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updated: 2/1/2014 10:40 PM

Harper stays hot at home

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By Jonathan Cregier
jcregier@dailyherald.com

The Sports and Wellness Center on the campus of Harper College in Palatine has been a house of horrors for opposing teams this season.

The Hawks improved to 14-8 overall and 6-2 in the North Central Community College Conference on Saturday, picking up a key win against Joliet Junior College in impressive fashion 100-75.

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The decision improved Harper's record to 11-1 on their own tartan playing surface. The Hawks' last home loss came against Illinois Central in the home opener Nov.12.

Thanks to hot shooting from Kevin Sexton, Harper was able to get some momentum early.

The Hawks were also hoping to exploit a size mismatch in favor of 6-foot-8, 280-pound Will Botefuhr (12 points). By halftime Harper led 52-37 against the Wolves (15-8, 6-2).

"They got a lead and felt really good about how they were shooting," Wolves coach Joe Kuhn said of Harper's first-half effectiveness.

Harper sophmore Tyler Gaedele (16 points, 5 rebounds) agreed, saying "once we saw a couple of shots go in, we had the confidence to keep shooting."

Sexton (7 assists) and Brad Reibel lead Hawks in scoring with 17 points.

Reibel credited the addition of a motion set for his success.

"We opened the floor, and let players make decisions," he said.

Those decisions ended up paying off as the Hawks shot 56.7 percent.

"When you score 100 points, you have to play pretty good offense," said Harper's Kevin Walsh (14 points).

Harper's 25-point win marked the largest margin of defeat for Joliet against N4C foes in the program's last 16 seasons.

"I give credit to Harper -- I thought they played tremendous," Kuhn said.

The win forces a four-way tie atop the N4C standings as Joliet, Rock Valley, Triton and Harper are all tied up.

The Hawks travel to Rock Valley on Wednesday with a chance to get a leg up on one of the league leaders.

"We were hyped to play, " Sexton said. "Playing for the conference, we needed this game."

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