Crittenden 46, McLean 38
McLean 12 21 24 38
Crittenden 2 20 28 46
Crittenden - Oliver 20, Clark 11, Porter 6, Pluskota 3, Pierce 3, Nielsen 3, Gray. FG. 12. 3-pointers 2 (Pierce, Oliver). FT. 16-33. Fouls 20
McLean - Rose 18, Free 7, Phillips 3, Humphrey 2, Ashton 2, Trogden 2, Shocklee 2, Ellis 2, Coakley, Hatfield. FG. 6. 3-pointers 2 (Rose 2). FT. 20-26. Fouls 28.
BY CHRIS HARDESTY
PRESS SPORTS WRITER
After digging themselves a 12-2 deficit at the end of the opening quarter last Saturday night against visiting McLean County, the Rockets kept their composure and came back to give first-year Crittenden skipper Chad Hayes his first victory at the helm winning 46-38.
The Cougars went 7 out of 9 at the charity stripe in the opening frame to take the 10-point lead, and it looked like the cold shooting Rockets (1-2) might possibly be in trouble.
But Rocket forward Dylan Clark helped get his team going into the second quarter, scoring nine of his 11 points to help trim the deficit to a slim 21-20 at intermission.
After making only one field goal in the first quarter, the Rocket defense turned the tide on the Cougars, limiting them to a mere one field goal in the third quarter. With the game knotted at 23-all about midway through the third stanza, Rocket guard Alec Pierce hit a trey to give his team a lead they would never surrender.
Crittenden guard Casey Oliver, who is averaging 16.6 points through three games, poured in 20 points to help his team get their first win on the young season.
But a terrible 16 out of 33 showing at the free throw line prevented the Rockets from winning the game in an easier fashion.
“We gutted one out tonight,” Hayes said after the game.
After falling behind by the 10-point margin after the opening 8:00, the Rocket coach was proud of the way his team fought, outscoring McLean 44-26 the rest of the way to claim the win.
He also pointed to Pierce’s trifecta in the third which put his team up for good as being a huge turning point in the contest.
“I thought he gave us some solid minutes,” Hayes said.
With the first win of his tenure in the books, the Rocket coach hopes his team realizes that it will require a maximum effort to achieve success.
When we stay within ourselves, we can be pretty darn good,” said the first year coach.