2021/22 NBL Player Focus: Froling fires from deep
ILLAWARRA Hawks head coach Brian Goorjian highlighted the importance of their Round 8 clash with the Adelaide 36ers heading into Monday, stating their season was on the line and declaring the clash ‘all or nothing’.
The team and the players responded in a big way, taking down their opponents to the tune of 11 points at WIN Entertainment Centre. They were able to hit triple-digits as they posted a winning score, and while their defensive struggles have continued, their offence was able to outweigh this. There were a number of key contributors for the victors as they soared to an impressive points total, and there were none more so than forward Harry Froling. He provided some serious offensive production off the bench in what was clearly his strongest performance of the 2021/22 National Basketball League (NBL) season.
Coming off the bench, Froling checked in with four and a half minutes remaining for the term, and at this stage, the Hawks were leading by just two points. He wasted no time before making an immediate impact, draining his first field goal attempt which came in the form of a three-pointer from a Tyler Harvey assist. This gave his team a bit of breathing room after some tense opening minutes. A few plays later, he impressed with his ability to pull down an offensive board, but his put-back shot could not find the bottom of the net. He was also able to display his passing ability, finding teammate Duop Reath for the open dunk to round out a solid opening quarter.
After returning to the pine to start the second period, Froling was called upon shortly after to provide some more spark. He crashed the boards with great success, picking up a defensive rebound as well as one on the offensive end as he continued his strong play. There was a nice brotherly connection in the minutes that followed, with Sam finding Harry for his second three of the match. He sank his third shot from behind the arc with six and a half minutes to go in the second period. By the time his fourth basket from downtown found the bottom of the net, it was evident that he was a problem for the opposition, extending his side’s lead to 14. One more before the main break saw Froling enter half-time with five three-pointers to his name with two quarters to play.
Froling’s strong play saw the 23-year-old start the second half on the court, and racked up another assist next to his name, finding his brother for the lay-up. The Adelaide defence did not give Froling as much room in the second half, understanding his capacity to break the game open. He added to his points tally when his driving lay-up found the bottom of the basket halfway through the quarter. His sixth shot from long-range came a minute later, when he was on the end of an impressive fast-break play. After adding another rebound and assist to his stats, he was able to send himself to the free throw line, where he made one of two attempts, which rounded out his quarter.
He returned to the court with just over half a quarter remaining, and was able to make his seventh three-pointer immediately after. He became the first player to sink eight shots from behind the arc when he extended his side’s lead to 23 points with five minutes remaining. Froling was able to take the rest of the match easy, with the win secure as the Hawks looked to move the ball through their younger players. He finished with 27 points (8-10 3PT), nine rebounds and three assists in what was a career-night for the forward.