Before this last Friday, I haven’t been to a high school basketball game since I graduated high school. Although I never graduated from Roosevelt (I transferred schools for my senior year), I still think of it as home.
It was a packed house last Friday as the Roosevelt Roughriders hosted the Grant Generals. I went there as a fan of basketball just hoping to see a good game. By the second half, I found myself getting into it and routing on my old high school. Seeing all the familiar faces made me feel like I was back in high school again.
The way the OSAA has separated into 6 divisions (1A-6A) takes away from what used to be the 4A PIL division back when I was in high school. Grant is now a 6A team, Roosevelt is a 4A team, obviously not in the same conference anymore. This game could have meant that much more if they were still in the same conference. However, this game still had a similar atmosphere as any big game did a few years back.
This was a hard fought battle. Both sides did a great job of applying pressure on the ball carrier throughout the game. In the second quarter, Roosevelt turned it up a bit and took a 9 point lead into halftime.
Leading the way for the Roughriders was starting point guard Antonio McCowan, who scored a game high 22 points. I would say he was doing his best Derrick Rose impression. From the way he plays, his game reminds me of Rose – minus the leaping ability.
Roosevelt opened the second half with an 11 point lead. Grant then came roaring back with 9 straight points, cutting the lead to just 2. It was a close game from there on out with Roosevelt holding the slight edge behind their packed home court crowd.
As the Roughriders starting forwards struggled, senior forward Juwan Feliciano dominated off the bench. His presence down low was big down the stretch as his team was able to hold onto a 70-62 victory. Feliciano finished with 15 points.
This was a big win for the Roughriders. Grant was ranked number 10 in Class 6A boys’ poll. Roosevelt is now 14-3 this season. They take on Lincoln, who is ranked number 9 in the Class 6A, on February 17th. I may have to return once again.