The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

November 30, 2012

Rocket balance too much for Davis County

EDDYVILLE — The Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Rockets put five players in double figures and that depth and balance led to the 87-57 win over Davis County in an early South Central Conference girls battle Thursday night in Eddyville.

The first quarter was race-horse basketball at its best. The Rockets ran to a 36-21 lead after the first eight minutes. The fans in attendance were quickly doing the math, but their hopes for a 144-84 score were dashed as the final three quarters just couldn’t equal the first. The Rocket first quarter was even more impressive when you consider they played without two of their top six players.

Both coaches were OK with the tempo.

“We want to play fast and press,” said E-B-F coach Tony Fenton. “I’m surprised how well we shot the ball tonight.”

Back-to-back 3s by Tasha Alexander and Jarrah Jensen gave the Rockets a 6-0 lead with just 30 seconds off the clock. E-B-F couldn’t put the visitors away though. The Rocket lead went to 10 after Alexander’s second basket. Shelby Graves answered with a 3 for DC, but the lead went back to 10 after Jensen’s second 3. Alexander finished off her 10-point night with three more scores. Jensen finished her 10-point quarter with two free throws to close out the first.

“The first quarter was really fun,” said Jensen. “We really gelled as a team and we thought that we could tire them out.”

Shunyl Busch added eight for the Rockets and Graves led the Mustangs with eight points in the quarter.

One of the keys to the hot-shooting first quarter for the Rockets was their high assist total.

“I thought we passed the ball really well tonight,” said Fenton.

Even though his team trailed at the end of the quarter, Davis County coach Dave Mason was happy with the tempo.

“We haven’t done a great job of running our offensive sets, so I felt that this would be how we needed to play,” he said.

The only negative for the Rockets in the opening quarter was the injury to Alexander. An ankle injury on her final drive to the basket caused her to be done for the night.

The Mustangs would outscore E-B-F 15-12 in the second. Rylee Eakins opened the second for the Mustangs with a three-point play. She would add two more consecutive baskets to cut the lead to 38-28 with five minutes to play in the half. Jensen buried another 3 to answer Eakins’ string. Eakins added two more baskets to keep DC close at 45-34. Busch reached double figures with a 3 and two late Mustang free throws made the score 48-36 at the break.

Ally McClure cut the Rocket lead to 10 with a basket to open the third, but big quarters by Busch and Emma Tanner helped E-B-F build the lead to 66-46 after three.

“Emma (Tanner) had the best game she’s ever had,” added Fenton.

One of the keys in the third was Eakins picking up her fourth foul early in the quarter. After extended time out of the game, she was not able to come in and dominate the play inside as she had in the second.

The Rocket depth and running game, and the fact that the Mustangs were playing their fourth game in seven days, allowed the Rockets to push the final margin to 87-57 in the closing eight minutes.

Busch led E-B-F in the final quarter with the last six of her game high 22 points. Busch was part of all the stats, and she talked about her game.

“I try and stay balanced with my game. I feel like I can score inside and from the perimeter. And I know that I always need to rebound,” she said.

Davis County (2-2, 0-1) will host Knoxville tonight. E-B-F (2-1, 1-0) will travel to Lynnville-Sully Saturday.

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