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Posted On: 02/16/18 9:05 PM
The game of the week around the Kansas City area featured a couple of teams that could be contending for the Class 5 State Title in March. Rock Bridge who is ranked #2 in the state had their hands full as they visited a tough Rockhurst team Friday night. The first half was back and forth with both teams taking blows. Rock Bridge was able to grab a 28-25 lead and mostly due to Jamonta Black’s hot shooting. Black hit four 3’s in the fist half and scored 13 of his 15 points. Rockhurst stayed in the game with Xavier Rhodes all over the court getting big rebounds, steals, and buckets when they needed them most. Rhodes finished with a team high 18 points.
The second half was much different than the first. Rock Bridge started the second half with a 10-0 run and they would never relinquish that lead. Isaih Mosely would hit a 3 to end the 3rd quarter and it gave Rock Bridge a 49-31 lead going into the 4th. Mosely never missed a shot in the second half. He scored 14 of his game high 27 points in the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter was very entertaining and we saw Rockhurst fight back and start the quarter with an 11-0 run. They worked hard and were able to get within 3 points late in the game, but Rock Bridge held them off for a 62-56 victory.
Mosely showed exactly why is a being highly recruited by some of the top colleges in the nation on Friday night. He struggled a bit in the first half and might have forced up a couple of shots, but he could only be held down for so long. Mosely just took the game over in the second half and there wasn’t anyone on the floor that was going to stop him. He shot 7-7 in the second half and 4-4 from the line including 3 big shots from behind the arc. He was not only a scoring machine, but with his size, he was able to play some big time defense and grab big time rebounds down the stretch. Mosely grabbed the momentum multiple times in this game when he had a monster breakaway slam in the 3rd quarter plus his 3 pointer that ended the 3rd quarter. Needless to say, he was a beast and it’s very easy to see why he is one of the top players in the state of Missouri.
Rhodes fought extremely hard in this tough battle and knocked down some big shots when his team needed him the most. Rhodes isn’t really known for his 3 point shooting, but more of a slashing guard who can get to the bucket at will and he finishes with ease. Rhodes decided to step up his game even more on Friday night where he knocked down three 3’s and two big ones in the 4th quarter to help lead the big comeback. Rhodes probably isn’t a high major guard, but he is definitely being slept on and more mid-major teams need to take a look into this kid. He is extremely athletic and can do it all. Rhodes leads this talented Rockhurst team in scoring and assists which is not easy thing to do. Look for kid to grab a bit more interest especially if the Hawklets are able to make a late season run.
Jamonta Black & Dajuan Harris
Rock Bridge has 3 big time stars on their team, and almost everyone is aware of that. Jamonta Black put together another solid performance on Friday night shooting 4-7 from deep and helping his team get the huge victory. Black stands at a solid 6’4″ and is a straight shooter. If he’s left open, the ball is going in, and even if there is a hand in his face, it will probably still find the bottom of the net. He’s a very patient player and doesn’t try to force up any bad shots, but he doesn’t have to with Mosely and Harris on his team. Dajuan Harris is the other kid a part of this “Big 3” for Rock Bridge. Harris can score the ball if needed, but he doesn’t have to, he’s more of the fill up the stat sheet type of player. He’s a lengthy point guard who gets a lot of steals, rebounds, and assists. He does average more than 10 points a game as well, but that just shows you how good of a ball player he is. He is one of the better defenders I’ve seen in the state, and he’s a big fan of getting in the passing lanes when off the ball. These 3 are the heart and soul of this team, and they are all only Juniors!
Speaking of Juniors, Rockhurst if loaded with them. Rhodes will be a big loss for this team next year, but they will be bringing back some studs. Tyler Nelson is a strong 6’1″ guard who has some range, but he can bully himself to the bucket as well. He’s got a sweet stroke and is a big time defender. Nelson hit some big shots down the stretch as Rockhurst was making their comeback. He finished with 14 points. Glen McClintock is another one of those big time Junior guards. He has one of the better pull up jumpers I’ve seen this year, and he’s money! He can handle the ball just fine and get to the bucket at times, but his bread and butter is that pull up jumper. McClintock finished the game with 12 points. Darrius Hughes is one of the 3 Junior big men for this team. Hughes is a solid 6’6″ and although he didn’t show it Friday night, he has some range. He can step it out and shoot the ball from 3, but he excels best when inside. Hughes is a muscular guy and he can push people around in the post. He had a huge dunk off a feed from Rhodes in the first half. A.J. White looks like a football player out on the basketball court, but he can ball. He’s got a nice jump shot, but like Hughes, he’s better when in the post. White is around 6’4″ but he looks like a middle linebacker or defensive end out there. He’s a huge asset for this Hawklet team especially as they get ready to make a late run. Dalen Ridgnal is the last of the big time Juniors and he stands at about 6’5″. He’s not quite as stocky as the other two, but he is someone who will out hustle you. His playing style gets him a lot of rebounds, blocks, and steals. He’s got an odd shot, but he gets great elevation and is able to knock it down from 15-18 ft with consistency.
Both of these teams are loaded with talent and as we saw Friday night, they both should be able to compete for a state title. The only issue is the Districts are loaded this year, and I could see both of these teams running into trouble when it comes to winning their District. Rockhurst will have to beat Park Hill South in their first game and if they do get by them, they will have to beat a tough North Kansas City team. Both of those teams are ranked in the top 10 of the Missouri Class 5 rankings. Rock Bridge on the other hand will probably make it out, but both Blue Springs teams have the ability to pull off upsets. If Rock Bridge gets on a run, they could definitely have a say in who brings home the title, but they will also need another player or two to step it up down the stretch. Maybe Noah Patrick or a Spencer Miles.