What the Rock Island boys' basketball team hoped would happen is developing into a theme.|
Combined efforts from the starters and reserves extended a season-opening winning streak and continued a trend that has carried the Rocks each night. Once again getting contributions from everyone who saw minutes, Rocky snagged a 62-44 win over Minooka at the Rock Island Fieldhouse on Saturday night.
"I said it in the offseason that we could have five or six guys average between eight and 12 (points)," Rocky coach Thom Sigel said. "That's how it played out tonight. That's one of our strengths. If we move the ball, we have guys who can step up on any given night."
A week after consistently getting double-digit scoring efforts from four players, the Rocks (6-0) now are seeing seven guys score five points or more. Every starter had at least eight points, but three reserves -- Bryce Jones, Brian Richardson and Breon Hawthorne -- combined for 15 points.All three had at least two rebounds as well.
Add those numbers with the ones during a 74-39 win over Alleman on Friday night, the Rocks received 31 points from their bench on the weekend.
"This gives us confidence," Jones said.
Two other areas provide building blocks as well.
For the third consecutive game, the Rocks held an opponent below 45 points. Running a flex offense that utilized screens and passes, Minooka (4-2) patiently tried to dissect the Rocky defense, but it never found any consistent rhythm.The Indians shot 39.1 percent (18 of 46) from the field. In each game this weekend, the Rocks held their opponent below 40 percent.
"They execute well," Sigel said. "We did some good things defensively."
Another good thing was Rocky's effort on the boards. The Rocks did hit half of their 48 shot attempts, but scored 12 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.
When they weren't scoring off second chances, they finished around the basket and converted perimeter shots.
"We've just been attacking, finding open people and getting open looks," said Jones, who scored eight points. "We're taking good shots."
Only two players failed to shoot above 50 percent from the floor. Raahsaan Brown went 6 of 8 from the field on his way to a game-high 12 points. Rob Johnson hit three of his five shots for nine points plus a game-high 10 rebounds.C.J. Carr tallied 10 points on 4 of 8 shooting. Trae Babers and Trey Sigel each had eight points.
"We have a lot of people on the team who can score well," Jones said. "That helps out a lot."
Rocky has three players averaging double figures, plus two more who average 9.2 points. Add a bench that is getting better each night, the formula to a six-game winning streak seems easy to find.
"We need to make sure we keep working and keep that team chemistry," Thom Sigel said. "When we do that, we're at our best."
The first six games of the season prove that.
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