Geneseo Thanksgiving Shootout: Rockridge 63, Princeton 53
GENESEO — The Princeton Tigers almost made it to play for the state football championship Friday. The PHS basketball team looked like it was still in that football mode at the Geneseo Thanksgiving Shootout Friday.
The Tigers committed 30 fouls with four players fouling out in a game they played to a tie in the final second of the third quarter, before losing 63-53 to Rockridge.
“It’s early in the season. We’re still in a little bit of football mode. We’re fouling way too much. Not getting in the right spots defensively, and those are correctable things that we’ll get out of the way,” PHS coach Jason Smith said.
Down 41-33 with five minutes left in the third quarter, the Tigers made an 8-0 run to tie the game.
Caleb Haring scored on the break and Jamie Reinhardt scored on two drives, the second with 1:27 left in the third quarter to pull the Tigers within 41-39.
Noah Atkinson scored on a drive with 0:02 left to tie the game at 41, and quick as a whistle, Tyler Gibson stole the Rockets’ inbounds pass and was fouled at 0:07. He missed both free throw attempts, and Tiger Grant Foes was whistled going for the rebound at the buzzer.
Rockridge’s Levi Buckrop sank two free throws with no time remaining to put the Rockets ahead for good at 43-41.
“He was trying to make an aggressive play there. At that time, we probably didn’t want to try to be aggressive,” Smith said.
Rockridge raced out to a 54-46 lead and was never really threatened again, outscoring the Tigers 20-12 over the fourth quarter.
Reinhardt led the Tigers with 24 points, including 9-12 from the free throw line. Caleb Haring had six points, and Branden Haring and Noah Atkinson added five points each.
Smith said it’s going to take time to get his team rounded into basketball shape with as many as eight kids coming over from the football team’s extended run to the state semifinals.
“If I do my job correctly and the kids are willing to listen, which they have thus far, yeah, things should look a lot different. We should be a lot more crisp. Lot more fluid in our offense. It’s not a question about scoring. We just got to stop people. When we stop teams, they’ll learn. We stopped Rockridge to only eight points in the third quarter, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”
PHS senior Wyatt Davis was not dressed Friday, still recovering from a bruised kidney in football, although he did play the final two playoff games. He was hopeful to play Saturday.
Junior Owen Rossler was also out with an ankle injury, Smith said.
• Tiger tales: The PHS sophomores won their game over Rockridge Friday, 50-37. Braden Scaggs led PHS with 17 points. ... The Tigers will play two games Saturday, meeting Brad Bickett’s Rock Falls Rockets at 1:30 p.m. and East Moline at 5 p.m. The sophomores play before the varsity.