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SR boys hoops tops Moniteau

Slippery Rock's Levi Prementine (1) is defended by Moniteau’s David Dessicino during Tuesday’s boys basketball game. The Rockets defeated the Warriors, 44-31.Holly Mead/Special to the Butler Eagle

SLIPPERY ROCK — It was the type of half that can set a negative tone for an entire game.

In the first two quarters of its home game Tuesday against Moniteau, Slippery Rock’s boys basketball team scored just 11 points while going five of 28 from the field. From 3-point range, the Rockets were just one of 13.

But as senior guard Dylan Gordon said after the game: “The only way out of a slump is to keep shooting.”

In the face of Slippery Rock’s frustration from behind the arc early in the game, Gordon drained three treys during his 10-point third quarter that sparked a 44-31 victory.

“We got good looks in the first half, but just didn’t make them,” said Slippery Rock coach AJ Motta. “We came out ready to shoot in the third and picked things up from there.”

Gordon, who finished the game with 12 points, hit his first trey with 5:19 left in the third, cutting Moniteau’s lead to 17-15. His other two came late in the period and gave the Rockets a 28-23 lead.

While Slippery Rock was busy scoring 21 total points in the quarter, Moniteau’s struggles with the Rockets’ press defense came to a head. Limited by their 12 turnovers in the period, the Warriors scored just six points and trailed 32-23 as the final quarter began.

“It’s nothing we weren’t expecting,” said Moniteau coach Mike Jewart. “We knew the press was coming, but we did not execute well against it. And when we did break it, we made some bad decisions with the ball.”

“We haven’t pressed a whole lot this season,” Motta said, “but we had it ready to go tonight. It led to turnovers and easy baskets, which was huge for us, especially going up against a zone defense.”

The Warriors (5-6) cut their deficit to 39-31 with Aydan Jackson’s bucket with exactly two minutes left. The Rockets sealed the win from the free throw line, where they were 12 of 17 on the night. Moniteau did not attempt any free throws in the game.

John Sabo scored 19 points to lead Slippery Rock and Josh Book joined Gordon in scoring 12.

David Dessicino paced the Warriors with 10 points.

The victory improves Slippery Rock to 5-6 as the Rockets prepare for their first region test of the season next Tuesday at Sharon.

“We have played some really good competition,” Motta added. “We don’t want to settle for moral victories, but we are battle-tested.”


Chason Delarosa-Rugg 1 0-0 3, David Martino 3 0-0 6, Andrew Zepeda 2 0-0 4, Aydan Jackson 3 0-0 6, David Dessicino 5 0-0 10, Colton Thomas 1 0-0 2, Connor Ealy 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 0-0 31.


John Sabo 5 8-11 19, Dylan Gordon 3 2-4 11, Elam Pyle 1 0-0 2, Josh Book 5 2-2 12, Levi Prementine 0 0-0 0, Jacob Wolak 0 0-0 0, Quinn Parson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 12-17 44.

Moniteau 11 6 6 8 — 31

Slippery Rock 7 4 21 12 — 44

3-point goals: Moniteau 1 (Delarosa-Rugg); Slippery Rock 4 (Gordon 3, Sabo).

Friday: Moniteau at Forest Area

Jan. 17: Slippery Rock at Sharon

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