Rockets go 7-2 after 1-6 start to season
BY DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Rockford boys basketball won 64-57 over Maple Lake last week despite the top two scorers not getting a single point in the first half and one not scoring at all.
What it means is that other players contributed what was needed to post the team’s seventh win in the last nine games. Play was not so complementary at the start of the season when Rockford went 1-6.
Earlier last week Rockford defeated Kimball 76-56. As usual, scoring leaders were juniors Brock Deering with 21 points and Nick Tully with 14.
Against Maple Lake in the next game, Tully did not score and Deering waited until the second half to net all of his 18 points. Brendon Schumacher stepped up to score 14 points and Ben Arens hit for 12.
Coach Michael Tauber said Tully had an off night, slowed by leg issues and he played little in the second half. Tauber expects Tully to be back on top of things this week.
“Ben Arens had by far his best game with 12 points and nine rebounds,” adds Tauber. “We out-rebounded Maple Lake by 10, which makes a big difference in a game you win by seven.”
The coach says his team’s offensive system is not built around specific players. They run through sets and get a lot of different looks at the basket.
“We moved Brock from playing outside to inside near the basket for parts of the last couple of games and he scored from both,” said Tauber about the 6-4 Deering.
Against Kimball the Rockets shot a high 66 percent overall and 71 percent from 2-point range. Rockford forced a lot of fast-break baskets and got inside for close shots. Deering was 10 for 12 shooting. Tully went 5 for 8, scoring 11 in the first half.
Senior guard Joey Richardt made a start and scored nine points to go with good defensive play, says Tauber. He made two big 3-point baskets that answered two 3’s by Kimball.
Tauber said several players have accepted their roles. Senior Jordan Redepenning is the starting point guard who does not score as much, but runs the show and usually plays the most minutes.
Rockford has no first player off the bench. Tauber said he can use 11-12 players to create different lineups depending on what is needed.
Reserves include Robert Dumas, Jesse Gabler, Logan Suko, Karsten Poulsen, Alex Shaikoski, Joe Agre, Brody Harstad and Austin Witthuhn. Rockford has seven seniors and seven juniors on varsity with no sophomores.
Rockford is home against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Thursday, Jan. 31 and against Holdingford Tuesday, Feb. 5 before going to undefeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Friday, Feb. 8.
HLWW is 11-4 in second place in league play, while Rockford is 4-3 in the league, 8-8 overall.
Jayda Palmer did not let Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa get many second chance shots at the basket when she grabbed an amazing 23 rebounds in Rockford’s 56-47 victory last week.
The Rockets rolled to a 20-point halftime lead that stayed that big until the end. Coach James Carr called it a team victory when five players scored at least eight points and no one had more than 12.
Jordan Weeding and Brianna Calder both netted 12 points. Palmer had nine points to go with the 23 rebounds and both Abigail Botten and Sam Bagaason each had eight points. Botten hit a couple of big 3-point shots.
“We are taking high percentage shots and doing a better job at not settling for shots with a hand in our face,” said Carr bout how his Rockets had won three straight games.
Rockford plays three straight home games against Maple Lake Friday, Feb. 1, against Watertown-Mayer Monday, Feb. 4 and against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Thursday, Feb. 7.
Contact David Pedersen at [email protected]