By Sara Welch | Correspondent
Jordan Matusik stepped into the realm of unforgettable athletic performances Friday night in Crestwood's sold-out gymnasium after knocking down eight 3-pointers and tying Streetsboro's school record for the most 3-pointers in a single game.
"It felt good to tie the record tonight. I wouldn't want to do it in any other place. The gym was packed, all of our 'Rowdies' were here, we had a lot of fans here to support us. It felt really good to do it here against Crestwood, our rivals," Matusik said.
Matusik's lights out shooting helped the Rockets defeat their rivals 63-54 in a Portage Trail Conference Metro Division matchup, following a big win against Norton on Tuesday.
"Jordan has been on quite a hot streak as of late. I think he's had 20 3-pointers in the last three games, so obviously he's been carrying us offensively," Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini said.
"Crestwood did a great job of coming out in the second half and taking him out of the game. He's been our leading scorer the whole season. He's doing a great job, and he's carrying us right now. He tied a school record tonight, and he was trying to get that last one right there at the end to break it. Although he wasn't able to break the record tonight he played a great game."
Matusik finished as the high scorer of the game with 25 points. He drained seven 3-pointers in the first half of the game, only missing one shot attempt.
"It felt like the rim was double-size tonight for me," Matusik said. "If I was open, and I had a little bit of space, I was going to shoot it because I felt unconscious, like I couldn't miss, like anything I threw up went in. I knew we were struggling in the first half with our offense and our defense, so I knew it was going to help us out."
The Rockets started the game in rare form, trailing the Red Devils 9-0 with 5:17 to go in the first quarter. Picking up the pace, Streetsboro managed to tie the score with 39.8 seconds before the second quarter when Matusik hit his fourth 3-pointer. Jacob Graves quickly put the Crestwood back ahead when he drained a 3-pointer of his own before time expired.
Brandon Gency was able to tie the score at 25-25 from the charity stripe with 6:55 left in the second quarter and Matusik followed up with another 3, giving Streetsboro its first lead of the game.
The Rockets weren't able to break away until only 2:13 remained before halftime. The Rockets led 33-32 and Matusik kicked off a seven-point run from behind the 3-point ark. They managed to end the half leading the Red Devils 40-35.
"I like being the go-to guy on offense. I see it as a challenge and I want to overcome it. I like the challenge of having that kind of pressure on me every game," Matusik said.
The Red Devils took away Matusik's outside trheat in the second half, limiting him to one final 3-pointer. However, the Rockets managed to maintain their lead and found other ways to score.
"Every game we go into in our conference we're outsized, so we need to have options," Marcini said. "Jordan did a great job knocking down shots from outside. Devin, Paul and Dorian did a great job of attacking the basket and getting to the foul line. We had to work in the post to get points and they did a good job of battling tonight and taking advantage of our quickness."
Gency finished the game with nine points and eight rebounds, going 7-of-8 from the foul line. Devin Rencher also had nine points and Paul Jenkins had 14 points.
Crestwood's offensive effort was highlighted by performances from Trevor Sweet, who cleared a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, along with Jacob Graves, who lead the Red Devils with 18 points.
"This win was huge for us, especially coming off of a big win on Tuesday," Marcini said. "Coming down here, it's real easy for the kids to get nervous. We were fortunate enough to come down to play our arch rivals and follow up that win against Norton with a win against Crestwood. This is always a big game for us especially on their court."