By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Finally the Tipton-Rosemark Academy Rebels were ready to make their home debut.
The night of Dec. 8 against the Trinity Christian Academy Lions also marked the first appearance of TRA’s new uniforms. In front of the TRA Gymnasium crowd, the 2020-21 TRA Boys’ team donned its white home jerseys with a red and white checkered board side panel with a gray outline. With Rosemark across the chest and the T/R logo on the shorts, Cedric Anderson’s crew resembled the UNLV Runnin’ Rebs of the 1990s.
And after 16 minutes of action and trailing 36-19 at halftime, the Trinity players might have testified that the Rebels of Rosemark can run up and down the court.
“We want to push the ball,” Coach Anderson noted. “We want to increase the pace. But we want to execute more than that. We’re a defensive minded team first. We did that in spurts. We want to be more consistent there.”
When TRA’s traps were working, it created a few highlights for senior Alex Anderson. The South Alabama signees transformed a pair of Lions miscues into slam dunks.
His first jam of the night came on a breakaway. Anderson tossed the ball off the backboard and gathered the carom for a fierce two-hand dunk.
Later in the first half another Rebel steal led to a Anderson breakaway jam. With creative offense from Tyler Byrd, the outside shooting of Reggie Lewis and contributions from Will Hughes and Thano Sinis TRA started to create some breathing room prior to halftime.
Coach Anderson got a chance throw multiple lineups on the floor in an attempt to overwhelm Trinity.
“The kids have been working extra hard in practice giving maximum effort,” he noted. “They deserve playing time and they’ve earned that. I can’t say more than positive things about how hard they’ve been working in practice. We’ve been requiring more and more out of them. They’ve been giving it to us. I’m very proud of them.”
The Coach was proud of the early outburst in the third quarter. TRA guard Cameron Donegan literally stole the show with a few thefts near mid-court. When Donegan wasn’t taking the ball to the goal for layups, the was assisting to Anderson and Byrd for power dunks.
The highlight of the second half was a Donegan to Anderson over-the-shoulder alley oop resulting in a power slam.
Byrd made his presence felt with a pair of dunks in the second half. TRA outscored Trinity 25-17 in the third period to make the score 61-36.
A variety of Rebels got a chance to run the court like Jalen Hurt, Eli West, Ethan Stewart, RJ Seals, Kade Allen, Alex Blue, Eli Ramsey and Sam Cannon. TRA won the fourth quarter 15-9 to secure win No. 1 in Region play. Coach Anderson said he was pleased with the team effort and the leadership of Alex.
“Just know that he has other teammates and he’s doing that,” Coach Anderson concluded. “Recognize that it is a blessing for him to have additional weapons out there on the court and a blessing for them to have him as a weapon out there on the floor. We’re sharing the ball, moving the ball around. They were getting the ball to each other and they were actually happy when the other player was scoring.”