ROCKVILLE — The Richard Montgomery Rockets varsity boys basketball team celebrated their seniors’ last regular season home game with a 65-57 win over the Churchill Bulldogs in a scrappy Tuesday night game.
For most of the night the visiting Bulldogs were nipping at the Rockets’ heels and were able to make up for a poor first quarter by drastically improving the rest of the game.
The improvement was not enough to overcome a scrappy Rockets squad that was able to play an effective game of catch-up and brushed off the Bulldogs’ challenges.
The first quarter ended 14-7 in favor of the Rockets, with senior Rockets forward Xavier Harris scoring five points.
Even though the Bulldogs scored the first basket, they had trouble finding the bottom of the net while the Rockets pressured them from all sides.
Rockets senior guard Daryn Alexander and Bulldogs senior forward Reed Moshyedi scored three and two points, respectively, in the first quarter. However, they would each become the leading scorers for their teams as the game went on.
Moshyedi threw down 16 points, 12 of which were from three-pointers. Alexander made 27 points, the highest of any player on either team.
“We had to adjust, and it let Daryn have a little bit more room, and he capitalized and he made some tough shots,” said Churchill head coach Dave Blumenthal.
The second quarter saw a stronger Bulldogs squad as the visitors started it off with an eight-point streak before Alexander notched two more points for the Rockets. Bulldogs sophomore forward Ethan Rindner tied it up in the final seconds but Harris had the last shot to send the Rockets into halftime up by two.
After halftime, Moshyedi started with a three-pointer, a harbinger of his successful third-quarter performance where he scored 11 of the Bulldogs’ 18 points.
An impressive performance from Moshyedi barely fazed the Rockets at all as they went into the fourth quarter down by only two points.
A more aggressive offense and increased attention to rebounding had the Rockets go on multiple scoring streaks as the Bulldogs intermittently drained baskets. An eight-point streak in the middle of the quarter was too much for the visitors, and the Rockets kept up the defense to make sure it stayed that way or close to it until the final whistle.
“It’s just a nice way to end the season at home, with the win, with a crowd, wish we could have made it a little bit more clean, wish the product would’ve been a little bit better,” said Richard Montgomery head coach David Breslaw.