Tigers split up district openers on the road
Opening their district ledger with three straight road games, and having entered Tuesday night’s affair having lost five of their last six, the Rockdale Tigers needed something, anything to lift their spirits.
It came in the form of a resounding 59-43 victory over Caldwell at Hornet Gymnasium.
The Tigers stand 9-11 overall and 1-1 in District 18-3A play after falling in the league opener to College Station.
Rockdale took to the perimeter Tuesday night, raining in five threes and shooting 50 percent from the floor.
With his 21 points Tuesday night, Wendell Mitchell has gone over the 1,000-point total in his career which makes him just the 11th Tiger to reach the mark—and in just 52 games.
The sophomore needs just six more points to reach 500 for the season. Mitchell—who is averaging 26 points a game this season—recorded 518 last season.
Guard Darius Ford followed with 11 points and gathered up a team-high eight rebounds.
Leading 18-10 in the first quarter and despite 11 turnovers, the Tigers constructed a double-digit lead, 31-21 by halftime on the strength of Mitchell’s two long range bombs.
He scored 11 of his 21 in the first half.
After three-pointers from both William Dean and Pearce Loth and Mithell’s eight straight points, Rockdale led 49-29 by the end of the third period.
Ford’s followup and Dean’s baseline drive pushed the Tigers to their largest lead, 55-31 with 4 minutes, 6 seconds remaining to be played.
The Tigers found themselves on the wrong side of history, but history nonetheless.
Rockdale was served up as College Stations’s first district athletic competition on the boys side a nd t he C ougars w ere s uccessful on their home f loor in theirdebutwitha 62-51victory in the District 18-3A opener for both teams
College Station (18-7) grabbed aa one-point lead on Ryan Johnson’s basket to close the first quarter and never trailed again as the Tigers remained close, but never threatened.
Wendell Mitchell was held to 16 points, his second-lowest total of t he y ear a nd e ight b elow h is season average as the Cougars put intense pressure on Rockdale’s guards in the back court.
The sophomore point guard was 6-for-18 from the field and attempted just one three-pointer while snaring a team-high nine rebounds.
Postman Pearce Loth added 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Loth accounted for the Tigers’ lone three-pointer on the evening on nine attempts.
College Station was led by postman Ryan Johnson with 23 points, followed by 5-foot-4 point guard Jay Payton with 19 points
The Cougars outscored Rockdale 20-11 in the second quarter for a double-digit 33-23 halftime lead.
The two teams exchanged baskets on six consecutive possessions as College Station answered every Tiger threat.
When Mitchell threaded the lane for a double-pump basket to pull the Tigers’ wthin 20-16, the 6-foot-4 Johnson scored on a follow up
When Patric Trejo worked inside for a basket, Paytin broke loose for a long pass and a bucket.
A 5-0 run at the end of the third quarter pushed the Cougars ahead 46-34.
Payton scored the first four points of the final period and then Johnson later converted a threepoint play to provide the Cougars with their largest lead, 54-39.
Rockdale had one final run in them, outscoring the Cougars 11-3 highlighted by Loth’s three-pointer.