Standing just fifteen feet from the hoop, it is often preached that free throws are the most important fundamental to game of basketball. Tuesday night at Broad Ripple High School, this theory proved to be true.
With just 45.6 seconds left against Guerin Catholic (2-1), Broad Ripple Senior Ron Patterson knocked down a pair from the charity stripe to put the Rockets (2-1) on top 51-50. On the following possession the Golden Eagles caught a break, as Senior Riley Rapp (nine points) was fouled with 14.6 seconds on the clock. However Rapp missed his first shot, the Rockets retrieved the ball, and two more free throws from Senior Muhammed Cross clinched a 53-50 victory for the Rockets.
"We have a tough one this past weekend (a loss to Cathedral), but I think our guys did a really good job overcoming some adversity. I think Coach Smith did a great job with his team executing, but our guys were resilient. They came together and made some plays down the stretch. I thought Muhammed Cross had a heck of a game, and knocking down the free throws, and those guys getting on the floor for the loose balls. We did the little things, and that's what we wanted to concentrate on was the little things down the stretch, and we were able to pull it out."
Cross led all scorers with 22 points in a hard-fought battle that neither team really took full control of, and his contributions early and often were much needed. It wasn't until the fourth quarter until the Rockets Senior Patterson (16 points) found a rhythm, and both Cross and Junior Muta Irving kept Broad Ripple afloat throughout the contest.
"Ron is a great talent as the catalyst of our team," said Hicks. "But we have guys who just come in and play their role. Guys like Muhammed Cross, Muta Irving, Randy, and we got some strong bench play. We just ask guys to come in and play their role, and if they can do that then we have a good shot."
Patterson, seemingly energized by a steal and a dunk to tie the game at 44-44 with 4:54 left in the game, followed up the next possession with a three-pointer to take the lead at 47-44. The senior scored seven points in the fourth quarter, and the Rockets were able to escape with their second victory of the season.
With Senior Muhammed Cross leading the way with 22 points, the Rockets (2-1) held off Guerin Catholic (2-1) by the final of 53-50.
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