By Rob Potter
ROSCOE Defense and rebounding were the keys to victory Thursday night for the Tri-Valley Bears.
Utilizing an aggressive defense and crashing the boards on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor, T-V posted a 55-27 victory over host Roscoe Blue Devils in a non-league contest.
T-V (4-6) started quickly, opening a 15-4 lead in the first quarter.
The Bears added to that advantage in the second period. Senior center Martin Henry-Lester scored 10 points in the quarter and senior guard J.R. Rennison added five points as T-V took a 33-10 lead at halftime.
Roscoe (3-7) attempted to rally in the third quarter. The Blue Devils scored the first five points of the period and a three-point basket by senior guard Justin Bowers at the 5:20 mark brought them within 17 points at 35-18.
But that was as close as Roscoe would get the rest of the night. The Bears equaled Roscoes offensive output (12 points) in the third quarter and then outscored the Blue Devils by a 10-5 margin in the fourth.
Our last game was two-and-a-half weeks ago, so we came out very focused, T-V Coach Jason Semo said. We had a big game on the boards. According to our stats, we outrebounded them 54-19. We also played well defensively holding them to four points in the first quarter was key.
Leading the way for the Bears was Henry-Lester, who recorded a double-double. He scored 24 points and grabbed 22 rebounds. Teammate Eli Felder just missed a double-double, netting 10 points and snaring nine rebounds. Rennison finished the game with 14 points.
Roscoe was paced by Bowers, who scored 11 points. Troy Kirchner added six points for the Blue Devils.
While praising his team for a good performance, Semo lauded Roscoe as well.
At no time did I think that the game was out of reach, he said. Roscoe played with a lot of heart. Theyre a young team that is well-coached and plays hard.
As for his own team, Semo noted that five of the Bears six losses this season were to larger Class A and B schools.
We have good group of kids and Im proud of them, he commented. They played well and got a win tonight. Hopefully, we can keep it going for the rest of the season.
Roscoe Coach Fred Ahart said that a slow start by his squad and the T-V defense and rebounding were the key factors in the Bears decisive victory.
Slow starts have been a problem for us all season, he said. We started to play better in the second half, but we need to get off to a better start. But Tri-Valley deserves a lot of credit for that. They did a great job on the boards.
Ahart added that Henry-Lester had an outstanding game.