Tuesday night’s boys’ game between Tipton-Rosemark and Fayette Academy was interesting on several fronts.
Both teams held big leads before seeing them evaporate. There was an intentional foul committed against TRA star Alex Anderson and a stare down by the perpetrator, Bret Culver, that prompted Rosemark coach Cedric Anderson to run onto the court to prevent the situation from escalating. Moments later, Fayette Academy coach Brandon Alford got a technical foul and appeared to be saying some unkind words in the direction of the TRA bench.
When all the smoke cleared, Rosemark (12-9 overall, 10-3 DII-A-West) came away with a 63-60 win.
Fayette Academy raced to a 7-0 lead, Rosemark’s first field goal didn’t come until the 3:41 mark of the first quarter and the Vikings led 18-8 at the end of the first quarter.
Ethan Petrowski hit a 3-pointer for Rosemark with 2:16 left in the first half to tie the game at 22-22.
Rosemark finally began to pull away in the third quarter and appeared to be in control when Cameron Donegan scored with 5:30 left in the game to push his team’s lead to 51-41, the biggest of the game. Ethan Stewart threw down a one-handed dunk moments later and the lively crowd went wild.
The lead was still 10 points with 2:40 to play before Fayette Academy went on a 9-1 run to make things interesting. Donegan hit a couple of free throws late to seal the deal.
“You have to stay focused, execute and have discipline throughout every phase of the game,” Cedric Anderon said. “You have to do that early. You can’t wait until a team gets up on you like they did. They came to play.”
Alex Anderson and Donegan led Rosemark’s surge. After a scoreless first quarter, Anderson scored six in the second quarter and 20 in the second half to finish with a game-high 26. Donegan, a first-year player who transferred from Ridgeway, had one of his best games of the year with 18 points, including a couple of 3-pointers.
“He showed what he’s capable of doing,” Cedric Anderson said about Donegan. “He was one of the top middle school point guards in the Memphis area. He had to get acclimated to our environment. I think, initially, he probably took this basketball a little light. I think now he realizes you have to bring it every night for the game and in every practice.”
Rosemark is in fourth place in the league standings behind Sacred Heart, Evangelical Christian School and First Assembly Christian School. TRA hots FACS on Friday and plays the other two top teams in the coming weeks.
“Hopefully,” Cedric Anderson said, “we can close the gap on those teams.”