Cooper Defeats Red Knight Basketball in a Well-Fought Battle

Mike Geer

The Cooper Hawks came to the Haben Center boasting a 14-0 record and a reputation as one of the best boys basketball teams in the state, and kept their undefeated record intact by defeating the Red Knights 79-68, in a fast paced offensive game.

Junior Seth Marx led all scorers with 23 points, 21 of them from beyond the arc. But Marx didn’t do it all. Juniors Peter Crawford and Darren Glover each finished in double figures. Even freshman Isaiah Zierden dropped two threes on the Hawks.

The shooting was not enough to contain the high-scoring Hawks. Future Gopher Rodney Williams Jr. had a team-high 21 points, 13 of them coming in the final eight minutes. 

The Red Knights kept pace with the number 3 Hawks and trailed by only one at halftime. Going into the final four minutes, Cooper held on to a thin three point lead but proceeded to stretch the lead to 11 in the last few moments of the game, capped off by three ferocious dunks by Williams. 

“We just got tired,” said senior captain John Musech. “[Cooper] outran us in those final minutes, we couldn’t keep up, and they took a big lead.” 

While it was listed as a loss on the overall standings, it was anything but a poor showing. After losing six seniors last year, two of them playing for Division One schools, the younger players have had to step up and take on important leadership roles. As opposed to last year where most of the scoring was between Armond Battle and Jordan Taylor, this year the scoring is more spread out. Juniors Crawford and Glover are the two leading scorers, but close behind is sophmore Myles Barnes and junior Seth Marx. 

At 7-7, the Red Knights stand in the middle of the North Suburban Conference and still have hopes of being one of the top teams in the conference. Cooper came in undefeated, ranked number three in the state, and led by one of the top recruits in the state, yet the Red Knights game them just as much competition as any other top ranked school.

“If we play as well as we did for those first thirty minutes against Cooper,” said Musech, “we may not lose a game for the rest of the season.”