Tigers tip off district in 0-2 hole
The fact that Rockdale has a brand new home to play in didn’t factor in as the No. 18 Tigers were scuffed up by No. 10 Rudder 85- 79 Saturday afternoon at Tiger Gymnasium in the District 24-3A lid lifter.
It was the Tigers’ first loss at home this season after six straight victories.
With the 79-57 loss to Navasota Tuesday night on the road, the Tigers stand 12-9 on the season and 0-2 in district action.
After starting the season at 11- 1, Rockdale has dropped seven of its last eight games.
“I thought we fought hard and had a chance at the end of regulation but made two bad turnovers and had two phantom foul calls against us in the last minute of regulation,” said Rockdale Coach Dusty Loewe. “There is a reason Rudder is ranked 10th in 3A and beat the number two team (Houston Stafford) who has everyone back from last year’s final four team.
“As I have said all along, this district is very tough. Every game will be a battle.”
The Tigers defeated Rudder (12-5) twice last season.
The Tigers did equal last season’s victory total with a win over Georgetown in the Austin Lanier Tournament over the Christmas Holidays (see more below).
The Rangers had no answer for the Tiger tandem of Will McQuitter and Lance Loewe who combined for 58 points
McQuitter, who collected 30 points, spent most of his day at the free throw line, sinking 16-of-20
Behind the senior, the Tigers had their best showing at the free throw stripe this season, making 27-of-32.
That offset the Tigers’ 39 percent accuracy from the field in which they missed 37 shots.
Besides a perfect 6-for-6 night from the line, Loewe poured in four three pointers on his way to a season-high 28-point evening.
The Tigers did their part to secure the boards, led by Tyler Wright’s 15, Loewe’s nine, Gadison’s eight and McQuitter and Sanders’ seven each.
In a see-saw affair, the Tigers outscored Rudder 26-22 in the second quarter to close the halftime score to 40-39.
Trailing 65-63 heading into the final period, Rockdale rallied to tie the game and send it into an extra period.
The Rangers outscored the Tigers 13-7 in the overtime to pick up the road victory.
Junior guard Semaj McGruder led Rudder with 22.
A slow start doomed the Tigers Tuesday on the road against Navasota and they had to play catchup most of the evening, trailing 43-17 at halftime.
McQuitter and Loewe combined for 43 points, 10 boards and seven steals, whith Loewe ripping off five three pointers on just seven attempts.
Playing against mostly Class 5A competition, the Tigers came out 1-5 in the Lanier Tournament, with their only win coming against Class 5A Georgetown.
Against Georgetown, Loewe connected on five treys and was perfect again from the free throw line (7-of-7) to post 26 points.
Despite missing 18 shots, McQuitter registered a doubledouble with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
In the first round pool play game, the Tigers were lanced by host Lanier 63-52 with McQuitter scoring 15 and Justin Gadison 10.
In the second round pool game, A & M C onsolidated ha nd led Rockdale 70-46 with Gadison on top of the scoring with 14.
McQuitter was limited to seven points on two-of-18 shooting.
In the final pool contest, Austin Akins held off a late Tiger rally for a 70-60 win.
McQuitter returned to form w ith 24 points and Gadison turned in his third double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 boards.
In tournament bracket play, Rockdale opened with the victory over Georgetown and then fell to Bryan 88-42 as McQuitter had 16 points.
The Tigers ended the tournament falling to A&M Consolidated again, 83-43, behind McQuitter’s 22.
TIGER TRACKS— With 1,414 points, McQuitter moved into second place on Rockdale’s alltime scoring list, supplanting Johnny Timmerman’s (1956-58) 1,384 total... Sonny Givens (1991- 94) is the Tigers’ all-time leader at 1,524... Loewe has also gone over the 1,000-point mark as a Tiger with 1,069. He has 1,211 points in his high school career, including 142 as a freshman at Taylor... The season record is 616 by Givens in 1994... Loewe has missed just seven free throws this season (47-of-54 for 87 percent), while the team is shooting just 65 percent... The Tigers are averaging 61.2 points per outing while allowing just 54... However, in their last seven games, the Tigers have surrendered at least 70 points six times.
|Rebounds: Gadison 7.3,||McQuitter 6.5|
|Assists:||Loewe||4.9, McQuitter 2.5|
|FG%: Peters 62, Gadison||56|
|FT%: Skubal 100, Loewe||87|
|3PTS:||Loewe 52, McQuitter||12|
|Steals:||Loewe 68, McQuitter||29|
|Tuesday night’s results: Navasota|
|79, Rockdale||57; Bryan||Rudder 77,|
|85, Rockdale||79; Navasota 54,|
|Caldwell 15;||Taylor def.||Madisoville.|