Home Local Sports Rockets, Eagles win to setup showdown in Rockingham

Rockets, Eagles win to setup showdown in Rockingham

Carver's Nasiah McLean and Rockingham's Chance Crowder. (Deon Cranford/The Richmond Observer)

On Thursday, the Carver Middle School boys basketball team will visit Rockingham for the second time this season in a repeat of what was one of the best Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference (SEMSAC) games of 2022-23. 

In their Dec. 12 meeting, Carver led by as many as six points late in the fourth quarter.  Rockingham took the lead on a Chance Crowder 3-pointer with 44 seconds left in the game and the Rockets held on to win 36-32.

It’s the closest that the Rockets have come to losing this season and the Eagles will get another chance on Thursday afternoon when they come to Rockingham for the second round of the SEMSAC tournament. 

The Rockets improved to 9-0 with a victory over previously undefeated Sandy Grove on Monday to earn the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the tournament.  Carver, the No. 4 seed, improved to 6-4 and advanced to the second-round game with a round one victory over Anson on Tuesday.

Coley, Rockets’ defense shuts down Sandy Grove

ROCKINGHAM – Before the Rockingham Middle School boys basketball team could begin its quest for a Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference tournament championship, it entered the week with one more game remaining on its regular season schedule.  The Rockets hosted Sandy Grove Middle in the season finale bout with both teams boasting 8-0 records and looking to claim the tournament’s No. 1 seed. 

Rockingham quickly dashed any hopes that Sandy Grove had of a perfect season when it outscored its visitors 18-5 in the first half enroute to a 37-27 win.

It took a couple of minutes for the Rockets to get fired up.  Sandy Grove scored the game’s first three points in the opening minute and a half of play.  However, the Panthers would not add to the scoreboard again until 18 minutes and 24 seconds later.

During that time, Rockingham scored 18 straight with the first six netted by Cam’ron Coley.  The first quarter came to a close when Crowder swished a three-pointer at the buzzer – his fifth three-point buzzer beater of the season.  That sent the Rockets into the second period with a 9-3 advantage.

Andrae Streeter started the second period scoring followed by a floater from Crowder.  After three and and a half minutes of scoreless play, Crowder connected on his second trey of the game to put the Rockets ahead 16-3 with 4:28 left until the break.  Crowder later found Streeter unguarded under the basket for an easy two points to extend the lead to 15 points with 1:13 on the clock.

Sandy Grove turned a Rocket turnover into two points at the buzzer, but Rockingham was in control with an 18-5 halftime lead.  

The game was more competitive in the third quarter with Sandy Grove finding more success in its shooting, but Coley’s presence under the net was the difference maker in the game as the physical sixth grader dominated the boards limiting Sandy Grove to a single shot attempt on most possessions.  Coley finished with 17 rebounds and three of his five field goals were putbacks, giving him more second chance points than Sandy Grove had as a team.

Sandy Grove outscored the Rockets by one point in third quarter and by two points in the fourth, but Rockingham never appeared to be struggling with the Panthers cruising to the 37-27 victory.


Crowder had a game-high 16 points, Coley finished with 10, Streeter had 6 and Hinson netted 2.

Eagles overcome slow start to soar past Bearcats

LAUREL HILL – The Carver Middle School boys basketball team defeated Anson Middle 44-17 on Tuesday in the first round of the SEMSAC tournament.  

At the end of the first quarter, the game felt like a defensive stalemate.  Both teams recorded impressive blocks sparking responses from the fan bases in attendance.  The teams combined for 11 steals and recorded six jump ball tie-ups in the opening quarter resulting in a 3-2 Anson lead after the first ten minutes of play.

A little over a minute into the second period, Anson pushed its lead to 5-2, but it was all Carver after that.  Six different Eagles scored in the second quarter as part of a 13-2 run to put the home team in control.

Carver’s Tomek McFadden knotted the game a 5-all with three-pointer at the 8:00 minute mark.  A free throw and a layup from Nasiah McLean put the Eagles ahead by three with 6:32 remaining until the break.

Later, Javeer Pasley collected an inbound pass under the net and put it up for an uncontested two points.  Next, it was Chase Sheppard adding to the scoring statistics when he turned an Anson turnover into a fast break basket. 

Mike McLean connected on 1-of-2 from the line and then PJ Williams laid one in with 32 seconds left in the first half to round out the scoring.  The Eagles led 15-5 at the half.

Things continued to spiral for the visiting Bearcats as Carver outscored Anson 29-12 in the game’s final two quarters.

Nasiah McLean scored a game-high 12 points for Carver.  Sheppard finished with 8, Jerrison Dixon had 7,  McFadden netted 5, Williams added 4, and Maddox McNickle and Mike McLean each had 3.

Note: James McLean provided stats to this article.

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