Boys basketball beats Wagner


Photo By: Alyssa Strait

Senior Davion Wilson lays up a shot during the game against Wagner. The boys beat the Thunderbirds in OT, 91-83.

On Tuesday, Jan 19, the highly anticipated game took place as the Judson Rockets(13-2) faced the Wagner Thunderbirds(4-10) in an instant classic. 

The rivalry matchup will be the Rocket’s first game back from a two-week quarantine due to COVID. The Rockets are trying to stay number one in the district as they improve their 3-0 record.

The Rockets opened up the game by winning the tip-off and getting to the free-throw line early. The T-birds opened up their scoring from a missed three from Judson. Right from the tip-off, the two teams were going at each other, scoring right after the other. The T-birds were knocking down most of their shots in the perimeter early in the game, taking the lead 16-12 after hitting back-to-back threes. Junior Treylin Payne gave the Rockets back the lead after hitting a couple of shots. The quarter ended after a defensive stop from the Rockets. The game is tied 17-17 after eight.

The T-birds opened up the second quarter with a wide-open lay-up after a defensive breakdown from the Rockets. Senior Isaiah Washington answered right back with a tough lay-up of his own. The two teams again went back and forth early in the quarter-Judson attacks and got to the line while Wagner knocked down shots in and out on the field. The T-birds were up 27-22 after hitting their shots and playing aggressive defense. The Rockets kept the game close at 33-35. The Rockets finished the quarter strong by scoring the last seven points including a half-court heave from junior Anarris Brandon that gave the Rockets the lead heading into halftime 40-38.

Starting the second half, Washington scored down in the paint to give the Rockets a four-point lead 42-38. The T-birds started to play better offense as they scored on back-to-back possessions 48-44. They still shoot lights out from the perimeter as they hold the lead 53-50 midway through the third quarter. Sixth man sophomore Donovan Gomez kept Judson only a possession away after hitting back-to-back shots 56-58. The third quarter ended with the T-birds up by four 60-56. 

The final quarter began and the T-birds continued to stay hot from outside, opening the quarter with a three-pointer earning them the biggest lead of the game 63-56. Heading into crunch time, things started to get testy between the players along with the fans. Three minutes into the final quarter the T-birds were up 65-61. After a defensive stop by the Rockets, Brandon got the crowd pumped up after a fast break slam. The two rival teams still going back and forth in crunch time. Washington started to get hot late in the game burying a deep three 70-71. The Rockets were able to get the lead after a bucket from junior Christian Pillow.

However, the T-birds were able to sneak in an offensive rebound and put up two points on the board 73-72. Washington once again hit another deep three to give Judson a two-point lead with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Senior Sean Tamez put up two clutch free throws to extend the lead to four. Wagner was able to score quickly and make Judson call a timeout with four seconds left.

The T-birds were able to cause a turnover and get the steal at the end. They were able to put up a shot before the buzzer ended tying the game up and forcing overtime. The game is tied 77-77 after regulation. 

Brandon and Wilson started to take over in overtime by attacking the basket and getting to the line. The Rockets defense started to shut down the T-birds, allowing them to only six points in overtime.  The Rockets ended up winning the sellout crowd 91-83, to what could be the biggest game of the year. The Rockets improved 4-0 in the district and remain on top.

Brandon finished with 22pts, 6asts, and 6rebs, Washington added 24pts and 6rebs, while Wilson finished with a double-double 18pts and 11rebs. The Judson Rockets will play again on Friday, January 22 against the New Braunfels Unicorns.


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