Despite being just a few days removed from a blowout loss that yielded just 30 points against No. 4 Montrose Christian, Coolidge didn’t need much of a pep talk entering Tuesday’s road contest against DCIAA West foe Theodore Roosevelt.
“This is Coolidge-Theodore Roosevelt; you’ve got to wake up for Roosevelt,” Coolidge senior Trayvaughn Newell said. “If you can’t wake up for that, you can’t wake up for anything.”
Fueled by the rivalry and a second-half surge, the Colts toppled the second-ranked Rough Riders, 64-46, in the District Tuesday, handing Roosevelt its first loss.
Both teams came out in a zone defense and neither was shy about pulling the trigger from behind the arc. Only four total three-pointers made it through the net in the first quarter, but the Rough Riders (21-1, 9-1) used consecutive three from Mike Warren and Jarrell Allen to spark a 10-0 run and build an early seven-point lead.
After trading runs in the second period, the Colts made their move after halftime behind sound rebounding and execution within their transition offense.
Kadiri cleaned up on the offensive glass for several second-chance points while the Colts turned defensive rebounds into fast-break opportunities, with Cooley benefitting the most.
“I just wanted to attack and that brought my confidence level back up,” Cooley said. “As a team, we decided not to let our energy go down and keep pushing the ball.”
With the score knotted at 32 midway through the third, Coolidge went on a 15-2 run during which Roosevelt went nearly six minutes without a field goal. Defensively, Newell and Omar Roberts helped slow down Roosevelt’s two leading scorers in Warren and Johnnie Shuler, who combined for just five points in the second half.
“We really tried to focus on our defense and make them earn their shots because last game, they got a lot of dunks and run-outs,” Coolidge Coach Vaughn Jones said. “With the way we played on defense, that allowed us to be patient and let things come to us on offense.”
Meantime, the Rough Riders saw their opportunities for a comeback eliminated by a stream of misses from behind the three-point line. And as the Colts continued to reel in rebounds, Newell controlled the tempo with precise passing on the break that opened up a 12-2 run to put the game out of reach.