Ashburn, VA (January 9, 2018) – It was a tale of two halves. In the first, the host Rock Ridge Phoenix exploded for over fifty points playing nearly perfect basketball. In the second, the visiting Tuscarora Huskies scraped and clawed their way back into the game playing a bit unevenly, but without backing down after the first half rush from Rock Ridge.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
The surprise of the night was how easily the Phoenix took their 25-10 first quarter lead. Despite completely replacing their lineup more than once, the Huskies could not counter the systematic offense led by Rock Ridge point guard James Larsen.
In the second quarter, Tuscarora appeared to gain some momentum, but the Phoenix surged again as forward Alex Fitch scored seven straight points to cap off an amazing halftime margin of 51-34.
After the break it was a different story. The Huskies balanced scoring attack chipped away at the lead and forced Rock Ridge to call several timeouts. But the home team could not regain momentum as Alex Bailey and Jared Cross led the scoring for Tuscarora. A thunderous dunk from Henry Okoye was the exclamation point as the third quarter ended with the Rock Ridge lead cut in half, 61-52.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. Tuscarora steadily and consistently found the basket while Rock Ridge could not. The Huskies finally drew even at 63-63, but Keshav Bhakta made three free throws to give Rock Ridge the lead again. But the visitors would continue to press and narrow the gap again.
With under a minute to play, Okoye hit two free throws to give Tuscarora the lead, 67-66. After a missed Rock Ridge shot, the Huskies began to play possession basketball. The Phoenix would do its best to get Tuscarora on the foul line, but they had too many fouls to give and would gradually run out of time.
Final score: Tuscarora 69 - Rock Ridge 66
|Players who could be clearly identified by jersey number are listed in the links below. Additional photos of these and other players may be viewed and purchased in the full gallery.|