“We played well. That was the most we’ve competed for an entire game all year,” said Irish coach Tony Armstrong. “We’ve just got to take that with us to the district tournament.”
He added, “We hung around and really had a chance. We hit the 3 pointer that would have pulled us to within 6 but they called a walk on the play.” Armstrong complimented the Wildcats saying, “They pulled us out and handled the ball so well and we couldn’t take it from them. But we did a lot of things well tonight.”
Rogersville got off to a quick start, leading 9-1 midway through the first quarter. The Irish wouldn’t score their first field goal until the 1:40 mark when 5’10 junior guard Brayton Ballenger got his own rebound and hit a follow shot. The teams traded short runs in the second quarter with Rogersville opening up a 31-16 lead with just over a minute left in the half on a jumper by 6’2 junior guard Corbin Medley.
Rogersville head coach Rod Gorman said, “I thought we played well early. We’re battling a lot of injuries. We had one of our starters, Aaron Freeman go down early and he couldn’t play the second half. We were just trying to get through it.”
Gorman added, “Catholic did a nice job of staying right there with us. We had a lead but they never went away. I’m happy with how our kids finished and were able to hang on to it.”
The Wildcats opened up their biggest lead at 46-29 midway through the fourth quarter, again fueled by Medley who scored 5 quick points during an 8-0 Rogersville run. Medley led a balanced Rogersville attack with 12 points as the Wildcats won for the seventh time in their last eight games. Brayton Ballenger led all scorers as he tallied 19 for the Irish.
Rogersville, now 13-8 overall and 3-1 in the Central Ozark Conference Small Division, will tangle with league leading Bolivar Friday night. The Irish completed their regular season with an 11-14 overall mark and 1-5 in conference. They will face second seeded Hollister Tuesday night in Class 3 District 11 play at Hollister.
Score by quarters:
Rogersville 18 15 5 12 - 50
Catholic 8 10 10 9 - 37
Rogersville: Corbin Medley 12, Justus Boever 11, Brock Gipson 7, Bailey Jenkins 6, Marcus Gorman 5, Aaron Freeman 5, Ben Vinyard 4.
Catholic: Brayton Ballenger 19, Ryan Haller 8, Tyler Johnson 6, Tyler Ast 3, Danny Richardson 1.
Rogersville 13-8 overall, 3-1 conference
Catholic 11-14 overall, 1-5 conference
Junior Varsity Game:
Rogersville 55 Catholic 39