Home Local Sports Lady Rockets remain undefeated with win over East Hoke

Lady Rockets remain undefeated with win over East Hoke

Audicy Rush (1), Za'Ryah Williams (15), Addison Butler (3) and Kaylan Parsons (21) on defense for Rockingham. The Lady Rockets allowed only five points in the second half against East Hoke. (Deon Cranford)

ROCKINGHAM – The Rockingham Middle School girls’ basketball team welcomed East Hoke Middle to its gym on Thursday for a showdown between the conference’s only remaining undefeated teams. 

After a very entertaining defensive battle, it was the Lady Rockets who ended the afternoon with their loss column still empty as Rockingham defeated the Lady Eagles 32-20.

In the opening quarter, the Lady Rockets rebounded well and forced the Lady Eagles into settling for difficult shots, but their own turnovers and missed free throw attempts stymied their efforts to pull away early.

Seconds into the game, Madisen Jackson was left open inside the paint and she delivered a short jumper for the first points of the afternoon.  After an East Hoke free throw, the teams traded possessions for the next couple of minutes with both team’s coming up empty.

With just over six minutes left in the opening quarter, Kaniah Little intercepted an East Hoke pass and pitched it forward to an open Kaylan Parsons who laid it in to put the home team ahead 4-1. 

East Hoke answered just ten seconds later, but Jackson responded on the ensuing possession when she threw a near full-court bullet to Parsons who was all alone under the net.  Parsons collected an easy two points and Rockingham was ahead 6-3 with 6:00 on the clock.

Jackson ended a three-minute drought when she connected on one of two free throw attempts giving the Lady Rockets its largest lead of the first half at 7-3.

Madisen Jackson (20) scored a game-high 17 points against East Hoke. (Deon Cranford/The Richmond Observer)

East Hoke managed a layup and a free throw on back-to-back possessions to make it a one point game with just under a minute left in the first quarter.  Jackson, looking more like a quarterback than a point guard, threw another long pass across the court, this time to an open Za’Ryah Williams who netted an easy two points giving the Lady Rockets a 9-6 lead with 45 seconds on the clock.

East Hoke answered 12 seconds later with a three-pointer to knot it up at 9-all.  Jackson managed 1-of-2 from the line with 19 seconds left resulting in a slim 10-9 Rockingham lead at the end of the first quarter.


The free throw shooting woes continued in the second quarter.  East Hoke outscored the Lady Rockets 6-3 in the period giving the visitors a 15-13 lead at the break.  Despite playing well defensively, the Lady Rockets only went 3-of-17 from the free throw line in the first half and had 11 turnovers.

Following the break, Rockingham’s defensive intensity increased and the Lady Rockets also began to find the basket.  Two minutes into the third quarter, Jackson rebounded her own miss and returned it to the hoop for two points to tie the game at 15-15.

Just five seconds later, Audicy Rush took an East Hoke turnover and swished through a long ball for three points and a lead that the Lady Rockets would never relinquish.  A short jumper and pair of free throws from Jackson, along with a Williams layup, rounded out the third quarter scoring, but the 11-0 run gave the Lady Rockets a 24-15 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

A jump shot by Jackson in the opening moments of the final period increased the lead to eleven points before an East Hoke basket nearly two minutes later finally stopped the run. 

In the final minutes, Jackson added a floater and a pair of free throws and Addison Butler scored Rockingham’s final points with a late putback giving the Lady Rockets their largest lead of the game at 32-19 with just 33.5 seconds remaining.  East Hoke added three late free throws resulting in the 32-20 final.

Jackson finished the game with 17 points for the Lady Rockets.  Parsons had 5, Williams netted 4, Rush scored 3, and Butler added 2.

“We had to switch some things up in order to make it work,” said Coach Wandesha Jackson of the halftime adjustments.  “We just made simple adjustments.  I told them at halftime that we either win and remain undefeated, or we will probably be travelling to them (in the conference tournament).  They came out in the second half and stepped it up.”

With the win, the Lady Rockets improve to 7-0 on the season and are currently in sole possession of the No. 1 spot in the Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference (SEMSAC) standings.  Rockingham will host Spring Hill on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m.

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