The Westchester Knicks took on the Erie BayHawks in their first meeting of the season on Saturday. Following the first half, the BayHawks slowly started to climb back and eventually took the lead with a strong fourth quarter, which saw them shoot 63% from the field and 67% from beyond the arc. Raphiael Putney scored nine of his 24 points in the final quarter, while draining all three of his shots from deep. Isaiah Taylor scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, which was a part of Erie’s 35-point fourth quarter.
Westchester head coach Mike Miller sensed the tides turned in Erie’s favor when the opponents shot 63 percent in the final quarter and the home team couldn’t get stops. This led to a Westchester loss.
Both Knicks two-way players performed well against Erie. Isaiah Hicks recorded 23 points, six rebounds and five blocks on an efficient 8-of-13 from the field. Luke Kornet totaled 23 points, four rebounds, four assists, and two blocks. Billy Garrett made his first start of the season and finished with 17 points and five assists. Xavier Rathan-Mayes was one assist short of a double-double with 18 points and nine assists.
The bench played a significant role against Erie. Adam Woodbury scored in double figures while providing a rebounding presence for Westchester. Buay Tuach saw extended playing time for the second game in a row and added in seven points. In the game against Erie, Miller stated it was important for the bench to have the value they did.
“Erie came in and their second unit were a lot of their starters, so we knew the benches were going to play into this game and we knew that it was going to be a physical, aggressive game, so you need more bodies,” Miller stated.
The Westchester Knicks aren’t in action again until Wednesday when they head to Mississauga, Ontario to take on the Raptors 905. The last time the two teams faced off was Nov. 12 & 14 with Westchester losing both games. Following their third loss of the season, Westchester has gone 19-9 and control of first place in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors 905 are 8-2 in their last 10 games and are one and half games behind Westchester for first place in the Atlantic Division.
With the changes the Raptors 905 have made since their last meeting, Miller isn’t sure how much the team can go off their previous meetings.
“Their team is completely different then when we played them last time,” Miller said. “They’ve been probably the hottest team in the league over the last five or six weeks because of the personnel. Now they’ve got all their guys back and they’re healthy and they’re playing very well. We haven’t played them in a long time, so I’m not sure how much we can go off of our old games to look anything.”