Trailing by four points with 3 minutes to play on the road, the Rock Falls Rockets couldn’t close the gap any further Friday night in an 86-71 loss to Rockford Lutheran in the Big Northern West opener for both teams.
Steven Armoska scored 27 points for the Rockets (5-2, 0-1), and Jace Anderson hit six 3-pointers for 18 points. Austin Babcock (15 points) and Eddie Nelson (11 points) also hit double figures for Rock Falls.
Thomas Kopelman matched Armoska’s 27-point effort to pace the Crusaders (5-1, 1-0), while Nate Wieting scored 25.
“The final score is a little misleading; I thought we played a heck of a ballgame,” Rock Falls coach Brad Bickett said. “We were close toward the end, but they’re an outstanding team and they got the job done down the stretch.”
Stillman Valley 42, Oregon 37: The Hawks kept it close, but couldn’t pull off a Big Northern West road win.
Caleb Mowry scored 16 for Oregon (5-2, 0-2), which trailed by two at halftime before being outscored 24-21 after the break.
Kewanee 58, Newman 56: The Comets fell behind early and couldn’t rally on the road in a game between a pair of Three Rivers unbeatens.
A.J. Sharp scored 13 points, Nic Miller added 11, and Kyle Moore finished with 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks for Newman (6-2, 2-1), which outscored the Boilermakers 31-24 after halftime.
Matt Gustafson paced Kewanee (7-1, 3-0) with 19 points and four rebounds.
Amboy 51, Fulton 42: Tyson Powers scored 14 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to help the Clippers hold off the visiting Steamers for their first Three Rivers win of the season.
Jordan Ernst and Damon Quest each added 12 points for Amboy (3-5, 1-2), with Ernst also pulling down a team-high nine rebounds.
Nick Fish scored 15 for Fulton (0-7, 0-3), which trailed 29-21 heading into what turned out to be a high-scoring final 8 minutes.
Bureau Valley 62, Morrison 40: The Storm improved to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in Three Rivers play with a home victory over the Mustangs (1-8, 0-4).
Erie 50, Riverdale 37: Connor Saad knocked down four 3-pointers and scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Cardinals past the Rams in a Three Rivers Conference clash at Erie.
Jacob Johnston added 14 points for the Cardinals (4-3, 2-1).