Shawe’s David Grote (10( slashes to the basket past Rock Creek’s Tanner Gerth (12) for two of his career-high 30 points on Friday night. The Hilltoppers won 55-48 on homecoming. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Shawe’s David Grote (10( slashes to the basket past Rock Creek’s Tanner Gerth (12) for two of his career-high 30 points on Friday night. The Hilltoppers won 55-48 on homecoming. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)

Senior David Grote poured in a career-high 30-points as Shawe Memorial held off Rock Creek Academy for a 55-48 homecoming win Friday night.

Grote was king of the court with his play. He was 8-of-20 from the field, had eight rebounds, eight steals and was almost perfect from the free throw line, hitting 9-of-10.

"9-of-10 from the free throw line," Shawe Memorial Head coach Matt Traylor said. "It's nice to see him get some rhythm in his jump shot. He's really progressing on offense. When he shoots it, he's a pretty good shooter. He stepped up in the second half and took over the game on both ends of the court."

Rock Creek had a size advantage over Shawe. The Lions (7-14) had three starters over 6-foot-3. That didn't bother the Hilltoppers as they were aggressive and took it to the lane on multiple trips.

"We're not bigger than most teams we play," Traylor said. "I don't think people can question our team's toughness, I think they play bigger than they really are. They don't back down."

Joey Mingione led the first-quarter attack with seven points on 3-of-4 shooting. "He handled the ball really well," Traylor said.

"He got to the basket. He's really, really quick. He made a couple big baskets at the end. He defended as well tonight as has maybe all year long. For him to affect the game defensively the way he did, I think it's a big step for us," Traylor said.

Rock Creek battled back in the second quarter and tied it up. Then both teams traded buckets for several minutes.

With just over a minute before half-time, and Shawe up 25-23, Rock Creek's Ronald Karenzi was called for a foul. The Lions head coach Chris Brown argued the call and was called for two quick technicals then ejected.

The Hilltoppers made 4-of-6 free throws to extend their lead to 29-25 at the half.

Rock Creek came strong in the third quarter and took a 37-33 late in the quarter. "We don't always play to the best of our ability when our back is against the wall," Traylor said.\

"We struggled with it a lot last year with the same core group of guys. When we get our backs up against the wall, we don't respond as well as we need to. The way we played in the second half without Luke Higgins, when we started the third quarter I got real nervous. He's done a lot for us. He's an incredible defender. Handles the ball a lot, usually pretty intelligent. It took us a minute to get into a flow without him," Traylor said.

Shawe was able to regain the lead and the two teams played physical basketball, while players' and coaches' tempers started to flair over the next few minutes.

With six minutes to go in the game the Hilltoppers were down 44-43. Shawe would end the game on a 12-4 run. Grote scored 10 of those 12 points.

"There were some moments we forgot what we were doing," Traylor said. "At the end of the day we had contributions from almost every single player. Taylor Rhoten defended the post all night against bigger, physical players and I thought matched their toughness as well as he's done. Kyle Daugherty continues to do everything possible to make us a better team that doesn't show up on the stat line. I was really proud of how we played late in the game, especially with Luke Higgins sitting out the second half due to injury. I thought there we some individual things the guys can take from and learn from," Traylor said.



at Madison


ROCK CREEK 9 16 17 6 - 48

SHAWE 16 13 14 12 - 55

ROCK CREEK (7-14) - (f)Burt 19, Pearson 14, (c)Nzombi 8, (g)Gerth 3, (g)Logsden 2, (f)Karenzi 2, Joseph 0.

SHAWE (8-11) - (g)Grote 30, (g)Mingione 9, Ball 6, (g)Higgins 5, Rios 3, (f) Rhoten 2, (f)Daugherty 0, Fry 0.

3-Point Goals - Rock Creek 4 (Pearson 3, Gerth 1), Shawe 6 (Grote 5, Higgins 1). Rebounds - Rock Creek 28 (Karenzi 8), Shawe 30 (Grote 8). Assists - Rock Creek 7 (Logsden 4), Shawe 2 (Rhoten 1, Grote 1). Turnovers - Rock Creek 24, Shawe 10. Total Fouls - Rock Creek 18, Shawe 12. Free Throws - Rock Creek 2-8, Shawe 13-18. Technical Fouls - Rock Creek: coach Brown. Ejected - Rock Creek: coach Brown. Next Game - Shawe hosts Milan Tuesday.