RCS boys’ team bounces back for second straight win

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By John Bernhardt
The Roxbury boys’ basketball team heads into the holiday break looking forward to the 2014 part of its schedule. After dropping their first four games of the season, the young Rockets have battled back to win back-to-back Delaware League contests, downing Windham, 42-37, Friday night at home.
After getting himself into early foul trouble, and spending a large part of the first three-quarters on the sidelines, junior Matt Faraci reentered the game in the last seven minutes to spearhead a Roxbury rally.

Making up ground
Trailing, 30-24, Will Rendler hit Sam Nash with a pass from the corner to the high post, with Nash hitting a jumper to start the rally. Faraci drove to the abasket and was fouled, hitting both charity shots, to narrow the Warriors’ lead to 30-28.
Windham’s Devin Drum ripped down an offensive rebound and put back a shot with 6:42 to play for a score to stretch Windham’s lead to four. Drum’s put-back would be the last Windham field goal until David Saunders put back a missed shot on the final field goal attempt of the game.
Faraci advanced the ball into the frontcourt, stopping and popping just inside the three-point arc, to draw Roxbury back within a bucket. Nash and Drum traded foul shots before Roxbury’s Chris Clark snuck behind the zone to put-back a missed shot, tying the score at 33-33.
Windham’s Rob Carl hit one of two foul shots giving Windham their last lead of the night, 34-33, with 3:40 to play. Saunders mirrored Carl’s foul line output to lift the Windham advantage to 35-33, but Faraci buried a three-point shot off a Nash pass from the post, and Roxbury was in the lead to stay.

Key steal
Faraci stole the ball in the backcourt giving the Rockets back the ball. Rendler drove the right baseline drawing a foul and made one of two putting the home team up, 37-35. Running the baseline behind Windham’s zone defense, Rendler buried a shot from deep in the right corner and with 1:41 left, Roxbury led by four. Two fouls shot by Rendler and one by Clark sealed the deal, giving the young Rockets their first back-to-back wins of the season.

Taking care of the scoring
Faraci, Rendler and Nash teamed for all 15 of Roxbury’s first period points as the Rockets built a five-point lead. Baskets were hard to come by in the second frame with each team scoring only five points. The Rockets lead 20-15 at the half.
Trailing 22-17, Windham ran off 11 consecutive third-period points building a 28-22 advantage. An inside bank shot by Jacob Davis sent the Rockets into the final period down by four before the Roxbury final-quarter rally.

Double-digits
Three Rockets reached double figures with Faraci netting 13 points, and Rendler and Nash both scoring 10.
Drum scored 10 of Windham’s 15 first-half points on the way to a team-high, 16-point performance. Saunders added 10 and Ismul Majd eight.
Roxbury will open the 2014 portion of its schedule on Thursday, Jan. 9 in Downsville.