Rockets caught off guard in narrow boys basketball loss

Rockford sports report

Joe Agre of Rockford rises to score in the 85-84 loss to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted at home Friday. (Photo by Charles Read)

Joe Agre of Rockford rises to score in the 85-84 loss to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted at home Friday. (Photo by Charles Read)

BY DAVE PEDERSEN

A turning point in Rockford’s 85-84 boys basketball loss to Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Friday came when starting point guard Nick Tully sprained his ankle with his team down by one with just over six minutes to play.

Despite some valiant comeback efforts, HLWW hung on to the one-point win in a key matchup in the Central Minnesota Conference. Rockford slipped to 2-2 in league play while HLWW moved up to 3-1. The Rockets are 7-3 overall.

A well played first half by both teams ended in a tie at 43. Coach Michael Tauber said both teams played well and neither squad was in foul trouble.

“We struggled boxing them out on their offensive end,” said Tauber about giving up 20 points off 14 offensive rebounds. “As a team we rebound well overall, but when we miss one on our defensive end it tends to lead to an easy basket.”

HLWW shot a high percentage, hitting on 58 percent of shots from 2-point range and 38 percent from 3-point land. Rockford also was on target, going 17 of 18 from the free throw line and making 37 percent of 3-point shots.”

Rockford trailed 62-52 before cutting the lead to one point at 70-68 with 6:48 to play. That is when Tully rolled his ankle. Rockford was already down one point guard with Robert Dumas still sidelined. Sophomore James Monssen ran the team at point guard.

The Rockets slipped back down by 13 points before storming back to within one point when senior Brock Deering took over the offense. He scored 14 of his 25 points in the final six minutes.

Down by three points with 35 seconds to play, Rockford scored two points. Rockford tipped a pass from a player who Tauber says double dribbled the ball, but was not called for it. HLWW scored and was fouled for a 3-point play. Rockford responded with a 3-pointer but ran out of time and lost by one.

Junior Jeremy Bingham hit for 21 points, while Tully had 12 and Brendon Schumacher scored 11 points with 12 rebounds. Joe Agre netted all seven of his points in the second half.

In the previous game at the St. James tournament Rockford lost to the undefeated host team 90-79. The top St. James scorer had 43 points. Deering led with 22 points, followed by Zach Connell at 21, Bingham had 12 and Tully 11.

“We got into serious foul trouble in the first half with five guys on the bench, four with two fouls and one with three,” said Tauber.

Rockford plays at Holdingford Thursday, Jan. 9, goes to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Tuesday, Jan. 14 and faces Pierz at St. Cloud State at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Rockford lost 74-52 to Watertown-Mayer in girls basketball Saturday. The offense was sparked by Brianna Calder and Amy Botten, both with 17 points.

“Against Watertown we had a much better offensive game, but defensively we had breakdowns which gave them great looks beyond the 3-point line,” said coach James Carr.

The Rockets have home games set against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Friday, Jan. 10, against Brooklyn Center Monday, Jan. 13 and against Eden Valley-Watkins Thursday, Jan. 16.

Rockford’s wrestlers compete at the Zimmerman Invite Jan. 11 before returning home to face Norwood-Young America Tuesday, Jan. 14.

The gymnasts are at the Princeton Invitational Saturday, Jan. 11.

Contact Dave Petersen at david.petersen@ecm-inc.com

 

 

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