Rockridge, Mon-Rose win in blowouts at Macomb-Western tourney


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Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012, 11:10 pm
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By Scott Holland, Special to sports
MACOMB -- With standout junior forward Ethan Happ scheduled to miss time because of a knee injury, the Rockridge boys' basketball team needed someone to step up and fill the void.

In the opening round of the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament against Illini Bluffs, Bryan Heath was more than able to fill Happ's shoes, scoring 29 points in Rockridge's 69-32 win at Western Hall.

Heath did a little bit of everything, knocking down jump shots, free throws, layups and even the tournament's first dunk on a first-half breakaway.

"With Ethan Happ out, I decided I have to score some more points," Heath said. "He's the leading scorer on this team, so I had to fill in."

The game didn't start out completely in Rockridge's favor, as Illini Bluffs hung around until halftime, trailing 28-17.

"With not having school on Thursday, we really haven't be able to do much in the last week other than a two-hour practice on Monday," Rockridge coach Toby Whiteman said. "I knew we'd come out a little sloppy, but we got in at halftime and talked about what we had to do."

What the Rockets (10-0) did was get out and play their game.Illini Bluffs even helped, playing right into Rockridge's hands, using a three-quarters court zone press.The Rockets used their speed, height and athletic edge, constantly beating Illini Bluffs to the basket for easy shots.

"With the athletes I have on my team, we'll take it if a team presses us," Whiteman said. "We just had to get the ball to the middle, then it was a lot of 4-on-3 and 3-on-2.With the athletes I have, we'll take that."

Rockridge also kept the pressure up on the defensive end, forcing 20 Illini Bluffs turnovers.

"That's what coach stresses, pressure defense to get uncontested layups," Heath said. "We get in the passing lanes and try and get steals."

TJ Henry added 16 points and Nyle Stevens chipped in with 10 for Rockridge.

"With Ethan out, we're going to need Bryan to step up and score," Whiteman said. "This is also a chance for TJ and Nyle to show what they can do.

"TJ was able to score and Nyle did, too, which is good for him because we ask Nyle to guard the other team's best player, so what he gives us offensively is a bonus."

Rockridge moves to the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament quarterfinals, playing Illini Central tonight at 5:30 at Macomb High School.Illini Central topped Pittsfield 48-38 in its Wednesday opener.

Monmouth-Roseville 103, Brown County 38: The Monmouth-Roseville Titans jumped off the bus ready to put the ball in the basket, outscoring Brown County 42-11 in the first eight minutes of play.

By halftime, the margin grew to 68-19 as the Titans (8-2) shot a whopping 65.2 percent from the field in the half by hitting 30 of 46 shots.

Seven M-R players reached double-digit scoring. Trayvon Smith, Liam Merritt, M.J. Kelley and Dillon Frieden led Mon-Rose with 13 points. Joe Colclasure added 12 and Dalton Hottle and Will Myers each added 11.


















 



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  Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000.
1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city.
1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association.
1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College.
1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.




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