Rockford Christian shuts down St. Edward
St. Edward did not want Rockford Christian to get set up in its half-court defense.
Through the first quarter, the Green Wave ran the ball on the Royal Lions and jumped out to a 12-8 lead. It would take St. Edward over 2 full quarters to score another 12 points as Rockford Christian did set up its defense - often - and the Royal Lions took a 49-32 nonconference boys basketball victory in Rockford Saturday night.
"We came out and played well, we just have to sustain it," St. Edward coach Keith Chuipek said. "We wanted to pick up the speed of the game. We were a little timid. They had some big guys. We were fearful that if we went inside, then our shots were going to get blocked."
The Green Wave (4-2) was able to play its style of game in the first quarter and saw positive results on both ends of the floor. Rockford Christian (5-1) turned the ball over 4 times and shot 3 for 9 from the floor.
St. Edward only forced 4 more turnovers over the next 22 minutes and Rockford Christian was 14 of 30 from the floor in the second and third quarters combined, including an 8 of 15 shooting effort from the floor in the third period.
St. Edward had five different players make field goals in the first period, shooting 5 of 11 from the floor, and got 3-pointers from Mike Ellis and Nick Kerger. Just four players would hit field goals in the remaining 3 quarters. Ellis did finish with 13 points and scored 7 in the third quarter, but the Green Wave managed just 1 point in the second quarter, being outscored 13-1 to trail 21-13 at the half.
"They took us out of our game," Ellis said. They have really big guys and we didn't get up like we wanted to. They were pushing us back."
The statistical point of pushing the Green Wave back came with the 30-17 rebounding advantage that Rockford Christian owned. The Royal Lions also held a 13-2 edge on the offensive glass, scoring 12 second-chance points. St. Edward was outrebounded 19-4 in the second half, including 9-0 on the offensive glass. Cody Jeralds grabbed 5 boards in the first half for the Green Wave, but did not have a rebound after that.
St. Edward also turned the ball over just 2 times in the first quarter, but the Wave coughed the ball up 10 times in the next 2 quarters, as Rockford Christian forced the Green Wave to settle for outside jumpers.
"After the first quarter we really extended our pressure," Rockford Christian coach Shane Bautch said. "We really got up in their face. We're a solid defensive team. Tonight was a whole other level."
Jahlil Smith finished with 7 of his game-high 14 points in the third quarter and Brayden Teuscher added 11 points and 6 assists for the Royal Lions.