Tuesday, 28 January 2020 00:22

Rockets outlast Sandy Grove to earn 7th win of season

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ROCKINGHAM — Picking up another big win in Southeastern Middle School Athletic Conference play on Monday was the Rockingham Middle School boys’ basketball team.

Like the Lady Rockets’ game before them, the Rockets made adjustments and used a second-half push to bounce Sandy Grove Middle School 57-35.

Eighth grader Paul McNeil was electric from the floor, scoring a game-high 29 points, netting 18 in the first half. His performance followed up a 25-point game against East Hoke Middle School last week.

Fellow eighth grader Talan Stoner had one of his better scoring performances this season, reaching double digits with 12 points. He hit two big three-pointers and another field goal for eight points in the second half.

Rounding out the Rockets’ scoring were James Eason and Jada Zimmerman, who each contributed six points. Jaziah Liles and Bobby Little capped the scoring with two points apiece.

“It wasn’t a pretty win, but it’s a win and I’ll take it,” head coach Julius Bowden said. “We did a poor job at hustling back on defense in the first half. Jada got into early foul trouble and his absence put a ton of pressure on the rest of the guys.

“Paul aggressively attacked the basket all night, while Talan hit some key shots that gave us a comfortable lead midway through the fourth quarter,” he added.

McNeil scored nine points in the first quarter and saw Eason contribute all six of his points during the same stretch. Zimmerman added two points before having to ride out the foul trouble.

Nine more points from McNeil in the second were accompanied by two field goals from Stoner and a Little basket to give the Rockets a 32-25 lead at the break.

Out of the locker room, McNeil and Stoner combined for 19 second-half points to distance the Rockets for good. 

Zimmerman added four points, two in each quarter, while Liles added his bucket in the third.

Now 7-1 overall on the season, Bowden and Rockingham will close the regular season at home against Spring Hill Middle School on Thursday. Tip is set for 5 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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