The Rossview Hawks played their first District 10-AAA basketball game since their December loss at Kenwood on Monday, hosting the Montgomery Central Indians – and they came out ready.
RHS big man Ronald Jessamy won the tip directly into the hands of cutting guard Tim Williams who laid the ball into the hoop just four seconds into the game. They led the rest of the way, eventually ending with a 72-37 victory.
Despite being near the top of the district standings including wins over last season’s finalists, Rossview head coach Johnny Jackson says that his team still feels like they have to earn the respect of their peers and that proverbial chip on their shoulders leads them to come out with intensity every game.
“We’re just coming in workmanlike and trying to take care of business,” Jackson said. “Give Montgomery Central credit; they got a lot of transition points in the first half. We tried to do some things different. We really hadn’t practiced it enough, and that’s on me, but I thought we did a real good job tonight.”
Jessamy dominated, scoring 14 points with eight rebounds and six blocks to lead the team in each category. He was one of 12 Hawks to find twine in the contest, speaking to the team’s depth.
“I feel like our guys battle day-in and day-out in practice,” Jackson said. “It’s helping our depth. To get a game tonight where they get to play in front of their teammates and with their teammates, you get to see some better things that maybe some of the younger guys can do. I thought everybody contributed tonight.”
The Indians came into the contest on a six-game skid – not counting a COVID win over Sycamore in-between. Though they do have one win so far this season, it is their last in District 10-AAA before dropping to AA in 2021-22. All head coach Mike Brown wants from his players is to stand up to the challenges of facing teams that are natural mismatches for them, and he feels they did that on Monday.
“We just wanted to not give up,” Brown said. "That was our goal; it was going to be tough, and I wanted them to not hold their head down because it’s easy when they’re bigger and stronger, all that stuff, to hold your head down. Our number one goal is to never hold your head down and to just keep playing no matter how bad the score got.
“I liked the fact that they are getting (braver), less intimidated. I think it’s easy being in their situation, being so young, to be intimidated. But I think they’re growing to the point where they’re less intimidated.”
Both teams will return to the floor for the second half of a back-to-back on Tuesday. The Indians will travel to Paris, Tenn. to face the Henry County Patriots while Rossview will do battle with the Springfield Yellow Jackets.
Rossview (73): Ronald Jessamy 14, Spencer Mimms 13, Julian Hatfield 12, Tim Williams 6, Will Zirkle 6, Ty Butler 5, Messiah Ward 4, Eli Colvin 4, Cameryn Ward 3, Bryant Rippy 2, Blake Deterding 2, Kerrie Waddell 1.
Montgomery Central (37): Asante Wimberly 11, Tyrone Hite 8, Dillan Steffans 6, Eric Owen 5, DT Faulk 4, Ty Rouse 3.