A Look Into Each Howell North Team’s Winter Break Schedule


Credit to Jared Kinnard

Senior Justin Mathews-Williams prepares to pass the ball on 3/3 in the Howell North gym.

By Dominic Hoscher, FHNGameday.com Editor

The first semester is winding down with Winter Break beginning today. While most students will be out of school, winter sports will still be rolling on with four of Howell North’s five teams all competing at some point during the break. Both of the basketball teams will be in action immediately after Christmas against stiff competition, and the varsity hockey team will have the school’s most loaded schedule over the next couple of weeks. Here is an outlook for each team heading into the break and a deeper look into their upcoming schedules.


Girls Basketball

It’s been a bit of a slow start to the season for the Lady Knights basketball team, as they have opened the year with a record of 0-4. However, they’ve had to deal with one of the more challenging schedules in the entire GAC South, with their four opponents combining for a record of 19-8. With such a difficult set of opening games, head coach Dawn Hahn hopes to use these tough losses to help further improve as a team.

“When you’re competing against good competition, you’re always going to improve because as you play each other, you are able to get that much better,” Hahn said. “Even though we’re 0-4, it’s a situation where we believe we can compete and we can start taking that confidence and that determination into what we’re going to be doing from this point on.”

It won’t get much easier for the Lady Knights over the break, heading out to Summit for the Varsity Holiday Hoops tournament. Their first game in the tournament will be against the Liberty(KC) on Dec. 27. The other six teams that will be participating in the tournament are University City, Fort Zumwalt South, Soldan, Summit, Pacific and Farmington.  In order for Howell North to advance past the first round, they’ll have to shore up a defense that has allowed 209 points through just four games. If the girls can do this and become more consistent on the offensive end, the Lady Knights could not only get past the first round, but  could also go deep into the tournament.


Boys Basketball

Also competing in a tournament on the 27th is the varsity boys basketball team, who are in the 47th annual Chaminade Christmas Tournament. The Knights had a rough go of things last year in this tourney, losing both of their first two games to Ritenour and Lutheran South. Despite this, the varsity team was still able to win their seventh place game over St. Pius X. The level of competition is high every year in this tournament, with teams such as Chaminade and John Burroughs making up the tourney. As a result of this, the Knights are going into their post-Christmas games with a slightly altered mindset.

“We obviously want to win, but at the same time when you play teams that are so uber talented and have such ridiculous amounts of talent at their disposal, you want to make it a learning experience,” senior forward Rizwan Hyder said. “More than anything, we want to try and get something out of each game regardless, of win or loss.”

Howell North’s first game will be against the Chaminade Red Devils. Chaminade has been carried by an explosive offense to a 4-1 record on the season, scoring over 77 points in all but one game. This doesn’t bode well for an FHN defense that’s allowed the most points per game in the GAC South (68.6). In order to overcome this, the Knights will be forced to rely on big performances out of some of their top players. Some of these players include shooting guard Justin Mathews-Williams, who is averaging over 26 points per game, and forward Anthony Hople, averaging 11.6 PPG. While they won’t be favored against the Red Devils or most teams in the tournament, stand-out performances from Mathews-Williams and Hople could give the Knights a chance in their opening game.


Ice Hockey

No team has more of a crowded schedule during the break than the varsity hockey team. With five games on their Christmas slate, the Knights have more than enough opportunities to try and turn their disappointing 2017/18 season around. So far this season, the Knights have just two wins and are currently on an eight game slide. Their last win was over a month ago on Nov. 7.  

That win, however, was against the first team they play over the upcoming break: the Holt Indians. The Knights scored a season-high eight goals in the game, and it was the second time they’ve scored over seven goals in a single game all season. Another game vs. the Indians provides Howell North the opportunity to figure out their struggles on the defensive end and to right the ship against a slightly weaker opponent. A win over Holt could give the team the confidence they need heading into a more difficult schedule to close out 2017.

The remaining teams on that schedule include rivals Francis Howell and Francis Howell Central, as well as the 8-5 Duchesne Pioneers. The Vikings are 5-4 on the year while the Spartans sit at 3-6-1, neither of the two teams creating that much distance between them and the Knights. If FHN can put together a couple of wins before New Years, they can significantly close the gap between them and their rivals in the conference.



The last of the four Howell North winter sports teams that will be continuing their season over Winter Break is the varsity wrestling team. FHN will travel to Desmet High School for matches on Dec. 27 and 28, and then will be off to Fort Zumwalt West on Jan. 3. One of the wrestlers that will be competing on these dates is senior Bon Jang, who hopes to not just to win his matches but to also gain something out of them.

“We hope not just to get better as a team, but to also learn from our matches,” Jang said. “We want to watch over what we did wrong and what we did right and see how we can get better from it and win as both individuals and as a team.”


The lone Howell North team that will not have any competitive fixtures over Winter Break is the varsity girls swimming team. Their next meet will be on Jan. 4 vs. Hazelwood Central, the first day back from break.