Harper College men's basketball coach Tony Amarino was pleased his Hawks got their first victory of the season, 92-76 over Moraine Valley in nonconference play Thursday at the Sports and Wellness Center in Palatine.
He was not, however, entirely pleased with exactly how his team won.
"We got away with one," Amarino said.
Harper led the whole way and took a 42-31 lead into halftime. Despite that edge, Amarino wasn't pleased.
"We haven't played a full game yet," he said.
In the second half, Moraine Valley (0-2) stepped up its defensive pressure. Harper's primary ball-handler, Kevin Sexton, bore the brunt of the attention and ultimately helped the Hawks weather the storm on his way to finishing with 12 points.
The faster pace caused some frustration on the part of the Harper (1-3), as Luke Potnick (Buffalo Grove) picked up his fifth foul with 15:27 remaining.
"They're a high-pressure team," said Harper guard Brad Reibel. "We saw that in the second half."
But unlike in Tuesday's loss to Illinois Central, the Hawks eventually met the pressure challenge.
"All week we have been working on a play to counteract (the press)," said Harper sophomore Michael Rose, who finished with 15 points and a career-high 3 blocked shots. "I got to come out and do what I do."
An opportunistic all-Prospect backcourt of Sexton and Reibel (team-high 16 points) helped Harper score.
"We got a lot out of broken plays," Reibel said.
With 13:29 left, the Cyclones cut the Hawks' margin to 9 at 54-45 -- but that was as close as Moraine Valley could get.