By RANDY GREGORY
In a contest that was rescheduled due to weather earlier in the season, Rockford rebounded from a pair of potentially emotionally devastating losses last week to top Holland 47-44 at home on Monday, February 11th. Following the pair of difficult home losses to Hudsonville and Grand Haven last week it would have been understandable if the Rams licked their wounds and looked ahead to the Friday contest against East Kentwood. But the Rams had too much pride according to Rockford coach Nick Allen.
“We certainly put ourselves in a tough position in the OK Red with last week’s results, but this is still a very determined team,” said Allen. “Holland played a strong game tonight and gave us all we could handle. But we forgot about last week and did enough tonight to pull out the win despite struggling offensively.”
The game was close throughout with the Rams leading 14-13 after one quarter and 22-20 at the half. Rockford scored the first five points of the third stanza and appeared poised to finally establish a semblance of control but the Dutch gradually whittled the lead to two again after three quarters.
The final eight minutes was a battle of attrition and was still a one-point game (45-44) with 24 seconds to play. The Rams nailed two free throws at that juncture to expand the lead to 47-44. Holland managed to get several three-point shots off over the balance of the contest in an attempt to tie the game, but none came close to going in and the Rams trotted off the court with the hard earned triumph.
Only five Rams got into the act in the scoring column. Long ago season-ending injuries to Kyle Short and Xavier Stewart have really hurt the team’s depth and exposed the bench occasionally. This contest was one of them for Rockford. Zach Finkbeiner and Chase Fairchild had 19 and 15 points respectively to lead the way for the Rams and account for nearly 75% of the team’s points.
With the triumph the Rams moved to 11-6 overall as they awaited a chance for redemption at East Kentwood on Friday.