Tale of two halves as Hawks’ season ends at home

Published 8:30 am Friday, March 3, 2023

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MURFREESBORO – The Chowan men’s basketball team saw their double-digit lead evaporate here Monday in the second round of the Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Championship where the Hawks fell 97-90 against rival Mount Olive.

Chowan led by as many as 19 points before being outscored by 21 points in the second half.

Isaac Hippolyte and RJ Wilson collected double-doubles. Hippolyte posted 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Wilson tallied 12 points and 11 rebounds. Jay Estime finished his career with a team-high 23 points. Christian Koonce added 14 points and Daylan Askew chipped in 13 points.

Leading 17-13 in the early going, Donavon Martin tallied a jumper and a pair from the stripe while Preston Le Gassick added a jumper to spark a run. Koonce hit a layup, a jumper, and three-pointer to push the lead to 30-21. Estime connected from deep and Veigar Alexandersson tallied a transition basket to push the advantage to 36-23.

Le Gassick added a basket and Skyler Davies finished off the alley-oop from Koonce. Hippolyte added the next two baskets to keep the advantage, 44-35.

Estime knocked down a triple before Wilson added four points. Hippolyte finished the scoring at the stripe to lead 53-49 at the half.

Askew opened the scoring in the second half with a fastbreak jumper. Wilson knocked down a trey and Hippolyte added a jumper to push the advantage to its largest, 19, at 60-41, with 17:47 remaining.

Mount Olive went on a 22-5 run to cut the deficit to two, 65-63, over a four minute stretch before Hippolyte scored off a layup. UMO would take a 68-67 lead before a basket each by Hippolyte and Estime gave the Hawks a 71-68 advantage.

The Trojans evened the score at 71-all before Estime hit another jumper. Wilson added a three-point play and Estime connected from deep on back-to-back possessions to lead 81-76. UMO answered with a 7-0 run to regain the lead 83-82.

The lead would flip hands with a layup by Estime, 85-84, before the Trojans went on an 8-2 run to lead 92-86. Koonce and Hippolyte tried to keep the score close with a basket each, but the Trojans would finish off the contest.

Chowan’s season ends with a 14-10 overall record.