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Rockdale takes 2 from Apalachee

CONYERS - Both the Rockdale boys and girls basketball squads took care of business Tuesday night over visiting Apalachee by winning their games, the first sweep of the season.

BOYS

Rockdale 91, Apalachee 63

Four players reached double figures to lead the Bulldogs (4-1) past the Wildcats (1-1), helping them score a season-high 91 points in the win.

Jonathan Gissentanner (14 points), Kevin Ware (13), Julius Giles (13) and Cordarryle Bethley (12) paved the way for Rockdale's fourth straight win of the season.

"I was pretty pleased because everything seemed to be pretty balanced," Rockdale coach Alvin Williams said. "That's one of our goals - to be balanced."

The Bulldogs never trailed, scoring at least 20 points in each quarter. The closest Apalachee got was a 28-25 deficit in the second quarter.

By halftime, Rockdale had built a 45-32 lead, despite allowing 18 first-half points by Apalachee's Chaun Gresham.

Gresham finished 12 of 15 shooting for a game-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, including four steals.

"No player should ever score over 30 points against us," Williams said. "That shouldn't happen."

Gissentanner, who had three steals, preserved the lead in the third stanza on 4 of 5 shooting by way of layups and midrange 12- to 18-foot jumpers.

"He's really coming along," Williams praised. "He's a big-time scorer and is starting to sacrifice a little bit of his game to fit into the system."

After back-to-back dunks by Ware to end the third quarter, the Bulldogs led 67-49.

A Gresham jumper with three minutes and 12 seconds remaining in the fourth cut it to 81-61; nevertheless, Rockdale had built too big of a lead for a possible comeback.

"I really liked our helpside defense," Williams noted. "For the most part (it) was better than it's been so far this season. That's something we've been working on, and that's a hard thing to teach younger players. As it gets better, we'll get better."

Rockdale's Darien Clark, Bernard Thompson and Byron Lawrence each added eight points.

Apalachee's Dillon Moon and Deonte Will scored six points apiece.

GIRLS

Rockdale 73, Apalachee 51

Despite holding just a 30-25 lead at halftime, the Lady Bulldogs (1-3) scored 43 points in the second half en route to the victory.

Apalachee's Saboyce Shelton scored a team-high 11 points. Ashley Phommaley and Kelsey Montgomery added eight points each.

Jason Murdock can be reached at jason.murdock@rockdalecitizen.com.