The Craig County boys split their first two basketball games of the season last week, winning at home against the Covington Boys Home before dropping a road contest at Giles.
A good crowd turned out on opening night as the boys played their first game on the new wooden floor in the Craig County High School gym. The Rockets found it to their liking as they posted a 78-45 win over the visitors from Covington.
“First game of the year and we had a great start,” said coach Ryan Frazier. “It was a great team effort from everyone as they all played their part with seven players scoring in the contest.”
Senior Matthew Lucas, coming off an all-district junior season, got off to a good start with 35 points and seven rebounds. Hayden Reynolds had 21 points, eight assists and four steals and Jaycob Wolfe hit double figures with 10 points while pulling down eight boards.
The Rockets were hitting on all cylinders on offense, making 22 of 30 two point tries while draining eight of 15 threes. That’s an overall percentage of 66 percent from the field.
“What I was most pleased with was our teamwork,” said Frazier. “We stayed spaced and shared the ball. We had some good individual defensive efforts from Talon(Ritter) and Drew(Duncan), both stood out on D and securing the post. When we work on our offense this is what we want to see, it was an enjoyable first win in the first game.”
A night later the Rockets played in Giles and dropped a 53-36 decision.
“We struggled in the second night of a back-to-back in our first away game against stronger opposition,” said Frazier. “We were on our heels from the start of the game and struggled with the pressure that Giles was putting on us. We struggled with turnovers and that led to easy baskets in transition.”
The Rockets trailed by just six points at the half, but were outscored by 11 after intermission.
“We never gave up and kept pushing,” said Frazier. “We fell in the end as we were not able to overcome the early deficit and continued to struggle with handling the pressure, and being mentally strong down the stretch. We did not keep our composure well in the second half and started to show our frustrations. I hope we will learn from this because we talk all the time that handling the ball and being strong with it, and having a strong mentality, will be key to not only our games but our season as a whole.”
Reynolds led the Rockets in scoring with 12 points while Lucas had nine and Luke Potter had six. Drew Duncan had a great defensive game on Giles’ big man, making things tough on him inside and playing a strong all-around game.
The Rockets were scheduled to return to the court Monday with a home game against Buffalo Gap, followed by a Tuesday game in New Castle with Roanoke Valley Christian. Then they’re off until next Tuesday, December 12, when they play a varsity doubleheader with the girls against Highland County.