By Ian Perrotta
The Cosmos (2-5, 1-1) began league competition last Friday (Jan 15.) with a 67-54 loss against the Cranbrook Cranes but righted themselves on Tuesday (Jan 19.) in their game against Clarenceville, slaughtering the Trojans 63-34.
As in other games this season, the Cosmos started off the Cranbrook game slowly but began to find their rhythm in the second and third quarters. And, unfortunately, as in other games they also ran out of steam in the fourth quarter.
However, there were some discrepancies in some of the calls made by the officials, which may have affected the final score. Whereas Cranbrook shot 17 free throws in the second half – sinking 13, the margin of victory – the Cosmos only attempted three free throws. But regardless of the officiating, Head Coach Mark Nezich maintains it is still his team’s job to earn the victory.
“We are still looking for consistency as a team,” he said.
Nezich praised Senior Javontae Hines for his game play, saying that in the first half he carried the team both offensively and in rebounding. Hines finished the game with 24 points and nine rebounds. Junior Anthony Nrecaj had a strong second half and added 17 points and five rebounds. Senior Mike Kaigler grabbed six rebounds, earned five assists and sunk a basket from downtown.
In Tuesday’s game against Clarenceville, the Cosmos walked away with their first Metro Conference victory of the season. Though the Cosmos nearly doubled the Trojans score, they were actually down four points at the end of the first quarter. A better second quarter led to a five-point lead at halftime and from there the team never looked back.
The team struggled to rebound in the first half and also committed several turnovers, but after reassessing the situation at halftime they were able to take control of the game. At the beginning of the second half, Senior Eldin Paric led a rebounding charge, scoring off of two offensive rebounds and reigniting the Hamtramck offense.
“I believe the putbacks turned the tide against Clarenceville for good,” said Nezich
Once again, the team was led by Hines, who scored 26 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Nrecaj had 10 points and seven rebounds and Junior Jonathan McKenzie added nine points. The team’s next game is tonight (Jan. 22) at Harper Woods, but you’ll also have a chance to catch them at home next Tuesday when they play Hazel Park. Tipoff for both games is at 7 p.m.