Tigers take own tourney title
The Tigers current mode of identification is floor it off the tip and never look back.
Winning by an average margin of 30 points, the Tigers captured the 2009 Tiger Classic, the first tournament hosted by a Rockdale team since 1990.
Rockdale last won its own tournament in 1989.
In the process, the Tigers improved to 7-1 on the season and after a 55-40 win over Lexington Tuesday night, the best start by a Tiger team since 1997.
Rockdale ransacked Robinson in the finale 59-38 and is 5-0 in its new home.
The Tigers trounced Thorndale Trinity Christian 76-43 in the second round and opened up with a 72-37 thrashing of Thrall.
“I t hink we are progressing towards being a good team defensively,” said Rockdale Coach Dusty Loewe. “The Robinson coach (Eric Benton) said we did the best job of anyone he’s seen on our helpside defense.
“We still need to be more consistent with our offense and our shot selection. But we are getting better. Everything is focused on getting ready for January 2nd (district opener against Bryan Rudder).”
With seven points against Thorndale Trinity Christian, Lance Loewe eclipsed the 1,000 career point mark to join teammate William McQuitter in the club.
With 15 points in the finals against Robinson and nine Tuesday night against Lexington, the senior guard now has 1,028 career points, including 886 at Rockdale.
As has been their modus operandi as of late, the Tigers bounced out to a big lead against Robinson (3-2) and kept their foot on the throttle, leading 26-7 with 1 minute, 21 seconds left in the first half.
After Robinson’s Chris Kempton canned a three-pointer to close the score to 4-3 early in the contest, the Rockets went 12:58 without scoring a field goal, thus allowing Rockdale to bolt to the 26-7 advantage despite turning the ball over nine times.
Robinson was 3-of-17 from the floor in the first half including 1- of-7 from three-point land.
The Tigers continued to pour it on in the second half, missing just nine shots and shooting 60 per cent from the floor.
Loewe’s three from the right side with 2:59 left in the third period provided Rockdale with its largest lead, 41-17.
McQuitter struck for 11 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, including nine in the second quarter.
McQuitter was perfect from the line, converting 10 straight free throws.
Loewe followed with 15 points while dropping off five assists, while Justin Gadison netted 13 points
In the Tigers’ win over Thorndale Trinity Christian, McQuitter erupted for a season-high 30 points with seven rebounds and six assists, while Dravious Peters added 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench.
In the opening round victory over Thrall, McQuitter squeezed off 21 points and Wright chipped in 12.
McQuit ter, Loewe, Wr ight and Gadison were named to the all-tournament team from Rockdale.
The Tigers jumped out again to an early lead and then coasted in a sloppy 55-40 win versus Highway 77 neighbor Lexington.
Leading by double digits (10) in the first quarter and then by 16 at intermission, the Tigers came out flat-footed in the second half and mostly hung around the threepoint line while turning the ball over 23 times.
“Our defense in the first half kept us in the game,” Loewe said. “The second half got ugly. It was out of control and ragged. We’re not executing very well on offense, we’ve got some work to do there.”
McQuitter tossed in 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, scoring mostly on drives to the hoop.
Scooping up the garbage inside, Gadison picked up 11 points and blocked two shots.
Along with nine points, Loewe snagged seven rebounds, dropped off four assists and picked off three steals.
A f ter Lexington outscored the Tigers in the third quarter 15-14 and closed to within 12, Rockdale embarked on a 13-2 run in the third and fourth quarters to construct its largest lead of the evening 52-29 w ith 4:49 remaining.
Gadison and McQuitter combined for 10 points in the run.
Clark led the Eagles with 11 points.
“My focus is on what it’s going to take for us to compete in district,” said Loewe. “I know we can’t play perfect all the time, but we’re about to play some very good teams and we’ve got some work to do.”
TIGER TR ACKS—
District 24-3A currently has three teams listed in the TABC top 25 rankings. Leading the way is Navasota at No. 12, Bryan Rudder at No. 19 and Madisonville at No. 22... If you ordered a Rockdale athletics 100th anniversary shirt, it is now available at the athletic office... You Tube’s Friday Night Feats selected the Rockdale Tiger Football video (named Sanders to Wright Hail Mary) for the Top 10 of the nation. State Farm is donating $2,500 dollars to Rockdale High School, and with the video in the Top 10, RHS can win the Grand Prize $15,000, 1st Place of $10,000, or second place $5,000. To vote, go to the following website (http://www. youtube.com/fridaynightfeats#p/ c / E F 4 9 1 F 1 1 D 8 F 4 3 E 5 7 / 2 / 5PEYBdp88Jo) and rate the video. If you already have a You Tube account, access the video, login, and rate it. If you don’t have an account it will take five minutes or less to set one up.
TIGERS SEASON STATS
Player Games PTS AVG
McQuitter 7 165 23.6
Loewe 7 108 15.4
Wright 4 44 11.0
Gadison 6 48 8.0
Peters 4 28 7.0
Sanders 4 14 3.5
Davidson 7 17 2.4
Dixon 5 12 2.4
Fisher 7 9 1.3
Skubal 6 14 2.3
Evans 5 0 0.0
White 5 3 0.6
Rebounds: Gadison 8.8, McQuitter 7.1
Assists: Loewe 6.0, McQuitter 3.1
FG%: Wright 61, Gadison 51
FT%: Skubal 100, Loewe 81
3PT: Loewe 21, McQuitter 3
PAST TOURNEY WINNERS