2023 Game 26 Recap: Rockridge 36, Macomb 33

The Rockridge Rockets survived a prolonged second half comeback attempt and a last-second heave to claim their fifth Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament championship in 11 years with a 36-33 victory over the Macomb Bombers. It is the first title for the Rockets since 2019.

Making their first appearance in the title game since 2010, the Bombers came out firing, connecting on their first four shot attempts for a 9-4 lead. But Macomb would go without a field goal for almost eight minutes as Rockridge went on a 16-3 run. The Rockets used 65 percent shooting (11-for-17) en route to a 26-16 halftime advantage.
Not about to give up, the Bombers came out with renewed spirit, holding the Rockets to just 10 points in the second half. Both teams, in fact, struggled on the offensive end, but it was Macomb that slowly crept closer and closer.
Dion Doyle turned the momentum in favor of the Bombers. He personally scored the first six points of the second half. He hit a tough turn-around jumper in the lane, knocked down a pair of free throws, and stole the ball at midcourt setting up his own fast break bucket to cut the lead to 26-22 with 3:35 left in the third.
Rockridge recovered for an 8-point lead, setting up a dramatic fourth quarter. The teams traded three-point plays as tournament MVP Landon Bull gave the Rockets a 33-24 lead, but was answered by three points from All-Tournament team performer Ian Case of the Bombers. Macomb’s Drew Watson then provided some clutch plays, hitting a driving lap up and two foul shots to get Macomb within 33-31 with 1:25 to play.
The key possession came next as Baylen Leemans hit TJ Wilson, who converted a three-point play with 1:08 to go. Doyle brought Macomb back within three moments later, sinking two free throws. With 43 seconds to play, the shot clock certainly came into play as Macomb chose to have Rockridge to play it out, rather than foul. The Bombers forced yet another tough shot and called for time with eight seconds remaining.
After a second timeout called near midcourt, the Bombers got the ball to their hero from the semifinal round, Malachi Conley. Conley, who buried three buzzer-beaters in Macomb’s five-point win earlier in the day, was guarded tightly from a tough angle on the wing this time. His shot fell short, and time ran out on the Bombers’ comeback.
Landon Bull led Rockridge with 13 points. He is the fifth Rocket to be named tournament MVP. Fellow All-Tournament team member Carson Klemme chipped in seven points and five rebounds. Leemans grabbed seven rebounds off the Rockridge bench.
Doyle led all players with 16 points to go with six boards. Watson was the leading rebounder on the night with eight. The Bombers shot a perfect seven-for-seven at the line in the second half, but could not overcome a 1-for-12 effort from three point territory.

Box Score

Rockridge Info
Macomb Info

Brian Sullivan
December 30, 2023

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