Hockey, Girls’ Basketball Teams Move On in Tournament
February 28, 2019
The most exciting time of the year for RHS athletic teams was in full swing this week as the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams and the hockey team began tournament play. Two out of the three teams were able to win their opening games and will play again on Friday night (Hockey) and Saturday afternoon (Girls Basketball).
Tournament games began on Tuesday night as the boys’ basketball team traveled to Old Rochester to open up their Division 3 South tournament bid while the boys’ hockey team stayed home to take on Middleboro/Hull in a preliminary round of the D3 South tournament.
The RHS Boys’ Basketball Team and Old Rochester both had 11-9 records as they entered the seeding, but ORR won the tie-breaker and got the #8 seed, meaning that Rockland would have to travel as the #9 seed. The closeness of their records though hinted at how close the game would be, as ORR with the home court advantage, pulled off a one point win, 54-53, thus ending the boys’ season.
The take-away though is still a plus for the boys’ basketball team that ended the regular season with four straight wins, including an exciting tournament championship in the Shawn P. Cotter tournament in Abington during February vacation. All but one of those late season wins were needed to qualify for tournament, an outcome that seemed all but impossible early on in the season.
About the game, Coach Damon said in the South Coast Today report: “The kids played hard. We didn’t quit. We fell behind by 11 or 12 and we battled back.”
Hunter Wardwell and Tyrae Worrell led the scoring with 13 points apiece.
Seniors Rashaad Jean, Dan Callahan, Peter Kohler, Mike Ebersole, Anthony DeCecco and Worrell ended their careers with the Bulldogs.
The RHS Hockey Team had an even closer game as they opened up tournament play at home. This was a preliminary game as Rockland, seeded 14th with a record of 11-8-1, had a preliminary round, play-in game with #19 Middleboro/Hull. M/H’s record of 9-8-3 included two losses to the Bulldogs during the regular season.
Regular season records though are not important when it comes to tournament and the game’s back and forth play was punctuated by terrific goaltending at both ends. Rockland’s Tom McSweeney had 30 saves and Middleboro’s goalie probably played his best game of the year, turning aside many of Rockland’s scoring chances.
However, senior captain, Evan Gormley led Rockland, scoring two goals, including the overtime winner, and adding an assist.
Coach Flaherty told the Patriot Ledger: “Gormley has been our guy this year. He shows up and does what’s asked of him, and sometimes that means putting the team on his shoulders and he did that tonight. He’s a big leader for us.”
Also contributing for Rockland in addition to McSweeney and Gormley were 8th grader,Joey Salamone with one goal and sophomore Nick Blonde with two assists.
Student fans in black-out clothing were in full force at the Rockland Rink and spectators were three deep and wall-to-wall surrounding the rink.
The hockey team will go for a first round win on Friday at the Canton Ice House at 6:30. They will take on #3 see No. Quincy.
The Girls’ Basketball Team opened its tournament play on Wednesday night at home against Bishop Stang High School. The girls with a record of 14-6 are seeded #5 and Bishop Stang got the #12 seed with a record of 12-8 going in.
The girls got off to a quick start, but then the offense and defense sputtered. This allowing Stang to hang in and the Lady Dogs only took a 2 point lead (19-17) into the locker room at half-time.
The second half was a different story as the defense tightened thanks to great efforts from senior Maddie Blonde and junior Hannah Murphy. The Lady Dogs only allowed Stang two third quarter points and seven 2nd half points in all for a 55-33 win.
Caroline Elie, Ashley Murphy, Hannah Wyllie and Julia Elie took care of the scoring with Caroline Elie leading the way with 16 points. Ashley Murphy, Wyllie and Elie chipped in with double figures as well and the two Elies and Wyllie also recorded double figures in rebounding.
Fans dressed in white-out also provided a spark for the girls in their second half outburst.
Now the girls will play in a quarterfinal round on Saturday at 4 pm in Norwell. Norwell (the #4 seed) and Rockland split their two league games with Norwell taking the first game in early January in Rockland and Rockland countering in Norwell with an exciting one point win.
It should be a great game on Saturday.