Rockets, Parrish ground Eagles
And the Rockets lived up to their prior billing in Tuesday night's showdown with Arlington Memorial High School.
Rochester delivered a smothering third quarter and got 37 points and 15 rebounds from do-it-all guard Pavin Parrish to bury Arlington, 77-50, in boys basketball action at the Eagles' Nest.
The Eagles (3-2) became the first team to crack the half-century mark on the Rockets (7-0) this season, giving them their closest game yet, but that fact offered little comfort after a week of anticipation.
"We didn't play our best game and we can definitely play better against them," said Arlington first-year coach Chris Taft. "I think we got down early and it really hurt our confidence.
"We'd been talking about this game for the last week and they know [Rochester] is a top team at the D-IV level."
Arlington trailed, 16-10, after one quarter and Josh Brace's 17-foot jumper made it a four-point game early in the second but that was as close as it would get.
But the Eagles had already squandered a number of clear shots in the opening frame, before the Rockets had caught their stride and forced an up-tempo game. Once they did, the early wound didn't heal.
"I think in the first couple minutes we got good shots and we didn't make any shots," Taft said. "We missed and then we dug a hole and I think some of our kids hung their head."
Rochester stretched the lead to 37-21 at halftime and stormed away after the break as Parrish and Mike Smith combined for 24 points.
The Rockets led 64-33 entering the final period. Smith finished with 20 points and five steals as the point man for the undersized Rockets' defense, which sparked transition points throughout the game.
"We're fast. One-through-seven, there aren't too many teams as quick as we are," said Rochester coach Earl Kingsbury.
DJ Jennings (11 rebounds) and Alex Hawley each netted 14 points to lead Arlington while Olden Dwyer added 12 points.
"We never had that streak tonight where we went on a 6-0 or 8-0 run. We never pushed back tonight," Taft said.
The Eagles will look to bounce back on Saturday when they host Green Mountain at 12:30 p.m.
"They're a good team and Division IV is really wide-open. I still put them in the top five," Kingsbury said. "You can't coach size and on a given night it could've been different."
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