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Defense was the name of the game at Dr. Tom W. Evans Gymnasium Tuesday night as the Rockwood Tigers swept visiting Kingston in a pair of low scoring games.
The girls game was a contest where nothing came easy, but in the end it was the Lady Tigers defending their home court with a 38-36 victory over the Lady Jackets.
Things were also tight in the boys game, but Rockwood made enough plays down the stretch for a 42-37 victory.
With the wins, the Tigers and Lady Tigers have swept the season series from Kingston.
The first five minutes of the game looked as if the Lady Tigers might make quick work of Kingston, but the rest of the night proved to be a dog fight with Rockwood holding on for a narrow victory.
The Lady Tigers used a pair of 6-0 runs in the first period to take a quick 12-2 lead.
Kingston, however, ended the period with a nice run of their own. Lynzee Lunsford knocked down a pair of three-pointers that sparked an 8-0 run that made the score 12-10 after one period of play.
Lunsford tied the game at 12 early in the second period with a pair of free throws, but Kingston couldn’t take the lead. The Lady Tigers ended the half on an 8-3 run to make the score 20-15 at intermission.
Lunsford led all scorers in the first half with eight points while Dara Cates, Becca Farmer and Samantha Freels scored four points each for Rockwood.
The third period was a struggle. Rockwood scored first to take a 22-15 lead, but Kingston ended the stanza on a 6-2 run to pull within 24-21 entering the final period of play.
Kingston’s Tori Strahan and Taylor Thurman scored to give Kingston a 25-24 lead with 6:41 left to play, but as it turned out, that would be the Lady Jackets only lead of the night.
Rockwood responded with an 11-3 run to take a 36-28 lead with 48.7 seconds left to play.
The Lady Tigers failed to slam the door at the free throw line and that gave Kingston a chance to rally. Thurman hit a three-pointer with six seconds left cut the lead to 38-36, but the Lady Jackets were out of time outs and that allowed the clock to run out before they could set their defense and commit a foul.
Thurman led all scorers on the night with 14 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists.
Freels led Rockwood with nine points while Carson Evans added seven. McKenzie Lee led the Lady Tigers with 12 rebounds while Chelsea Cheek had five steals.
Kingston (36) Sampson 3, Layne 3, Strahan 3, L. Baggett 2, R. Baggett 3, Thurman 14, Lunsford 8.
Rockwood (38) Lee 4, Cheek 6, Freels 9, Evans 7, Farmer 5, Hill 2, Cates 5.
The Tigers led from wire-to-wire Tuesday, but the victory was anything but easy.
Like the girls game, Rockwood came out strong. The Tigers scored the first seven points of the contest, but Kingston ended the period on a 7-2 run to pull within 9-7 after eight minutes of play.
Kingston pulled to within 11-10 early in the second period, but the Tigers answered with an 8-2 run and eventually took a 21-13 lead at halftime.
The inside duo of Malcolm Springs (9 points) and Jay Tilley (6 points) paced Rockwood in the first half while Tyler Hughes scored seven points to lead the Jackets.
Rockwood’s Hunter Grant opened the second half with a pair of free throws to give the Tigers a 23-13 lead, but the Jackets came storming back. Thanks to a pair of three-pointers from Hughes and a buzzer-beating two-pointer from Quint Gasque, the Jackets score 13 of the final 18 points in the frame to cut Rockwood’s lead to 28-26 with eight minutes remaining.
Kingston cut it to one, 32-31, early in the fourth period when Tyler Thompson buried a trey, but the Jackets couldn’t get over the hump. Grant answered with a three-pointer of his own to make the score 35-31 with 5:30 left to play, but things remained close down the stretch.
The score stood at 37-35 after a Thompson free throw with 3:50 left to play, but Kingston managed just two free throws after that as Rockwood pulled away for the seven-point victory.
Springs led Rockwood on the night with 14 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Breazeale was next in line with nine points. Tilley (6 points, 8 rebounds), Grant (6 points, 5 assists, 5 steals) and Case Miller (6 points, 7 rebounds) also put up solid numbers for the Tigers.
Hughes (14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) and Gasque (7 points, 7 rebounds) led Kingston in defeat.
Kingston (37) Sampson 4, Gasque 7, Thompson 4, Hughes 14, Anderson 5, Adcock 1, Cash 2.
Rockwood (44) Grant 6, Springs 14, Tilley 6, Breazeale 9, Miller 6, Neerman 2, Gaus 1.