Road Warriors: Roosevelt tops Island Trees
There is no place like home for the Roosevelt boys basketball team. Mainly because there is no place to call home.
The Rough Riders are calling themselves the Road Warriors, having been displaced this season while Roosevelt High School undergoes remodeling. Since the middle school gym isn't regulation size, Roosevelt is being forced to play its home games at their opponent's homes.
Much as they have done all season, the Road Warriors made themselves at home Wednesday, cruising to a 74-50 win over host Island Trees in Conference A-IV.
Roosevelt's 6-2 junior power forward Khalil Wilson scored a career-high 24 points and added seven rebounds and 6-6 junior center Shaquille Ware added 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Road Warriors improve to 6-0. The duo dominated the low post and couldn't be kept off the offensive glass, reasons why the two have developed a self-proclaimed nickname.
"The twin towers," Ware said. "We're the big men down low."
After Wilson's putback opened a 20-point lead with 5:55 remaining in the third, he stole the ball on the ensuing possession and went coast to coast for the layup and a 43-21 lead.
Ware then scored 10 points over the final 4:30 of the third, capped by a fast break in which Terrance Greer picked up the loose ball and sent the outlet to Wilson, who found a cutting Ware for the layup with seconds left for a 57-34 lead.
Nick Mattia and Joe Howard each had eight points to lead Island Trees (0-6). Mike Gronenthal added seven points and also executed a beautiful fast break in which he stole the ball then made an around-the-back pass to C.J. Novak for the layup early in the third quarter.
Matt Hutchinson scored eight of his 11 points in the first half as Roosevelt entered the break with a 33-16 lead. Shaquille Hansen scored all eight of his points in the first half.
Roosevelt returns to Island Trees for a "home" game in the season finale on Feb. 13. But so far for Wilson and his teammates, life on the road has been home sweet home.
"It doesn't matter where we play, we just like to win," Wilson said. "The rims are all the same. As long as the ball is going in the basket, it's fine."