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Rockets drop another close one

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Boys winless streak hits four

By Todd Martin

The Shelby County boys’ basketball team continued its string of close losses, falling, 68-64, to visiting Franklin County Tuesday.

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The Rockets are now winless in 2009, but each loss has been by four points or less.

“It would be frustrating if the team were not playing extremely hard and executing our game plans,” SCHS Mike Clark said. “We played another very good team but just came up short.”

The Rockets (6-9) built a six-point first quarter lead and stretched that 29-20 with three minutes to play in the first half. The Flyers (10-2), however, ended the half on a 10-2 run, trimming Shelby’s lead to just 31-30 at the break.

Franklin County then followed the hot shooting of senior Barrett Meyer to take control of the game in the third. Meyer hit five of his game-high six 3-pointers in the quarter.

“We didn’t do a good job of finding him in transition, and that’s where he likes to shoot the three,” Clark said.

Cache Tomlinson, who returned from a sprained ankle, hit a 3-pointer with 64 seconds remaining, cutting Franklin County’s lead to 65-61, but the Rockets would get no closer.

Donovan Johnson’s shot at the buzzer gave him a game-high 27 points, and Boomer Beckley added 10.

Though this game seemed to somewhat mirror the Rockets’ loss to Clark County on Saturday, Clark said it’s not time to start worrying.

“I’m not worried right now because of the effort I’m seeing in games and at practice,” he said. “While we’re definitely frustrated with the outcome of our last four games. We are looking forward to the remainder of the season because we’re getting better each game. That’s something that you could easily lose sight of when you’re losing to good teams late in the game.”

Of the Rockets’ four losses this month, both Clark County, No. 13, and Franklin County, No. 18, are ranked and Anderson County sits just outside the top 20. Only Boyle County, where the Rockets lost on Jan 6, is well outside the top teams in the state.

“Our schedule has been absolutely brutal,” Clark said. “That’s going to make us better in the long run, but we’re taking some lumps right now. We’re not a senior-laden ball club, but we do have players that we think can play like seniors down the stretch.

“Donovan [Johnson] is becoming the player we thought he could be. Franklin County had a lot of trouble staying with him. Boomer Beckley is doing an excellent job running our team. Cache Tomlinson missed some games, but he’s coming back now. Anthony Payton and Darryl Hicks continue to get better each game. Eric Standafer got six points and four rebounds for [Tuesday].

“There are all kinds of positives that are maybe hard to see because we were on the wrong end of the outcome. But I know there are good days ahead, and they’re coming in the near future.”

The Rockets face Woodford County (10-5) at home tonight before hitting the road to play at South Oldham (6-9) Saturday and Grant County (12-5) Tuesday.