Royals fall short against Akron-Westfield

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The MMCRU varsity boys’ basketball team opened up the season in Remsen for a home matchup with Akron-Westfield on Tuesday, November 27. The Westerners returned many fresh faces to the lineup, but the MMCRU starting lineup featured a complete makeover from a year ago. Sophomore Cade Pepper joined Robert Russell, Joel Johnson, Andy Maass, and Jordan Marks in the lineup, all of whom are seniors.

The visitors got off to a quick 12-6 lead thanks to a couple turnovers and open shots, but the Royals came back to even the game at 18 midway through the second quarter. Akron-Westfield then went on a 14-4 run to end the first half, leading 32-22.

MMCRU continued to trail the Westerners throughout the third quarter, but did a better job of keeping Nick Jacobs in check, allowing him to score only three of his 18 points on the night in the second half. The Royals faced a 15 point deficit in the fourth quarter, but some solid shooting from Cade Pepper and Robert Russell trimmed the Akron-Westfield lead to five with under a minute to play.

The Westerners played solid defense in the closing minutes, which allowed them to hang on for a 63-58 win over MMCRU. Jacobs led the Westerners in scoring with 18, followed by Leighton Blake with 14. Aaron Hartman led the team in rebounds with nine.

The Royals had three players in double figures on the night. Joel Johnson was the leading scorer with 17, Robert Russell added 15, along with Cade Pepper who had 12. Johnson also led the Royals with nine rebounds, and Russell led the assist category with four. As a team, they were also able to score points in bunches, knocking down eight three pointers in the contest.

“I’m pretty proud of how we came out and worked hard,” said sophomore guard Cade Pepper. “We showed everyone that we’re a new team although we didn’t get the win. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and showing everyone what we’ve worked so hard for.”

The Westerners next contest will be on the road against Harris-Lake Park, while the Royals will host the Remsen St. Mary’s Hawks at the MMCRU Middle School. Both contests are set for Friday, December 7.