-58 win.
"We were outworked," said Hawks coach Nichole Jones.
The Stormers were keyed by Maywood native Demetria Watson. The 5-foot-6 guard finished the night 2 steals shy of a triple double with 24 points, 11 assists and 8 steals.
"You give a hungry team time, they will win" said Jones.
"We tried to take away (Harper forward Monica Hinderer)," said MATC coach Jeff Lorenz.
While frustrated much of the night, Hinderer led the way for Harper with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
In the men's game, Hawks leading scorer Garett Gatz (Conant) was out due to an injury.
Amarino may have been asking himself who was going to score for his squad; freshman guard Tyler Gaedele (Rolling Meadows) provided a clear answer with a career-high 29 points. The sharp shooter finished with 8 3s.
"Thats what I do best," Gaedele said of his shooting prowess.
Still, it wasn't enough as the Stormers fought to a 73-71 victory.
"We emphasized they were going to shoot allot of 3s," Stormers coach Randy Casey said.
With 3:40 left and the game tied at 69-69, the Stormers produced a 10-2 run. Six of the points came from high scorer Bobby Saxton.
Unlike the first half, the Hawks had difficulties finding the bottom of the net in the second.
"We couldn't hit a shot," Amarino said.