Against Eisenhower they knew it would be a battle having already losing to them 81-52 earlier in the season. "We knew it was going to be tough," Mehlenbacher said.
Going into the game they needed to play well, but a bit of sloppy passing and dribbling early on set the tone. Eisenhower controlled the paint with very few second chances coming the Rocket's way and they seemed to have solid fundamentals, ball control and scoring many points early on with give and go layups.
In the end they lost 71-59 which was a step up from their previous performance against the Knights..
Mehlenbacher said his team played hard and as a coach that is really all he can ask for.
"We did better in the second half so that is something to build on."
The Rockets are down one of their top ball handlers with Colin Wagner out with a concussion.
The Rockets loss now puts them at 5-5
They had won two straight with a grind out win over Union City 46-43 and they almost doubled up General McLane 67-36.
Mehlenbacher said against Union City they just didn't bring their A-game. "We played terrible that game, but we grinded it out, which is a good thing. We weren't hitting anything, but at least we pulled out the win. It was a good win."
He knows that the teams success relies on team scoring leader Isiah Colon being on. "He is where most of our offense comes from, he creates a lot. and when he is hitting, everything clicks."
Against Ike Colon was forcing shots early trying to make something happen. Coach said makes those shots so he doesn't fault his aggressiveness. "He has the green light to take those, as long as they they are reasonable. I thought they were reasonable."
For the rest of the season it just doesn't get easy for the Rockets. They have Warren, Oil City and Franklin all down the road.
"We're just going to have to play good every night and hope things bounce our way, but it's going to be a tough one," he said. "We're playing hard, obviously we're not the biggest team in the world, but they are trying and they are giving me everything they have."
Next up is Lakeview on Friday. The following week they host both Oil City and Franklin.