Ducks awaken in second half to quack past Tigers
The Ducks f inally broke loose in the second half to run past the Tigers 53-47 at Duck Gymnasium Tuesday night.
Rockdale falls even at 2-2 on the season.
To keep the Ducks (3-1) out of the fast lane, the Tigers played ball control and waited for their opportunities to score and took a 19-17 lead with them into the locker room at halftime.
The Tigers suffered through two scoring lapses—one in each of the third and fourth quarters— that allowed the opportunistic Ducks to surge ahead.
Holding a 26-21 advantage early in the third quarter, Rockdale managed just a bucket from Derek David over the next three minutes as Taylor grabbed the lead for good, 31-28.
With the Ducks ahead 40-38 with 5:30 remaining to be played, James David’s bucket was the lone score in the next 4:25 as Taylor went on a 10-2 run for an insurmountable 50-40 lead with 1:05 showing.
LeRaven Clark muscled inside to lead the Tigers with 15 points while snaring eight rebounds.
Cody Skubal chipped in 11 points while also pulling down nine boards and dropping off five assists.
Derek Dav id turned in his best performance in a varsity uniform with eight points and three rebounds.
Before the holidays, the Tigers rallied from a first half deficit to handle Franklin 50-37 at Tiger Gym.
Clark and Ethan Brinkley led the way with 14 points apiece with Clark ripping down nine rebounds, while Brinkley picked off three steals and dished off three assists.
Rockdale was a dismal 17-of-31 from the free throw line, but were nine-of-12 in the pivotal fourth quarter.
“The f irst half was ugly, I guess it was the jitters playing in front of a home crowd for the first time,” Loewe said. “But, this is a good win for us. We made some mistakes but they are all correctable mistakes. Everybody played hard.
“We have young players and they are having to learn to play at a varsity pace. What’s the old saying, we want to be quick, but don’t hurry.
“As long as we keep letting the offense come to us, we’ll be okay.”
The Tigers actually trailed at halftime 19-18, but another solid defense performance and a reduction of turnovers, allowed them to slowly pull away.
Rockdale outscored Franklin 18-5 in the final stanza and did not allow the Lions a point in the final three minutes
“On defense, we’re trying to funnel everything to LeRaven in the 3-2 zone,” Loewe said. “We’re a lot better on defense than we were last year already.”
Tied at 32 entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers went on an 8- 0 run to open the quarter, which included a six-of-six showing from the charity stripe.
After Franklin sliced the lead to 42-37 w ith three minutes remaining to be played, Rockdale then closed out the contest on another 8-0 burst for the victory.
“We’ll play nine games in the next 13 days, so that will be a pretty good test.”