BATON ROUGE -- Yeah, it’s only a summer league game, but it’s still a win for the Holden basketball team.
The Rockets had to fight for it, too.
Holden scored the final 10 points of the game to pull away for a 44-42 win over Sumner in Woodlawn Summer League action Wednesday.
“This was a good win for us,” Holden coach Kenny Almond said. “It wasn’t a state championship, but we needed a win. Even if we would have lost by 1, it wouldn’t have changed the way we played, but they (players) just feel better about themselves. We needed to gain a little confidence.”
The Cowboys led 42-34 when the Rockets started their run on Dylan Gueldner’s inside bucket. After a Sumner backcourt violation, Gueldner hit another basket to cut the lead to 42-38.
John Sharp completed a three-point play to cut the lead to 42-41, and his layup with 27.4 seconds to play gave the Rockets a 43-42 lead.
Sumner missed multiple shots under the basket on its next trip down the floor and failed to connect on a pair of free throws with 9.6 seconds left.
Gueldner came down with the rebound after the second miss and was fouled. He hit a free throw with 7.9 seconds to play for the final margin.
“We’ve got some eighth-graders out here. We’ve got some freshmen that just moved up,” Gueldner said after the Rockets played without Cole Forbes and Aldo Trevino, who missed the game with injuries. “We’re just trying to get them into the high school groove. They came down with rebounds. They played some good defense. They helped us out a lot.”
Sharp came down with the rebound after Gueldner's miss. Holden was then able to in-bound the ball with three seconds to play to run out the clock.
“We didn’t get every rebound,” Sharp said. “We weren’t blocking out as good as we should have been. We were trying to get more physical than them, and that’s what helped us a little bit with those rebounds.”
The Rockets’ win came after Sumner started the game on a 16-3 run before Landon Slocum hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter, making the score 16-6.
Almond lamented his team’s slow start and the eight turnovers the Rockets had in the game.
“Most of the time our turnovers are us,” he said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the other team or what they’re doing. We just turn it over sometimes. It’s not necessarily all the time the number of turnovers, it’s the kind.”
Holden stayed steady with Sharp doing most of the damage during an 11-6 burst in the second quarter that cut the lead to 22-17 at halftime.
The Rockets got as close as 22-20 on Jake Forbes’ free throw early in the third quarter, but Sumner stretched the advantage to 29-21 on a steal and layup.
Gueldner hit a three-point play with 45.4 seconds left in the third quarter and a layup at the buzzer to cut the lead to 33-29 going into the fourth quarter.