For a half, it looked like the Richard Montgomery boys basketball team was going to put their slow start this season behind them, and start the second half with a win. However, bad habits came back to bite them, and some hot shooting from the Whitman Vikings left the Rockets with a crushing 62-52 loss Friday night.
The Rockets (3-10) used their quickness and athleticism to take a lead in the first half. Paul Sewell was near-unstoppable driving to the lane, and Justin Senou was shooting very well. Their offense ran smoothly and RM was able to take a 35-30 lead into the half.
“In the first half, our offense was doing the little things right,” RM coach Scott Spear said. “We were making the extra pass, driving and kicking and not forcing things.”
An odd third quarter started the downfall of the Rockets. The Vikings (5-8) scored 12 points, all on three-point shots. Meanwhile RM would only score five in the quarter, all of them off of free throws made by Paul Sewell, who would go on to take 14 free throws in the game.
The three pointers would continue to fall in the fourth quarter, as Whitman went on to hit 11 in the game, and score more than half their points from beyond the arc. The Vikings were led by Bryan Joel, who would score 21 points, 12 of which came from three-pointers. Jake Harrison added 15 points and Daniel Voigt had four threes of his own.
“We started leaving open the guys we couldn't leave open.” Spear said. “No. 12 [Joel], he killed us, he had a career game, and we just couldn't stop him going to the basket, we couldn't stop the three, and he destroyed us.”
The loss spoiled a good performance from Senou, who scored 17 points, and Sewell, who scored 16. Even those two started to struggle in the second half however, as the team seemed to panic when the threes started falling for Whitman. The team started missing layups, a problem they had all season, and failed to box out on defensive rebounds.
“We don't know how to deal with success,” Spear lamented. “We had a game we should have won we didn't because we didn't play smart tonight.”
Richard Montgomery will try to rebound from the loss at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 when they travel to face Wootton.