It’s not very often you see a high school basketball game in which the officials decide to go to halftime nearly two minutes earlier than scheduled, but it happened Saturday night at Rock Island.
"It was just kind of a strange night in a lot of ways," Rock Island coach Thom Sigel said.
Nevertheless, his team managed to rise above the strangeness, getting 18 points from sophomore Jordan Rice and a strong fourth-quarter surge from Taurean Holtam to grind out a 66-56 victory over visiting Marmion Academy of Aurora at the Rocky gym.
The game included a 25-minute delay because of an injury to Marmion’s Griffin Bohr. The 6-foot junior attempted to take a charge from Rock Island’s Jamir Price and went down hard under the basket with a minute, 55 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Because medical personnel did not want to move Bohr, the game officials took the unusual step of going to halftime at that point and adding the 1:55 onto the second half.
Bohr was removed on a stretcher and taken to Trinity Medical Center Rock Island campus, where he was examined and released. He went home with his teammates on the team bus.
"You never know how both teams are going to respond to something like that," Sigel said.
Marmion, which lost for the eighth straight time and dropped to 8-20 on the season, actually responded a little better than the Rocks (16-9).
The Cadets trailed 27-14 at the time of the injury but put together a third-quarter run to make the game interesting. Senior guard Thomas Surges, who led both teams with 20 points, got a steal and went in for a layup as the horn sounded ending the period to chop the Rocks’ lead to 44-37.
"Credit them," Sigel said. "They responded to a hurt teammate. That’s when they really started to battle back."
When Marmion made it interesting, that was when the 6-foot-4 Holtam came to life. He scored 11 of his 14 points in the first few minutes to the fourth quarter to repel the threat, pushing the Rocks’ lead to 56-42 and sending them on their way to victory.
"Stuff just wasn’t going well," Holtam explained. "Someone had to bring some energy so I tried to do that and hopefully everyone else would follow. That’s all I tried to do."
Sigel was happy to see Holtam bounce back from a 5-point effort Friday night against Quincy.
"Taurean came out and battled," he said. "He gave us a spark when we needed it and really responded well after last night."
Rice’s 18-point night included three 3-point field goals in six attempts. Jamir Price added 11 points and nine rebounds for Rocky.
In addition to Surges’ 20 points, the Cadets also got 17 from Jonathan Reid. After making just 1 of 12 shots in the opening quarter, they went 19 for 42 the rest of the way.
Rocky committed 16 turnovers, but more than made up for it with a 43-29 rebounding advantage.