Rockets turn back Comets, remain one game back of Metro lead

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By Matt Lofgren | Correspondent

Streetsboro avenged an early season loss to Portage Trail Conference Metro Division foe Coventry on Friday night at home with a convincing 77-48 victory over the Comets.

Showing the hometown fans just how far the team has come since the two teams' last meeting, Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini said he is proud of the work his team has been putting forth.

"We went into this week, we had Kent (Roosevelt) on Tuesday and Coventry Friday, both teams that knocked us out first time around; our guys were really up for it tonight," Marcini said. "We were really looking forward to this one, especially at home, as bad as they beat us down at there place and that's a good team."

Senior Brandon Gency said that as sweet as it was to avenge a loss, now the big picture of a Metro Division title comes to mind, with his Rockets remaining one game back of Norton, which topped Field on Friday.

"We lost to them earlier in the season and that started a losing streak for us," Gency said. "So tonight wasn't only a revenge game, but also a game to push us forward to winning a league title."

Putting forth a solid team effort, four Rockets ended the night with double-digit points totals. Led in scoring by Paul Jenkins with 18 points, Gency chipped in with 16 points, Devin Rencher added 15 points and Jordan Matsuik contributed 12 points.

"We're playing so much better team basketball right now," Marcini said. "We had another four guys in double figures tonight, we're sharing the ball, we're getting in on the breakaway. We're playing great defense now too, so we're just more of a team now than we were earlier on."

After getting off to a sluggish start to the game, the Rockets, leading 10-6, went on an 11-0 run that took the Comets out of their comfort zone. Throughout the first half, Streetsboro dominated all factions of the game.

Claiming a 39-23 lead in the third quarter, Coventry made a push to come within 11 of the Rockets. Calming the troops quickly, Marcini said his team needs to develop a "killer instinct" even with a big lead to finish teams off.

"Our third quarter has been our Achilles heel all year," Marcini said. "I don't know if you can develop that killer instinct off the bat, but we've got to find away. If we're going to run this thing out and be where we need to be, we can't afford to give away balls in the middle of the game. We've been having great first quarters, great fourth quarters, but the second and third have been killing us."

The Rockets overcame the run by Coventry to lengthen the gap between the two teams once again. Moving the ball inside and out effectively all game long, the 3-pointer became a huge weapon in the Rockets' arsenal.

Led by Gency with four long balls, the senior said that the hoop looked wide open to him all game long.

"We've been practicing a lot of threes in practice," Gency said. "It just came for us, the hoop seemed like it was wide open for us tonight."

While Gency found success around the arc, Rencher was working the paint along with Jenkins and finding plenty of success against the Coventry defense.

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