Nooks Basketball splits the weekend

Jaycson Bereal Jr. shooting a three against Hawaii Pacific.
Jaycson Bereal Jr. shooting a three against Hawaii Pacific.(KTVF)
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 9:27 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The first game of the season for the Nanooks Men’s basketball team and it was a fun one right out the gate against the Hawaii Pacific Sharks.

The game would see both teams fighting tooth and nail for every single point. The nooks would go on runs but the sharks would go on their own to pull them back in.

A lot of the offense was coming from Doozy Mohamed down low, Jaycson Bereal Jr. and Paul Johnson from deep and Nick Hopkins in the mid range. The first half would end with the nooks holding a nine point lead 37 to 28.

The second half started in the favor of the Sharks but a timely timeout for the Nooks changed up the momentum. Even with the Sharks out scoring the Nooks in the second half by four points they would snag the lead back and take the win 68 to 64.

Coach Greg Sparling spoke about the timeout, and what was said during the timeout after the game. “So we called the time out and just told him to settle down, let’s keep going inside because at halftime doozy was four for five. Nik was four for five.”

He continued saying, “I wish we could live that guy a little bit more big guy probably big guy will ever see but I think at the end of the day I’m happy that we got the kills when we needed to stop at the end of the game and then we were able to get Paul got a couple buckets and the seal with the free throws.”

The chemistry from the new line up is already showing from the first game, and the players understand how much that it frees up the floor for everyone.

“Man all in all, this is a special team, more than any other team I played with. Because more than that you know, we have no egos on the team. You know everybody’s playing very selflessly. You know, obviously we had three guys score of the double digits, but you can tell multiple guys were in the game. You know very hype for their teammates our bench was in it you know.” said Doozy Mohamed, one of UAF’s starting forwards.

He added, “So I think, you know, when you get out there and place selfless, it’s so easy to just have so much more fun you know. Where you’re not stressing about maybe turning the ball over or the next play or what not you know. You’re just trying to play basketball, you know my idea of having basketball is like as much fun as I possibly can you know, and I had a lot of fun out there today and stuff. Obviously I was frustrated, but you know that comes with a passion and love of the game you know.”

A big win for the team was limiting turnovers throughout the game and taking advantage of their takeaways.

“Yah, it’s definitely been a focus for us not only on the floor, but off the floor we talk about it in locker room and just how much that killed this last year. I mean, we had games 17-18 turnovers, you’re not going to beat anybody like that. We knew that this year it was just like Coach said from the beginning of the year we came in we got to stop the turnovers, and it was nice seeing that is translating from practice into the games, so that was nice,” said Nick Hopkins.

The Second Game of the weekend against the Chaminade Silverswords saw another nice start for Nooks, keeping the first half a snug tie at 34 to 34. They had a low shooting percentage, going 9 for 27 at 33.3 %, but they shot at 42.86% from deep and were solid from the line going 13 for 17 at 76.47%.

The second half is where it would points would start to slip through the cracks for the Nooks, as turnover and fouls would be the down fall of the game. Chaminade would take advantage of those increased turnovers in the second with 13 points scored of turnovers. Included was only scoring six points from the free throw line versus 13 in the first half.

The Silverswords took the win, 80 to 72 in the end.

The next series up for the Nanooks is starting this Friday, November 17th against Colorado State University Pueblo.