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Rockdale splits with Habersham Central

CONYERS - Rockdale basketball split a twin bill Tuesday night against visiting Habersham Central.

For the girls, the Lady Bulldogs fell 53-48 while the boys prevailed 68-55.

GIRLS

Habersham Central 53, Rockdale 48

After for most of the game, Rockdale simply ran out of steam down the stretch.

"We executed better on offense," Rockdale coach Leonard Buckner said, "but we didn't get much out of our reserves. We don't really have a core of starters; how you perform in practice, that's who is going to start the next game."

With 3:20 left in the fourth stanza, Habersham took the lead for good 42-41 after two free throws by Lauren Anderson.

Anderson finished with a team-high seven rebounds and eight points.

A steal and basket by Rockdale's Aseelah Mazone made it 45-44 with 1:45 remaining.

Forced to foul, Rockdale sent Habersham to the charity stripe where it made its living all night long. In fact, the Lady Raiders were 15 of 20 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter alone.

Overall, Habersham shot 22 of 30 from the free-throw line. Conversely, Rockdale was just 3 of 12.

"We put ourselves in that position in the fourth quarter," Buckner said. "When you go back and look at the film, we did hand check, but when you get to a certain point in the quarter where there's eight fouls on us and one on them ... we've got to be able to adjust to that. Even with all the stuff we didn't do right, we still had a chance to pull it off and we didn't do it."

Despite turning the ball over six more times than Rockdale (24), Habersham won the battle on the boards by grabbing 27 rebounds compared to 20.

"We should have had like 10 (turnovers) out of the whole game," Buckner said. "It wasn't like they were putting a bunch of pressure on us, so basically we beat ourselves."

Rockdale's Miasia Burks scored a game-high 13 points, including the team's only 3-pointer which came late in the fourth quarter. Lauren Aiken recorded a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds), including three blocks and two steals. Chelsea Patterson added 10 points, while Portia McCray had nine.

Rockdale was 22 of 56 shooting (39 percent) and 1 of 10 from beyond the arc.

"When we go back and look at the film, they hit a couple of threes that they shouldn't have had," Buckner said. "It wasn't like there was anybody in their face; if we would have been playing defense like we were supposed to that shouldn't have happened. You can look at that and free throws and turnovers.

"But it's a growing process, and we're definitely improving," he added. "Hopefully, by the time we get to subregion play, we'll be able to compete."

BOYS

Rockdale 68,

Habersham Central 55

The Bulldogs (6-1) won their sixth consecutive game of the season behind the torrid shooting of three players.

Rockdale's Kevin Ware scored a team-high 13 points and had two steals. Darien Clark added 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Julius Giles had 10 points.

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