Rough Riders turn game over to Comets

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By ERIC CLUTTER | CORRESPONDENT

Failure to take care of the basketball gave Kent Roosevelt no chance against Coventry Friday night.

With 29 turnovers in this Portage Trail Conference Metro Division contest, including 18 in the first half and 25 through three quarters, the Rough Riders succumbed to the Comets for the second time this season, this time by a score of 54-39.

"This is as disappointing a loss as I've ever been a part of," said Roosevelt coach Ben Dunlap, who is in his first year as head varsity coach but has been with the program for the last 13 years. "The energy was there, but we just did not take care of the basketball at all -- against marginal pressure. I didn't think any of it was anything that should have (resulted) in 29 turnovers."

Nine miscues in the opening quarter offset a good rebounding effort and a Joseph Watts dunk that put the visitors ahead for the last time at 4-2.

The Comets (9-6, 6-3 Metro), behind senior George Jacobs' eight points registered the next 12 points to take early command of the game.

Despite eight more turnovers in the second frame, Roosevelt (4-10, 4-5) was still within three points with three minutes remaining in the half. And a 6-0 run at the outset of the second half narrowed a 10-point deficit to four points.

However, the improved Comets and Jacobs, who finished with a game-high 21 points, were just too much for the Rough Riders, who had one more point (26) than turnovers through 24 minutes of action.

For the second straight time, Roosevelt failed to have a player reach double figures in scoring. Myles Wright, the squad's top scorer, finished with nine.

Watts and Phillip Grant each posted seven points.

Freshman Bryce Hargrove contributed 11 points to the Coventry cause with J.J. Morrison adding seven.

Roosevelt won the rebounding battle, 30-22, and converted 50 percent of their field-goal attempts in the opening half, but just didn't have nearly enough quality possessions over the course of four quarters .

"We had 14 shots in the first half (7-of-14) and had 18 turnovers," said Dunlap, whose team has only 28 made shots in the last two games. "When we executed and did what we practiced, we got whatever we wanted. When we lost our minds and failed to execute, we turned the ball over. ... We have yet to put together 32 minutes of basketball. Usually, it is one quarter that kills us. (But) we had good moments in every quarter tonight. We failed to execute. Any time you hold a team to (54 points), we ought to win that game. We just did not get enough shots today."

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