ROCK ISLAND – The Princeton Tigers experienced some hoops nostalgia with a rare trip to the Rock Island Fieldhouse Friday night.
It marked the Tigers’ first appearance at the “Rock Garden” in 23 years, just the second time in program history.
Oh, and the Tigers also met a storied basketball program.
Rocky delivered an early knockout blow, doubling up the Tigers 30-15 in the first quarter. The Tigers played the Rocks to a 3-point game (43-40) the rest of the way, but couldn’t overcome their early deficit, falling 73-55.
“We played tight the first quarter and let them score 30. That’s were the game was lost. We settled down and outscored them in the second quarter,” PHS coach Jason Smith said.
“I was extremely proud of our effort and the way we competed tonight. It was a great experience for our kids and our coaching staff. It was a great night.”
The Tigers cut their deficit to 43-31 at the half, but fell behind 60-42 by the end of the third quarter.
PHS sophomore Teegan Davis led all scorers with 23 points. Smith said his Tiger cub played extremely well.
“I love the way he competes. He definitely sets the tone,” Smith said.
Smith said Davis and the Tigers did their homework and came ready to play.
“He texted me last night and was talking to me about matchups and things like that, because he had watched some film,” Smith said. “I actually had two sophomores (Kolten Monroe) text me about what they saw in the film. That speaks volumes of where we are headed as a program. (We’re) super stoked.”
Senior point guard Jamie Reinhardt added 10 points.
Jordan Rice had 18 points and Amarion Nimmers added 14 for the Rocks
Rock Island also won the sophomore game 52-41. Brady Byers had 11 points, Christian Rosario 10 and Ryan Brucker nine.
* Notes: Princeton’s only other meeting vs. Rock Island came in the 1997-98 Class AA regional quarterfinals at Rock Island which the Rocks won 57-49. …. The Tigers will return to action at home Tuesday vs. rival Hall.
Source: The Daily Chronicle