The 2021-2022 Rocket Basketball season is underway. This year’s varsity boys basketball team consists of 5 seniors, 6 juniors, 1 sophomore, and 1 freshman. The seniors are Evan Miller #42, Ethan Riechmann #4, Levi Traub #22, Wilson Welch #24, and Cole Wieldwilt #12. The juniors are Joseph Jansen #40, Andrew Savard #32, Grant Schleifer #3, Landen Schmersahl #14, Hayden Shubert #34, and Dillon Teter #10. Also on varsity are sophomore Rylan Nelson #5, and freshman Aidan Anderson #30. The Rockets only have 1 returning experienced varsity player from last year, Ethan Riechmann, along with new head coach Ryan Heck.
The Rockets opened up their season with the 2021 Kaskaskian Classic Tournament in Carlyle. Their first game was against the Pinckneyville Panthers on Saturday, November 27. Pinckneyville came out strong to lead the first quarter 20-8. The Panthers continued to pull ahead, and the Rockets were down 12-33 at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, the Rockets were still behind 22-48. The Rockets outscored the Panthers in the fourth quarter 9-4, but it was not enough to take the win resulting in a 31-52 loss for the Rockets. Ethan Riechmann led the Rockets scoring 17 points.
On Tuesday, November 30, the Rockets played their second pool game against the Nokomis Redskins. Once again the Rockets were behind after the first quarter 9-16. At halftime, Nokomis led 36-19. The Redskins came out scoring in the third quarter extending their lead 49-23. The Rockets fell to Nokomis 29-54 bringing their record to 0-2. Dillon Teter led the Rockets in scoring with 10 points.
The boys played their third and final pool game on Friday, December 3 against the Greenville Comets. The first quarter was an even battle between the two teams with a score of 12-12 at the end of the quarter. Greenville started to pull away in the second quarter with a score of 30-21 Greenville at the half. The Comets continued to extend their lead at the end of the third quarter with a score of 44-32. The Rockets tried to make a run at the end but came up short 42-60 in the final score. Ethan Riechmann led scoring for Okawville with 13 points.
The Rockets placed 4th in their pool with a record of 0-3. They would play the other pool’s 4 seed, the Woodlawn Cardinals, for the 7th place position. After a very close and competitive first quarter, the Rockets trailed the Cardinals 8-9. The Rockets came out hot in the 2nd quarter, taking the lead going into halftime 16-15. Okawville kept the one-point lead in the third quarter with a score of 27-26 at the end of the third. Woodlawn and Okawville were back and forth in the fourth quarter, but with a last-second shot by the Cardinals, the Rockets fell short one point 30-31 to Woodlawn. Ethan Riechmann had a great offensive game with 16 points.
The Okawville Rockets went 0-4 in the Kaskaskian Tournament, facing good competition. The Rockets will open their regular season on December 7 against the Trico Pioneers in the O’Rena. Good luck to the Rockets as they begin their season!