By ERIC CLUTTER | CORRESPONDENT
Kent Roosevelt did a lot of good things in a home loss to Springfield on Friday night. The Rough Riders just didn't have an answer for Victor Dorsey.
Dorsey, a 6-foot-8 junior transfer from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Spartans to a hard-earned 62-57 Portage Trail Conference Metro Division victory.
Dorsey, who sat out the first meeting between the two schools one month ago, scored nine points in the final quarter, including a free throw with 3:37 to play that gave the visitors the lead for good at 56-55.
He then followed that up with a putback, and later sealed things with an alley-oop layup with 23 seconds to play.
"He's one of the best players not only in our league, but in the area," said Roosevelt coach Ben Dunlap of Dorsey.
"He is really, really quality player, a guy that played for state championships for St. V," Dunlap said.
"They embarrassed us (at Springfield) without him, and for us to have that effort (on Friday) and be right there ... I'm really proud of these guys and the effort they brought," Dunlap said.
Corey Mitchell's two free tosses for the Riders with 4:24 remaining tied the affair at 55-55. Unfortunately, those would be the final Roosevelt points until Mitchell sank a jumper at the buzzer.
"We really did everything we wanted to do," added Dunlap. "Again, we're missing that one basket, that one stop that puts us over the top. But I have no complaints. The guys continue to work hard."
Mitchell finished with 17 points and had six assists as Roosevelt ended the contest with three more assists (18) than turnovers (15), the first time this season this has occurred.
Junior guard Jake Kitchen, who helped shoulder the Spartans' scoring load in their January win over the Rough Riders, was at it again this time, pouring in 17 points with five 3-pointers.
Kitchen nailed two 3s in the very first period to stake Springfield (13-6, 7-5 Metro) to a 20-16 lead.
"He's a really, really good player," said Dunlap. "Their coach does a great job of putting their guys in spots to be successful. They are a tough team."
But with 11 points from Mitchell and nine more from Joseph Watts, Roosevelt went toe-to-toe with the Spartans for the rest of the half and even took a brief one-point edge before heading to the lockerroom trailing 31-30.
Despite eight third-quarter points from Dorsey, the Rough Riders actually went ahead by four points three separate times in the frame. However, a Dorsey hoop and a Kitchen 3 closed the period, helping Springfield maintain its narrow one-point halftime lead.
Kitchen started the fourth quarter with his fifth long-range bomb to extend the margin to four, but Watts and Mitchell countered with buckets to tie the game at 50-50. Then Watts (14 points) added a free throw to give Roosevelt (4-13, 4-8) a 51-50 lead.
Colin Floyd (10 points) gave his team the lead back with a basket, only to see Myles Wright (11 points, 8 rebounds) answer right back for the Rough Riders.
Dorsey responded with his second 3 of the game to make it 55-53 midway through the quarter.
Logan Treen contributed nine points for Springfield.
Roosevelt will be right back in action this afternoon, traveling a few miles north to take on Aurora. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.