Ac cleaning

Routt boys basketball brace for Waverly with PORTA / AC win

After a 10-day layoff, the Routt boys’ basketball team needed a tune-up ahead of this week’s Waverly Holiday tournament. The Rockets got it last Thursday, beating PORTA / AC Central 57-30 in the IC Shootout.

Six Routt players scored in the first quarter as the Rockets took an 18-4 lead early in the second period. Routt went 7 for 11 down the field to fuel the breakaway.

“We got off to a good start in this game, and it was important to be able to sort of set the tempo,” said Routt coach Will Whalen. “We wanted to get the ball up and down the pitch tonight. We haven’t played for over a week so we were worried about being slow so we wanted to get the ball out and push it and hopefully get our legs back under us.

Gus Abell led the Rockets with 12 points. Will Merwin, Michael Wilson and Ethan Walker added 8 points each. A total of 10 players have scored for the Rockets.

“We have a lot of different kids who can score any night, and I think that’s what we saw tonight,” Whalen said. “I think between Gus Abell, Ethan Walker, Will Merwin and even Michael Wilson off the bench, I think all these guys did a good job scoring tonight. I think that’s one of the things that makes us dangerous is that we have different children who can score different nights.

The Bluejays reduced Routt’s lead to 29-17 at halftime. The Rockets were leading 39-23 heading into the final quarter. “Michael Wilson hit a big blow for us and got us going and got us out of that funk,” Whalen said. “We have to do some things a lot better. We need to bounce the ball even better and clean up part of the attack. But overall we did a good job.

Routt, the No.3 seed in the Waverly Holiday Tournament, will face Lincolnwood in the first round on Monday at noon. The winner will face Carrollton or South County at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“I think kids always look forward to Waverly,” Whalen said. “It’s one of the best tournaments in the state.

Routt is 7-2.