In a weekend packed full of basketball, the Rockets Silver team fought two hard battles to advance to the 2023 Special Olympics Ohio State Basketball Tournament. The tournament will be held March 4 and 5 at Bowling Green State University. Swimming and competitive cheer will also be competing.
In their first game of the weekend, the Rockets faced the Summit County Warriors for the second time this season. Trailing throughout the game, the Rockets battled back from a 16-point deficit to defeat the Warriors 77 to 69. Matthew Medley led the Rockets with 30 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Alex Adkins added 16 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Zach Dryden had 12 points, 17 rebounds, and 2 assists to help in the victory. Deric Johnson put up 11, pulled down 13 boards, had 4 assists, and stole the ball 3 times for the winners. Chris Wernert had 6 points and 9 rebounds.
In their second game of the weekend, the Rockets faced Lorain Murray Ridge. The Raiders had defeated the Rockets earlier in the month, but it was the Rockets who emerged victorious this time by a score of 65-50, securing the NE Regional Championship as well as a berth to the state tournament in March. Deric Johnson and Zach Dryden both had 15 points for the Rockets, while Alex Adkins had 13. Matthew Medley and Chris Wernert both added 11 points. Johnson (14), Dryden (16), and Wernert (12) combined to grab 42 rebounds during the game. Medley had 19 assists, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Adkins had 3 assists, 8 rebounds, and 1 steal for the winning team, while Wernet had 2 blocks.
The Rockets Silver team will take on the Northwest Regional Champion at the state tournament on March 4.
The Rockets Maroon team won their first two rounds of tournament play against Columbiana and Medina. They lost a heartbreaker to the eventual Division 5 Regional Champions, Lake County, in the third round. Allison Halsey led the way in the second-round game with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, and 6 steals. She added 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals in the third-round game. Rachael Russell added 14 points and 1 steal in the second-round game and 2 points in the third round game. Kadyn Cook-Linamen had 8 points and 22 rebounds in the second-round game as well as 4 points and 12 rebounds against Lake County; he also had a total of 4 blocks on the day. Tyler Ross had 9 points and 6 rebounds at both games on Saturday.
The Rockets Maroon team will play again on Jan. 30 at Dover High School starting at 6:30 p.m.