FEBRUARY 21, 2012
Tuesday night’s OK Red battle between visiting Rockford and defending champEast Kentwood lived up to the billing. The Rams would not go away with ease but in the end the Falcons grabbed the 43-41 victory and now sit in the driver’s seat in the league. EK still has work to do with Hudsonville coming into town on Friday but this win gives them the chance to defend their crown outright. This game went back and forth all night with back-to-back baskets constituting as a run for these two defensive minded teams. The largest lead of the night was 6 by EK at 14-8 and we went to the half at 19-15 EK, with Tavon Robinson scoring 13 of the Falcons 19.
The second half followed the same pattern except that the Rams 3′s were falling in the second half. Rockford was 1-6 from deep in the first half and turned that around to go 5-9 in the 2nd and used the sharp shooting to stay with the hard working Falcons. East Kentwood plays AMAZING defense and lured Rockford into countless costly mistakes, which is very uncharacteristic of the Rams. The final 1:13 of the game was intense! Ryheem Bonivel had just knocked in a pair of free-throws to put EK up 41-35 at which point Chad Carlson had seen enough. The5’6″ Junior plays with greater heart than anyone I’ve seen all year and he put this team on his back the rest of the way.
Carlson drilled a deep three with 43 seconds left and then EK split at the line at the other end. After an EK turnover under the Rockford basket the Rams who were out of timeouts were in-bounding and Carlson was calling out for a screen from his big men, he got it and then drilled another deep three from straight on to make it42-41 EK with less than 10 seconds to play. Rockford would get a foul at 5.8 and EK again split at the line. That set up this final possession for the Rams to grab the OK Red.
- Chad Carlson is cold blooded! I am constantly blown away with what this kid does on the basketball court. Down 4 with seconds to play he calls out a play and then drills the shot to cut it to one. He looks directly at Coach Nick Allenand says “line it up again!” You have to love a kid with that kinda confidence at this level and on that stage. He knew that he was gong to drill the shot and give his team a chance. The only 3-ball Carlson missed tonight was the last one shown above, he was 4-4 from beyond the arc before that.
- Rockford had too many mistakes tonight, plain and simple. The Rams dropped passes and threw the ball away to Falcon defenders all night including crucial moments of the second half. It was the kind of play that you just don’t see from Rockford and they will surely be kicking themselves for it. Rockford Nation just became very big Hudsonville fans!
- Tavon Robinson played a great game and carried his team in the first half.Miles Robinson was 0-4 from the field and it was up to Tavon to pick up the slack and he did just that going 5-6 from the field including a 3-ball and a pair of ‘and ones’ that got the fans rocking early on. Robinson would finish with 19to lead all scorers and couldn’t be kept out of the paint all night
- East Kentwood now sits at 15-2 and 11-2 in the Red while Rockford and Hudsonville sit at 13-5 with 10-3 league marks. The Falcons get Hudsonville at home and will look to avenge an early season loss to the Eagles just as they did tonight against the Rams. EK wins and the Red is theirs, they lose and it’s a three-way split. Friday is going to be nuts out at EK!
Check out Justin’s article & videos @: http://westmiallstar.com/2012/02/east-kentwood-grabs-ok-red-lead-from-rockford/