Nighthawks Fall In Season Finale

The National Park College Nighthawk men’s and women’s basketball teams completed their historic seasons Thursday, with the women falling to SAU Tech, 79-63, and the men losing to the Rockets, 105-99.

With just six players available in their season finale, the Nighthawk women (4-14) went toe-to-toe with SAU Tech early, led by aggressive rebounding and hot shooting from sophomore Hailee Crosby (Mountain Pine) and Makayla-Kai Montiho (Poyen). Tied at 11 with three minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Lady Rockets stifled the Nighthawk offense, closing out the first quarter with a 16-11 lead.

In the second quarter, the Nighthawks lost ground against SAU Tech, falling behind by as many as 10 points. In the final minute of the first half, however, National Park College exploded on a 7-0 run behind four-consecutive points from freshman Logan Keener (Lake Hamilton) and Crosby’s third trey of the game, cutting the SAU Tech lead to 36-30 at the half.

SAU Tech regained its momentum with a 13-4 run to open the second half, extending the lead to as many as 15 points. Despite a 10-point effort from Crosby in the fourth quarter, the Lady Rockets stayed strong, matching the Nighthawks bucket-for-bucket and ending National Park’s season with a loss.

Crosby led the Nighthawks in scoring with 28 points, while Montiho and Keener finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively, in the loss.

Fueled by big three-pointers from sophomores Logan Willett (Faith Prep Academy) and Braylon Steen (Bryant) and freshman Patrick Greene (Little Rock Mills), the Nighthawk men (17-8) caught fire from the opening tipoff, surging to a 12-0 lead and a 21-4 run within the game’s first five minutes.

Midway through the first half, the Rockets staged a comeback, capitalizing on steals and National Park turnovers to outscore the Nighthawks, 25-10, and cut the deficit to two points—31-29—with less than six minutes remaining. Behind a 13-point half from sophomore KJ Corder (Hot Springs), the Nighthawks clung to the lead, 49-46, entering halftime.

In the second half, SAU Tech grabbed its first lead of the ballgame, 67-66, with 13:04 remaining, which quickly grew to a nine-point margin. Big three-pointers from Corder brought the Nighthawks back within contention, 81-79, with 8:10 remaining, but late SAU Tech free throws iced the game for the Rockets.

Corder led the Nighthawks in scoring with 28 points, while Greene and Steen added 20 and 17 points, respectively. Willett finished with 11 points in the loss.

For more information on schedules, rosters and more, visit Visit NJCAA Division II team stats for up-to-date NJCAA statistics on the Nighthawks. Fans can also follow the Nighthawks all season on social media.

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