It is easy to coach from the stands. "Why didn't they do this?" "Why didn't they shoot?" "Why not go man to man?"
From the bench, with knowing each kids strengths and weaknesses, its a little different. Kennedy Catholic came to Friday's game at Rocky Grove and in short order they began slowing everything down to a snails pace. The result in the first half Rocky Grove didn't touch the ball much and when they did they didn't capitalize enough to change what would come in the second half - which was stall ball.
Maybe it didn't make for fun basketball to watch but at the end of the night all the Golden Eagles will see is a "W" on their side of the contest.
They held the high flying D'Andre Whitman to only three points. In fact they held every Oriole to under ten in the 32 minute contest. The high scorers for the Grove were Schiffer Anderson and Quinn Ritchey with seven points. Only one other Oriole scored, Blayne Baker notch four points.
Twenty-one points in four quarters usually means a blowout, but the Golden Eagles only scored 27 themselves. Rick Mancino's team began to hold the ball against the Rocky Grove zone defense and with a little lead in the second half didn't seem to care if they scored or not - as long as they didn't turn the ball over and let Rocky Grove score.
The now 2-0 Kennedy ballers may not put this game in their highlight reel, but they won and Rocky Grove, now 0-1 in the region, will have to use this as a learning experience for when they face each other again.
Rocky Grove will have a big test on Tuesday when it travels to face Farrell who appears to be the team to beat in Region 1.
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Route 8 Rivalry is a website dedicated the long history of the Oil City and Franklin football rivalry by former sports editor Penny Weichel. It is an amazing labor of love and valuable resource for history. It is our go-to here at 8and322.com.