The RHS boys basketball team took a trip back to the "good old days" Tuesday, hosting the Cleveland Clippers in the school's renewed south gym. Randolph won the game over a growing rival, 43-41.
Cleveland beat the boys in quadruple overtime last season, and the Rockets knocked them off in the football playoffs, so the intensity level was high. Randolph came out pressing, but Cleveland was able to get some easy baskets and take an early lead.
The Rocket press eventually started working, and they forced turnovers which led to points. Randolph eventually took a 14-point lead in the 1st half.
Cleveland didn't go away, though. They extended their 2-3 zone and their bench became more animated. The Rockets stopped being aggressive, allowed Cleveland's bench antics to get into their heads, and saw their lead dwindle to three at halftime.
After some adjustments at the break, the Rockets came out ready for anything Cleveland could throw at them. "It was a close game the whole 2nd half; credit our guys for keeping calm between their ears," coach Tony Linbo said. "It was playoff-atmosphere basketball and the experienced gained will help us in the post-season."
Eric Otte led with 13 points, Sam Feidt had 11, Austin Moorhouse added eight, Kyle Volkert had five, Drew Weidner four and David Speight two.
The Rockets hosted Blooming Prairie on Friday, and didn't come out with much fire or intensity in a 78-41 loss. They trailed 47-20 at the half.
"They just kept firing and knocking down shots and our guys looked out of it," Linbo said. "It's been awhile since I've seen this team that lackluster. We have to keep getting better for a big playoff run; we have the talent and the pieces to make things happen."
Volkert had 11 points, Andrew Emery eight, Otte eight, Moorhouse seven, Weidner four, Jackson Neil two and Feidt one.
The Rockets were at United South Central on Tuesday, and they host Faribault BA before going to Maple River on Monday, Feb. 3.