Boys basketball pulls through against B-CC on senior night

Sophomore guard Ryan Cornish prepares to take a free throw.

Photo by Matthew Rothmann.

Sophomore guard Ryan Cornish prepares to take a free throw.

Matthew Rothmann, Sports Writer

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The Rockets improved to 16-1 by winning on senior night 84-74 against the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Barons. This game was the final home game that seniors Austin Cheung, Brian Sadeghi, Djordje Orcev, and Miles Gally would play. Despite struggling offensively in the first quarter, the Rockets scored 74 points total in the next three quarters to pull out another win.

The RM crowd was filled with many students and families to support the seniors in their last game at home. Because it was senior night, Coach Breslaw placed all four seniors on the starting lineup, along with sophomore Kordell Lewis.  

Once the game began, the Rockets controlled the tip and tried to put their offense to work. However, B-CC scored the first five points of the game with a three by senior guard Kevin McAuliffe and senior forward Elijah Wood. Cheung scored the first two points for the Rockets. Even though the Rockets’ defense played well in the first quarter, the Barons drew some key offensive fouls to limit the Rockets’ offense to just 10 points in the first quarter. The first quarter ended with the Barons leading 13-10.

Before the start of the second quarter, the Rockets discussed how to change their offensive approach. The Rockets’ first possession resulted in the first two points for sophomore guard Ryan Cornish. The Barons, however, answered with a three by senior guard Cole Doherty. That three forced the Rockets to do a half court press in order to create turnovers and turn them into points. This proved successful, as the Rockets took a five point lead with threes from junior guard Henok Kassahun and sophomore guard Jabril Robinson. Though McAuliffe hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to two, he picked up his third foul with three minutes left. With around ten seconds left, senior guard Cameron Etris made a three to tie the game up at 29. The Rockets rushed down the court to get a last-second shot, and Cornish got fouled with 0.2 seconds left. He made two free throws and the Rockets led 31-29 at the half.

In the third quarter, Gally scored the first two points for the Rockets. That was the start of a 9-0 run, with Orcev scoring four points off offensive rebounds. The 9-0 run gave the Rockets an 11 point lead, which the Barons later cut down to 6. Baron’s senior guard Tyler Groom got his fourth foul in the third quarter and was forced to sit for fear of getting a fifth. The Barons still stood their ground with Wood making some huge blocks to limit the Rockets offensive production. Robinson hit a desperate three-pointer with 2 seconds on the shot clock, to put the Rockets up 10 with a minute left. Then with four seconds left, Gally puts the Rockets up twelve with a jumper. The Rockets led 56-44 at the end of the third quarter.

The Rockets wanted to try and pull ahead offensively in the fourth quarter. At first, it seemed like the Rockets were going to pull ahead. The Rockets got out to a 17-point lead from baskets from Orcev and Lewis. Despite trying to come back, the Barons could not gain momentum, and the crowd exploded with two blocks and two massive dunks by Orcev. The momentum stopped when Gally fouled out, ending his last home game at RM. The Barons quietly got back into the game and cut the lead to 7 points led by Wood and Doherty. However, McAuliffe soon fouled out, and Cornish made eight out of 10 free throws to all but decide the game and the Rockets celebrated their last home game.

Coach Breslaw was happy that his team was able to pull through. He was especially grateful to have coached the four seniors, saying, “These group of seniors have made a big difference in our program. They are definitely leaders, mature leaders.”