Rockets Reign in Season Opener

The Catholic High Rockets took on the Little Rock Southwest Gryphons in a season-opening game for both teams. The Rockets (1-0, 0-0 5A-Central) beat the Gryphons (0-1, 0-0 6A-Central) in a home matchup that was closely fought the entire game. Additionally, the JV team won 43-40 against Southwest as well.

The Rockets got out with the first score, but fell behind as the remainder of the first quarter went on, and the team was down 15-17 at the end of the quarter. Senior Gage Callahan tied it up early in the second quarter, and the Rockets never looked back, with the score remaining in the school’s favor for the remainder of the game.

Coach Todd Ezzi consults with the Rocket basketball team during a timeout. Photo by Drew Dillman

Free throws allowed the Rockets to take a 29-26 lead into halftime. The Rockets came out after ready to put the game away, and did so in the form of a ten point, 40-30 lead late in the third quarter with a fast break and dunk from senior CJ Onyekwelu. The third quarter ended with a score of 41-32.

The Gryphons scored seven points in the first minute of the fourth quarter to bring the game within two points. A significant amount of free throws (including those awarded for a technical foul on a Southwest coach) allowed the Rockets to score, but Southwest kept up. With a chance to tie in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, the team committed a travel, and the Rockets scored once more to put the game finally away, 57-53.

Seven players on the Rockets scored in the game, with Onyekwelu leading the way with 16 points. Callahan followed closely with 14. Junior Walker Lewis rounded out the double-digit scorers, with 10 points.

It’s always great to win your first game, especially at home,” said Onyekwelu. However, we do have a lot of work to do and we have to clean some stuff up. The student section continues to prove why we have the best crowd in the state.

The Rockets, looking to win another game, continue their non-conference schedule with the Joe T. Robinson Senators, scheduled for Thursday, November 17.

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