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Rockhurst Game Preview

It is finally here, the game that the East basketball fans looks forward to every year. East (10-1) travel across the state line to meet historic rival Rockhurst (15-3) in what should be a barn burner. After a blowout loss last year and a four game losing streak against Rockhurst, East is looking to get revenge.“I’ve been waiting for this game for four years,” senior Vance Wentz said. “I just want my last Rockhurst game to be a win.”This rivalry will be a battle of veteran squads. Both Rockhurst and East have 10 seniors listed on their rosters, making for a very interesting match up with not only talent but experience. The last time the rivalry was on Rockhurst soil was two years ago where East lost by 1 in a very competitive game . It wouldn’t be surprising to see this one come down to the wire just like in 2011.

“Obviously its going to be packed and awesome,” Wentz said. “It will be close just because how high the intensity will be.”

Rivalries between players will be interesting to watch due to so many athletes on both sides growing up playing against and with each other. Wentz went to school with many of the Hawklets at Cure of Ars.

For the Hawklets, 6-foot-5 three year starter senior, Kyle Wolf is one of their best players and has a very similar style to senior Zach Schneider. Wolf is Rockhurst biggest player and will likely start out guarding Lucas Jones. Senior Joseph Gibson, a former starter for Rockhurst football’s offensive line, is the other big man on the team. Gibson is only 6-foot-1 but weighs 285 pounds, he will be able to move around the Lancers bigs in the low post with his sheer size and strength.

With Schneider and fellow big man sophomore Lucas Jones along with senior Chris Tuttle, East has quite the height advantage and will look to expose that as much as possible. in their only loss against Mcpherson, they failed to move the ball inside. They are looking to change that for this game.

“We want to get the ball inside because that is our biggest advantage,” Schneider said.

East also has had a few problems with quick guards in a couple recent games against Maize and Mcpherson, giving up an abundance of turnovers in both games. With the backcourt pressure applied by both teams the Lancers seemed to panic at times and make bad passes and commit easily fixed errors.

“We need to handle the ball well and not turn it over,” Wentz said. “And if we play our game we will put ourselves in a good position to win, we create a lot of matchup issues for them.”

The two squads played four times during summer basketball each winning two games. East’s two losses came by a deficit of only one point and ten points. On paper, it looks like these two teams are destined for a great game.

“If we stay calm and get past half court we should be just fine,” Wentz said.

And as always, you never know how the teams will react in a gym at full capacity in the biggest rivalry of the year. Both teams have so much on the line, not only their school pride and adding a win to their record, but it will be the last time 10 seniors on both sides play in this rivalry. Expect it to be a good one.

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