2017-'18 Season Coverage
updated: 1/4/2013 11:23 PM

R-B constructs victory over Round Lake

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They are building at Richmond-Burton.

A brand new gym, that is.

There's a gigantic addition being built to the school's old gym that is near completion. It will provide the Rockets with a state-of-the-art fieldhouse with plenty of seating for games as well as extra practice courts.

Construction is due to be complete next month.

The boys basketball team is hoping that it's on the verge of building something as well.

It's been a rough start to the season for the young Rockets, who entered Friday's nonconference battle against visiting Round Lake with just one win in 13 games.

But thanks to a decisive 63-45 victory over the Panthers in the old gym, which was separated from the new gym by a floor-to-ceiling white curtain, Richmond-Burton finally has something positive to build on.

"We talked about the second half of the season and making a move and getting better," said Richmond-Burton coach Brandon Creason, whose team improves to 2-12 on the season. "We've got (the new gym), we did some nice things tonight we're building all sorts of things here."

Against Round Lake, which drops to 3-12 on the season, sophomore forward Sam Kaufman was the heavy lifter.

He scored a career- and game-high 30 points, including 19 points in the first half that got the Rockets off on the right foot. Junior guard Michael Kaska also reached double-figures for Richmond-Burton with 12 points on two 3-pointers.

"Shots were falling it felt good," said Kaufman, who connected on 11-of-18 field goal attempts. "The locker room is more fun tonight. Everyone is happy. This week in practice, I'm sure we're going to have a much more positive outlook. This (win) is going to help a lot."

A nagging press also helped Richmond-Burton, which lost to Round Lake at the Grant Holiday Tournament last month but was down to seven players because of an illness that wiped out nearly half the team.

The Rockets pressured Round Lake into 25 turnovers on the game and scored off of a handful of them. By the start of the fourth quarter, they were up by 15 points (48-33).

"It's just a constant battle to get our guys locked in 100 percent while they're on the floor," Round Lake coach Jim Roberts said. "Against their pressure, if you're consistent and disciplined every time, you handle it fine. But we're not and that's been our story all year. Turnovers led to layups (for Richmond-Burton) and we just kind of compounded our mistakes."

Round Lake junior guard Karnell Wright did his best to be a neutralizer. He scored a team-high 18 points, including two 3-pointers.

"I'm disappointed on the turnovers we had," said Wright, the only player to score in double-figures for the Panthers. "Our team, we're struggling right now. We need to learn how to work together and be together. We need to communicate better and bring each other up. When one person gets down, the whole team gets down."

The Panthers got a bit of a lift by the return of star freshman forward James Mobley, who sprained his ankle last month and missed the Grant Holiday Tournament. He practiced for the first time on Thursday and played throughout the Richmond-Burton game, although he did not assume his normal spot in the starting lineup.

Mobley had 4 points and turned a steal into a layup early in the fourth quarter to cut the Round Lake deficit to 11 points. But Kaufman went on to score 8 points in a hurry to keep Richmond-Burton's cushion comfy.

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