Speedy Morris wasn't expecting much out of his St. Joseph's Prep basketball team Tuesday night at Philadelphia University.
In the second game of the season, all the veteran coach was looking for was progress.
And with each quarter, he saw it. Morris' Hawks grew stronger and more confident as their lead grew larger and larger.
The result was a 74-56 victory over Germantown Academy.
"It was a good win," Morris said. "We played a lot better today than we did in our opener [a 53-43 win over Penn Charter]. We did a lot of good things, but we're still a work in progress."
Gene Williams paced the Hawks (2-0) with 19 points. The forward played especially well in a decisive third quarter that ended with the Prep ahead by 55-37.
Williams scored 10 points in the third period, helping expand a 10-point halftime lead into an 18-point advantage that GA could not overcome.
"It was a good win," Williams said. "We stuck to the game plan. GA was a good team, but we were able to come out and play our game and it worked out really well tonight."
Aiding Williams was a strong second half by Mike Overton (14 points), who hit 3 of 4 free throws in the fourth quarter to help keep Germantown Academy at bay.
"Both teams started out really slow; the first five minutes were not good at all," Morris said. "But we picked it up. And in the third quarter, we really played well."
The game was scoreless until Germantown Academy's Jimmy Hammer went to the line and hit two free throws with 4 minutes, 44 seconds left in the first quarter.
That was GA's only advantage of the night.
The Hawks went on a 13-4 run and ended the first quarter ahead by 15-6.
Similarly, GA (1-3) came out strong in the second quarter, cutting the lead to three when Hammer, who led all players with 21 points, hit a jump shot, making the score 21-18 with a little less than five minutes left in the half.
But the Hawks once again went on a run, finishing the second quarter on a 13-5 spree and taking a 34-24 edge into halftime.
"It's only two games. We have a long way to go," Morris said. "We have some tough games coming up. We just have to keep getting better. At this stage, we still have a lot of improving to do."
A bright spot for GA was a strong performance off the bench by forward Greg Dotson, who scored 11 points and helped keep the game close through most of the second quarter.
Germantown Academy 6 18 13 19 – 56
St. Joseph's Prep 15 19 21 19 – 74
GA: Greg Guers 2, Nick Lindner 4, Jimmy Hammer 21, Beau Jones 9, James Drury 6, Connor Crump 1, Joe Taylor 2, Greg Dotson 11.
SJP: Steve Vasturia 16, Mike Fee 11, Gene Williams 19, Mike Overton 14, Matt Stahl 3, Kevin Oberlies 6, Mike Levy 5.