by DAVE PEDERSEN
SUN PRESS Newspapers
The Rockford boys and girls basketball teams were clicking on all cylinders when suffering a slowdown last week.
Both teams lost two games and were looking for fix-ups just prior to the start of the section playoffs.
The Rocket girls lost a non-conference game to Lester Prairie 78-67 last Tuesday, before falling to league rival Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 39-35 Thursday.
Rockford earned the No. 6 sub-section seed and opened the playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 at No. 3 St. Cloud Cathedral.
The winner advances to play either No. 2 Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted or Maple Lake, 2:45 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at Dassel-Cokato. The sub-section final is 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 5 at DC.
Against Lester Prairie, Brianna Calder powered the offense with 20 points and six rebounds. Jayda Palmer had 10 points eight rebounds and four assists. Abby Botten hit for nine points and Kaitlin and Allison McNeal both scored seven points.
Botten led with 11 points against BBE, while Jordan Wedding scored seven and Calder had six. Palmer added 12 rebounds and four steals.
“For the whole game, we had trouble getting into the flow,” said coach James Carr about the BBE loss. “We showed some glimpses, but in the end we came up a little bit short.”
Boys basketball had been on a role and had defeated Pierz in what coach Michael Tauber called the best his team has played since being in the state tournament a few years ago.
“We came into last week and unraveled a little bit,” says Tauber about losing 54-49 to Eden Valley-Watkins and 60-43 to Kimball. “I think we addressed it in practice after.”
Rockford battled hard against EVW but missed some chances down the stretch. Brock Deering led with 16 points and Nick Tully added 14.
Tauber said his team struggled all game long against Kimball, a team it will likely meet to open the section playoffs next week.
Kimball hit a shot at the buzzer to end the first half with a 5-point lead and gained momentum. In the second half Rockford went down by 12 points before it knew it.
Brendon Schumacher led with 15 points and six rebounds. Deering had 14 points and eight rebounds. Logan Suko added five rebounds, while Tully led with five assists and Jordan Redepenning had three steals.
The 12-12 Rockets hope to get back on track in the home game against Maple Lake, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 1 to end the regular season.
Tauber said there is no doubt his team will face Kimball in the playoffs Thursday, March 7 at whoever gets the No. 4 sed. The teams split two games this season. Rockford hopes to get credit for having the tougher non-conference schedule.
The winner will take on No. 1 seed St. Cloud Cathedral Saturday, March 9 against St. Cloud Cathedral in Buffalo.
Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]