Happ's big night gives Rockets 20th win


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Posted Online: Feb. 05, 2013, 10:24 pm
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By Dan Tomlin, dtomlin@qconline.com
GENESEO -- The Rockridge boys' basketball team delivered the first punch, and that was enough.

Putting the Geneseo Maple Leafs back on their heels, the Rockets blew out the hosts, 70-35, to get their 20th win of the season.

Wanting to erase the memory of an upset loss to Illini West last Friday, Rockridge was focused on pushing the intensity in the first five minutes.

Well, it worked for the first 20 minutes. The Rockets outscored Geneseo 53-13 through the first 2 1/2 quarters, shooting the lights out behind their big man, Wisconsin commit, Ethan Happ.

Happ ended the game with 24 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks, four steals and three assists and was as impressive as can be.

In the first half alone, Rockridge shot better than 70 percent from the floor and forced 11 turnovers.

"Our defense turns into offense," Happ said. "When you're playing good defense and getting the ball up and down the court, shots are going to fall."

For the Rockets, the bounce back was welcomed and the loss to Illini West appears to be a distant memory.

"We haven't been playing with a sense of urgency and tonight we set the tone on defense," Rockets coach Toby Whiteman said. "Losing like we did last Friday was an eye-opener. We know everyone' out to get us and we're always going to get everyone's best game."

It wasn't Geneseo's best effort of the season though.

The Leafs (8-13) shot just 35 percent from the floor and looked timid.

"We got on our heels and didn't compete like we have been," Leafs coach Brad Storm said. "We took a step back. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a couple steps forward; that was a bad team to take a step back against."

Jordan Starkey led the way with 10 points for Geneseo, and sophomore center Drew Himmelman played impressively, but that's where any highlights end for the Leafs.

For Rockridge (20-3), TJ Henry added 15 points and Bryan Heath scored a dozen.

Although the outcome was never in doubt, Rockridge kept Happ and other starters in for the majority of the second half, only pulling them when Geneseo went to the end of the bench with three minutes to play.

"We've been burned in the past with pulling guys too early and other teams keeping starters in and pressing," Whiteman said. "We have a policy now not to clear the bench until the other team does. We weren't trying to run up the score."

















 




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  Today is Tuesday, Sept 2, the 245th day of 2014. There are 120 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: It is estimated that 300,000 people attended the recent Democratic convention in Chicago when Gen. George B. McClellan of New Jersey was nominated as a candidate for president of the United States.
1889 — 125 years ago: Alderman Frank Ill, Winslow Howard and Captain J.M. Montgomery returned from Milwaukee, where they attended the national Grand Army of the Republic encampment.
1914 — 100 years ago: Three members of the Rock Island YMCA accepted positions as physical directors of other associations. Albert Cook went to Kewanee, C.D. Curtis to Canton and Willis Woods to Leavenworth, Kan.
1939 — 75 years ago: Former President Herbert Hoover appealed for national support of President F.D. Roosevelt and Congress in every effort to keep the United States out of war.
1964 — 50 years ago: The Rock Island Junior chamber pf Commerce has received answers to about 65 % of the 600 questionnaires mailed out recently in a "Community Attitude Survey" to analyze sentiments of citizens towards their city's various recreational, educational, and civic service programs.
1989 — 25 years ago: The two thunderstorms passing through the Quad Cities last night and early today left some area residents reaching for their flashlights.






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