PALATINE, Ill. – From the opening tip on Wednesday night, the Harper College men's basketball team played stout defense and poured in the points. The end result was a 30-point win, 92-62, as five Hawks scored in double figures to lift Harper to its fourth consecutive conference victory.
Charles Wright (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East) scored a season-high 17 points while Kevin Walsh (/St. Viator)had 14 for Harper. Bradley Reibel (/Prospect) scored 12 points, Tyler Gaedele (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows ) hit four 3-pointers for 12 points and Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) finished with 11.
Harper (13-9, 5-2 N4C) raced out to a 14-2 lead in the first 3 ½ minutes, forcing Madison to take a timeout. The Hawks built the lead to 24-5 on a four-point play from Kevin Sexton (/Prospect) with 11:29 left in the half and 31-9 on a Michael Boyd (/Lake Zurich) basket with under eight minutes to go. Madison (4-17, 1-6 N4C) cut the deficit to 38-27 on a Shane Kanaman basket with less than two minutes in the half before Reibel's layup put the Hawks up 40-27 at halftime.
Harper came out reenergized in the second half. A pair of three-point plays from Charles Wright (Cheyenne, Wyo./Cheyenne East) gave the Hawks a 52-33 edge with 15:15 remaining. Back-to-back threes from Gaedele and Walsh stretched the lead to 61-35. The WolfPack drew a little closer at 66-44 with nine minutes left, but Harper's 10-0 run put the game out of reach.
"We played with a lot of energy on the defensive end and made sure we didn't let up," Sexton said. "We were aggressive in the passing lanes and got a lot of steals off of that."
Corey McGowan led Madison with a game-high 19 points off the bench, and Brandon Holz added 12.
The Hawks play host to first place Joliet on Saturday night at 7 PM. Joliet topped Harper 72-56 on Jan. 8.
"It's the biggest game of the year up to this point. We just need to come out with a lot of energy again," Sexton said.