Reeling Tigers fall to 0-6 in district with loss to Leps
The Tigers, who have lost eight straight, sink to 7-14 overall and more urgently 0- 6 in District 23-3A.
LaGrange improved to 10-12 overall and remains in the playoff picture at 3-3 in district play.
Using the fast break to their advantage to zip past the Tigers, LaGrange also zipped out to a 22-9 lead after the first period and 37-24 at intermission.
Rockdale immediately sliced into that lead after halftime and cut it to eight points on three different occassions, the last time at 45-37 with 1 minute, 48 seconds left in the third quarter after Cody Skubal and James David combined to convert five-of-six free throws.
However, the Leopards went on a 7-0 blitz to close out the quarter for a 52-37 advantage heading into the final period.
“We hit some situations at the end of the third quarter that hurt us,” said Rockdale Coach Dusty Loewe. “They put some defensive pressure on us and it exposed our ball handling deficiencies.”
The Tigers turned the ball over 32 times and shot 25 percent from the field.
Rockdale did show some improvement at the free throw line, sinking 16-of-19 shots.
Skubal muscled inside for 17 points, took a season-high 14 rebounds and nabbed three steals.
William Dean chipped in 11.
Phoenix Bunch led LaGrange with 16 points.
In their 54-41 loss to Smithville on the road Friday, the Tigers shot 28 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 22 times and trailed by 10 heading into the final period.
Skubal put up 13 points despite misfiring on 10 shots to lead Rockdale, while Clark scored nine points and ripped down a seasonhigh 12 rebounds while swatting away five shots in his first game back after being academically ineligible.
Smithville received 26 pointsfrom guard Oscar Kenebrew, who was 10-of-12 from the free throw line. His output was 11 points about his average and took up the slack for three-point specialist Coltyn Brown, who was held to three points, 15 under his average, after connecting on just one-of-11 shots.
Joe Crank outmuscled Clark for 13 boards.
Smithville (15-7, 4-1) has won five of its last six games.
|Rebounds:||Clark 6.1,||Skubal 5.9|
|Assists:||Skubal 2.0,||Lewis 1.9|
|FG%: David, D.||56,||Brinkley 45|
|FT%: Dean 70.||Lewis 58|
|3PTS: Brinkley||19, Skubal||17|
|Steals: Skubal||26, David,||J. 25|
|57; Giddings||62,||Caldwell 33.|