Natomas Basketball Teams Fall To Grant

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Brian Hamilton knew what was coming.

Five students he hopes will be key contributors to the Natomas High School boys basketball team sat out the season opener Friday night against Grant High School, waiting for eligibility issues to be resolved.

“With two weeks of practice,” said Hamilton, the Nighthawks new head basketball coach. “It is a learning experience.”

But no one could have imagined the 67-17 drubbing the team took from the Pacers on their home court.

“The score doesn’t matter. We just need to continue to get better,” Hamilton said. “This is something to build on. We are going to work and build. I knew what I was getting myself into with talent level and where we are as a program.”

Kurtis Oroy led the Nighthawks with five points. Grant senior De’Sean Parsons single-handily outscored Natomas with 18 points.

Throughout the game Hamilton smiled at his players, gave high-fives and calmly led from the sidelines. He knows it will take time to implement his system which has proven successful with club-level basketball teams.

“We just need to build. I am fine with that,” Hamilton said. “I always have a smile on my face. I have a lot to work to do. I just want to make the players better on and off the court.”

In girls hoops, having one starting player ejected and another foul out is rough at any point in the game—but during the first half it’s a down-right killer for a young team and was the deciding factor in the Natomas girls 68-23 loss to Grant Friday night.

“What we talked about in our pregame was being able to keep our composure, don’t panic and stay calm,” coach Stu Welch said. “And we just failed to execute that.”

At halftime, the Nighthawks trailed 26-16.

Senior starters Sierra Moun, was ejected from the game, and Morganne Johnson, fouled out, both in the first half. The team’s misfortunes mounted when Zakari York fouled out in the third quarter.

“It gave us a little adversity playing without our leaders,” Welch said. “Sierra is a senior. Morganne is obviously one of our strongest players and Zakari is a senior, so we lose all of our leadership and we have to play through that.”

Halle Hamre led the Nighthawks with eight points and Johnson finished with four points and six rebounds before fouling out.

Natomas will host Center next Wednesday, Nov. 28 and Welch hopes the mistakes his team made in the season opener will teach them a lesson in preparation.

“It is a rather humbling experience that makes us look at ourselves,” Welch said. “We came in to the game with a lot of confidence and we had that all through the preseason. Even warming up for this game, this makes them realize that everything they practice matters.

“We get under pressure and we fall apart. But we will take it, learn from it and we won’t make the same mistakes in our game Wednesday night against Center.”

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