News From Terre Haute, Indiana


March 7, 2014

Ailing Wilkey helps Rockville advance to title game

Cayuga — For part of Friday, doubt existed about whether flu-stricken Rockville standout Keiontre’ Wilkey would be able to play in the first semifinal game of the Class A North Vermillion Sectional for boys basketball.

The junior guard gutted it out, however, and tallied 17 points to help lead the Rox over the host high school 61-53. That sent them into tonight’s sectional championship game against No. 7-ranked Lafayette Central Catholic.

“This kinda goes to show you what kind of competitor he is,” Rockville coach Ryan Luce said of Wilkey. “He was sick all day at school, wasn’t feeling well. He was kind of a game-time decision. We sent him home with his dad after school and let him relax a little bit. … He’s kind of the catalyst of our team. So as he goes, we go.”

Wilkey pumped in 13 of his points in the decisive second half after the Rox trailed 23-16 at halftime.

Other double-figure scorers for Rockville were Kyle Paddock with 12 points and Lance Hopkins and Jordan Leach with 11 apiece.

Brayden Woodard paced North Vermillion with 19 points, while Jacob Earl added 12.

Early on, the Falcons used a 6-0 run — consisting of two Cody Wright free throws, a layup by Woodard and an inside bucket by Wright — to jump ahead 9-4.

Luce’s squad rallied to seize a 13-11 advantage by the end of the first period, but North Vermillion regained momentum by holding the Rox to three points over the next eight minutes.

Trailing 28-22 early in the third quarter, Rockville finally found its shooting touch again.

Back-to-back inside baskets by Isaiah Thurman pulled the Rox within 28-26. Later, consecutive fielders by Hopkins and Wilkey put them back on top 33-32 with 2:01 to go in the period.

A 15-foot jumper by Woodard enabled the Falcons to take a 34-33 lead into the final frame, but that would be their final lead of the night.

Rockville opened the fourth quarter with a bucket by Leach and a trey by Paddock to surge ahead 38-34.

Roughly six minutes later, that margin had swollen to 14 — 56-42 — and Rockville’s fans were starting their victory chants.

“We really focused at halftime,” Luce mentioned. “Between the third and fourth quarters, we really wanted to focus on offensive rebounds. North Vermillion was doing a good job of coming out and contesting our shots.”

Rockville ended up with a 33-26 edge on the boards. Also worth noting, the Rox went from nine turnovers in the first half to only three in the second half.

In Friday’s second semifinal contest, LCC overpowered Attica 51-32.

“We’ll have to execute like we did in the second half [against North Vermillion] right with the first tip,” Luce said of tonight’s title clash.

“We’ll need to take care of the basketball and do what we do – pressure the ball on defense and hit the offensive glass.”

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