By Randy Gregory
Both teams had a dismal night from the floor, but the Rams frustration from the field was almost epic in it’s totality on Tuesday, February 5th at Rockford. The Rams shot an abysmal 27% from the floor for the game and an even cooler 21% from the three-point line on their way to a frustrating 40-36 loss to Hudsonville. The loss left The Rams at 10-5 on the season and dropped them a game behind East Kentwood in the OK Red at 4-2.
“We obviously didn’t shoot the ball well tonight,” said Rockford coach Nick Allen. “You obviously have to give a lot of credit to Hudsonville and the defense they played tonight, but we still have to hit some shots. It didn’t matter if they were open shots or contested, we just couldn’t get anything to fall all game long.”
The two teams went at it tooth and nail from the start and the opening quarter ended up in an 8-8 tie. The second period saw a slight improvement for Rockford but anyone hoping for a semblance of an up and down offensive show was still disappointed at the half. The Rams outscored Hudsonville 9-6 in that stanza to take a 17-14 lead into the locker room.
The Rams saw their only hot streak of the entire evening in the opening few minutes of the third quarter. Rockford scored 10 of the first 12 points to open up a 27-16 lead and appeared on the verge of blowing the game open. But just like that, the hot spell was over for Rockford. Over the final five minutes of the third the Eagles outscored the Rams 13-1 to actually take a 29-28 lead into the final eight minutes.
The frustration carried over into the final quarter for both teams, but it was the Eagles who came up with the big plays at both ends of the court to secure the huge win. Though they shot only a less than impressive in their own right 37%, The Eagles maintained the lead for the balance of the contest by maintaining their defensive intensity and making just enough shots. Hudsonville outscored Rockford 11-8 over the final eight minutes.
“Hudsonville has a heck of a team,” said Allen. “It is never easy to win a game in the OK Red and tonight was further proof of that. I thought we had a solid game defensively, but you have got to put the ball in the basket at some point and we were just unable to do that tonight.”