Thursday marked the long-awaited Tip-Off Thursday for the Rookie League at Franklin Athletic Club. After two great weeks of practice, each team was ready to go against their first opponent. In front of a packed house, full of family and friends, these Rookies took center stage and showed the fans how hard they have been practicing and preparing for the start of the season. “The players and coaches have been eagerly waiting for game competition to begin, and they delivered quite the show for the standing-room only crowd! The atmosphere inside the gym was electric!” said League Director Bryan Bollin.
Game 1: Celtics 18 – Spurs 8
The Celtics and coach Jamie Ryke took on the Spurs, coached by Jim Spadafore and Tarig Kozouz. The Celtics jumped out to an early lead, one they would never relinquish, as they led the game from start to finish. At halftime, the Celtics (1-0) held an 8-0 lead but the Spurs (0-1) and their coaches made some halftime adjustments and quickly got back in the game. After cutting the Celtics lead to 8-6, the Spurs found themselves right back in the game as they settled into a groove and were able to find some open shots. However, the Celtics proved too much to handle as they eventually won the game by a score of 18-8. Harry Narens and Jaden Ryke led the way for the Celtics, scoring 8 and 6 points, respectively. The Spurs displayed a balanced scoring attack, something that will bode well for them throughout the season. Ty Thomson, Zachary Kozouz, George Witte, and Seth Hittleman each scored 2 points for the Spurs.
Game 2: Hawks 15 – Lakers 13
Coach Laura Barrick and the Hawks squared off with Coach Joel Sigmon and the Lakers in our second contest of the night. This was a tightly contested game and one that saw several lead changes throughout, with neither team leading or trailing by more than 4 points at any point in the contest. The Hawks (1-0) displayed great ball movement and passing all game long, playing an unselfish game and finding the open player. For the Lakers (0-1), it was their aggressive and active defense that helped them stay in the game. Late in the second half, Eugene Conley converted a clutch layup to tie the score at 13-13. With just over a minute remaining, Jace Bernard answered with a bucket of his own to give the Hawks a two point lead. The Hawks would eventually hold on for the 15-13 win. Bernard, Henry Kole, Jordan Scott, Alex Ashare, Josiah Robinson, and Markus Herron, Jr. all chipped in points for the Hawks, showcasing their great passing and ability to get everyone involved. Conley, Aaren Sigmon, and Josh Sigmon paced the Lakers with 7, 4, and 2 points, respectively.
All teams will be back in action next Thursday (November 10th) for our second week of games.