Robbie Rockwell Hits Eight Three-Pointers in Tatum’s 67-47 Win at Kilgore
KILGORE -- An influx of football players to Tatum's basketball team forced coach Brett Carr to work new faces into the rotation.
He played 15 guys Tuesday at Kilgore, which may have cost some players their rhythm.
Robbie Rockwell wasn't bothered.
The junior shooting guard hit his first six three-point attempts, finishing with 26 points to fuel Tatum's 67-47 victory at Kilgore to push the Eagles' record to 2-2.
Rockwell hit three trifectas in a 40-second span during the first quarter that took Tatum from down 10-8 to up 22-10. Rockwell hit four first-quarter three-pointers and added two in the second quarter to lead Tatum to a 36-27 halftime lead with his 18 points.
"When you're a basketball player you like to get a little rhythm going," Carr said. "When the coach is subbing every two or three minutes, it's hard to get that. Rockwell got going. He probably would've hit 15 threes if I had just left him in. He was hot."
Rockwell, who led Tatum in scoring last season as a sophomore, added a triple in final half minute of the third and opening minute of the fourth to give him eight. The final trey pushed Tatum's lead to 20 points, 55-35, with 7:24 left in the game.
"I was feeling it. We work on getting the open shot a lot," Rockwell said. "(The football players) coming into the rotation's gonna be a little mixed up, but I think once we get the hang of it we're gonna get the right mix. We're gonna be an uptempo team."
Tatum fouled early and often, which allowed Kilgore (0-6) to shoot 44 free throws to the Eagles' 12. Kilgore failed to cash in on that advantage, missing 20 foul shots, the same number as Tatum's victory margin.
Tatum's Jahee Johnson had 12 points and seven rebounds and shot 5-for-6 from the floor. Javolick Garrett, one of the new faces coming over from football, had seven points and a game-high four steals. The Eagles' full-court press wore down Kilgore, which saw its point production drop from the first to second and second to third quarters.
Kilgore's Trey Conrod had a solid game before fouling out with five-plus minutes remaining. Conrod led the Bulldogs with 15 points and seven rebounds and hit 5 of 7 field-goal attempts. Point guard Sherod Kincade added 11 points and three steals, while Clery Delmas had 10 points and six boards. Alvin Davis had eight points (8-for-11 free-throw shooting) and five rebounds.
"We fouled a bunch. I know people think we foul, but we don't try to," Carr said. "We got in a bind in the first half so we weren't even getting to play. It was just come down here and shoot free throws. Our kids are coming from football and they're not really moving their feet very well. Some of them are new and what we're doing is new to them. We tried to play 15 and look at them all, and that hurt, too. We know we've got a big year ahead of us so we're trying to figure out who can play."
Delmas, a 6-foot-5 post, had one of the night's best plays, jumping the passing lane to start a one-man break that he finished with authority on a two-handed jam that also drew a foul. That cut Tatum's lead to 47-35, but Rockwell answered with eight consecutive points to kill the Bulldogs' momentum.
Tatum led by as many as 25 points (65-40). Kincade scored the game's final four points in a 19-second span to cut the margin to 20, 67-47.
Kilgore plays in the Spring Hill tournament starting Thursday, which is the same day Tatum opens the Hardin Jefferson tournament.
Tatum 67, Kilgore 47
Tatum -- 22 14 16 15 -- 67
Kilgore -- 17 10 8 12 -- 47
Tatum (2-2) -- Robbie Rockwell 26, Jahee Johnson 12, Javolick Garrett 7, Casey Carr 6, Donovan Centers 3, Cole Hughes 3, Andrew Stoker 3, Devante Alexander 2, Jacoby Lee 2, Jaylen Shans 2, Darian Brooks 1.
Kilgore (0-6) -- Trey Conrod 15, Sherod Kincade 11, Clery Delmas 10, Alvin Davis 8, Clayton Mauldin 2, Chris Medford 1.