Senior Ryan Hemmeter turned and pumped his fist, letting out a roar as he watched his third three pointer in as many possessions splash through the hoop during the third quarter of last week’s dramatic win at Marin Catholic. The 6’2” shooting guard poured in all 16 of his points in the second half, following a memorable halftime meeting he says ignited the fire in his inner scorer.
“Coach [Lorenzo Bynum] got in my face during halftime, he’s been telling me all season to shoot more, and everything clicked in that second half,” Hemmeter said. “I was able to carry it into our next game as well.”
Two nights later, a home contest against Novato, Hemmeter led all scorers with 22 points, continuing his hot shooting and allowing for teammates to be left open with defenses constantly worried about him.
“[Jack] Duboff gets the majority of defensive attention, leaving guys like Ryan often open or mismatched,” Bynum said. “In that way, he plays a huge role in our offense and it’s not always showcased. Much like the offensive line in football, no running back or quarterback can function without it. Ryan is our O line.”
Hemmeter’s recent spike in production has led to improved numbers for nearly all his teammates. Fellow seniors Duboff and Connor Dargan were beneficiaries of Hemmeter’s hot shooting, logging impressive numbers in the assist and point categories, respectively.
“It gives our offense so much more when he’s taking and hitting his shots,” Duboff said. “He’s an elite weapon, and it gives guys like Tim [Kim], Connor, Josh [Love], and myself more room to get the shots we want. We’re capable of putting up big numbers when we play like that.”
The Hawks will need Hemmeter to keep up his valuable play as they head into a daunting three game stretch over the next week against their top competitors in MCAL. Two road games, at Redwood and at Branson will test the Hawks as they will face two of the league’s stingiest defenses. A home game against Drake next week will also have major ramifications in the MCAL playoff picture. With Hemmeter contributing like he has of late, Tam will surely put these teams to the test.