December 16, 2020 – Grafton, WI – The Grafton Black Hawks provide a stiff physical test for any team they face with the size to back it up, including two players standing 6 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 5 inches.
This was no exception against Hartford, who by no means is an undersized team.
The Orioles however, had a lot of trouble containing the Black Hawks, especially in the paint where Hartford collected 20 plus team fouls including a technical foul which reflected the team’s frustration.
Grafton controlled much of the first half, leading by double digits on more than one occasion, including heading into halftime up 36-24.
However, to Hartford’s credit, the team almost immediately erased the halftime deficit and within five minutes into the second half was back to almost even.
The Orioles received some unexpected help from Grafton, who had second half foul troubles including Black Hawks’ lead scorer, senior Brock Hefner, fouling out with just over four minutes left in the game. Hefner finished with 22 points.
The Black Hawks were not a one-man show though, as senior JP Benzschawel was another key contributor for Grafton on both sides of the court physically and at the free-throw line making 5 out of 7 attempts.
Hartford spread out its offense. The team was led by senior Javon Melvin with 24 points; 16 of those came in the second half. Melvin proved to be the one Oriole that Grafton could not contain from short or medium range.
Grafton edged Hartford in a conference matchup 70-61.
Grafton will remain at home to take on the Port Washington Pirates in a conference rivalry game on Friday, December 18 at 7:15 p.m. Hartford will return home and have a conference matchup with the Homestead (Mequon) Highlanders on Friday, December 18 at 7:15 p.m.