Rockets pound Titans, 76-51

Matthew Wheaton/GateHouse Media

STANFORD — The Monmouth-Roseville High School boys basketball fell behind double digits early against Rockridge on Wednesday night.

And the No. 4-ranked Titans didn’t recover, suffering a 76-51 loss to the No. 1-ranked Rockets in Class 2A Olympia Sectional semifinal action.

Rockridge (28-0) jumped out to a 13-0 lead over Monmouth-Roseville (22-5) with 4:51 left in the first quarter thanks to the play of Ethan Happ.

The 6-foot-8 senior scored six of his nine first quarter points in the first three minutes and finished with a game-high 28 points.

“When we got down 13-0, we wanted to force other guys to have to make plays and we were not able to do that,” Monmouth-Roseville coach Chuck Grant said. “They got in their comfort zone. Even though we battled back, we fell asleep in transition. That was the cherry pick that kind of got them going.”

The Rockets netted 23 points in the first quarter to Monmouth-Roseville’s nine points. Happ and Bryan Heath, a 6-foot-4 junior, combined to score 15 of Rockridge’s points in the quarter, mostly off fast breaks.

The Titans opened the second quarter with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 23-15. The Rockets responded with their own 6-0 run for a 29-15 advantage with 3:33 left in the quarter.

Monmouth-Roseville had a pair of buckets after that and Rockridge closed out the quarter with another 6-0 run for a 35-20 lead at the half.

“The last two weeks, we’ve been a second half team,” Rockets coach Toby Whiteman said. “We came out and were a first half team tonight. I think these guys do this to me on purpose. They keep switching it up on me and making me guess.”

Rockridge and Monmouth-Roseville battled back-and-forth in the third quarter.

But the Rockets were able to outscore the Titans 17-16 for a 54-36 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Rockridge netted 22 points to Monmouth-Roseville’s 15 in the final eight minutes.

Throughout the game, the Titans weren’t able to get many second shots and struggled from the floor. Monmouth-Roseville went 21-for-59 from the floor (35.5 percent), while Rockridge went 30-for-50 from the floor (60 percent).

“I thought we did a real nice job defensively. It helps when the other team isn’t knocking down their jump shots,” Whiteman said. “What we wanted to do was turn them into jump shooters, keep them out of the lane and they just weren’t hitting their shots early. We made sure we boxed out and didn’t let them get second or third looks.”

Trayvon Smith led the Titans with a game-high 16 points. Martel Hunter had 14 points and Joe Colclasure chipped in 11 points for Monmouth-Roseville.

“Trayvon had a great offensive night. He did a great job taking it to the rim, which is something he’s gotten better at this year,” Grant said. “Marty did a great job of trying to make some things happen.

“When we needed to hit a shot, we couldn’t get anything to go. We knew we had to pop a couple 3s to loosen some stuff up and we couldn’t get that going until the end. We haven’t shot the ball well for about two weeks and tonight was kind of an extension of that.”

Heath had 18 points and Luke Johnson chipped in 10 points for Rockridge.

The Rockets face Bloomington Central Catholic (23-6) at 7 p.m. Friday for the Olympia Sectional title.

“They are extremely good. They have a bunch of kids that can shoot the ball,” Whiteman said. “It’s going to be tough. We are going to have to play very well to beat those guys.”