It took some attention to detail, but after some primping, Harper's men's basketball team still looked like a winner.
"We tightened our shoes and our beltbuckle and we got after it," said Harper coach Tony Amarino after his team's 87-84 double-overtime victory against Milwaukee Area Technical College in North Central Community College Conference play.
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The Hawks trailed 63-52 with under six minutes to play Wednesday at the Sports and Wellness Center, where Harper is now 8-1. And even though they completed the comeback, Amarino is still looking for more from his team.
"I dont think we played anywhere near our best game," he said.
Milwaukee coach Randy Casey was pleased with his team's play -- particularly on the defensive end -- but only for about the first 38 minutes.
"We were doing what we were supposed to," he said.
Which led to easy transition buckets for the athletic Stormers, who were led in scoring by Troy Spears and Thomas Hood (23 points each) and Jermaine Brisco (22).
The Hawks gradually started to change the game with better results on the defensive end.
"We made some crucial turnovers," Casey said.
And Harper's offense started to come alive. Kevin Sexton's 3 with 45 seconds remaining gave Harper (11-9, 3-2) a brief lead at 71-68.
"It was hard -- they can all shoot," Spears said of playing against the Hawks' "5-out" offensive set, something the Harper coaching staff recently implemented.
Sexton finished with a team-best 20 points, including four 3's, while Michael Boyd had 16, Kevin Walsh had 14, Brad Reibel had 10 and Tyler Gaedele had 8.
"I'm really happy for them, the way they played," Amarino.
• The Harper women's team suffered a 76-65 loss to Milwaukee as the Hawks fell to 3-14 overal land 0-5 in the N4C.
"It was a matter of playing smart," said Harper sophomore forward Monica Hinderer.
"Our defense was really good at the beginning," said first-year Hawks coach Jenny Turpel.
When all was said and done, though, the visitors from Wisconsin just had too much offense.
The Stormers were keyed by Ashley McHenry (17 points), who was nearly flawless on the evening. McHenry was able to go to her dominant left hand, allowing for higher percentage shots.
Harper committed 32 turnovers, incudling 22 in the first half.
"If we do a better job taking care of the ball, I think it would have been a different ballgame," Turpel said. Hinderer led Harper with 16 points while Rachel Payne had 8 and Ashley Packard 6.