AURORA -- Another low-scoring game, another Kent Roosevelt victory. That's been the story of the Rough Riders' season to date.
Senior Zac Common, who got his team started on the right foot on opening night with a game-winning 3-pointer in overtime, swished a jumper from behind the arc with 1:52 to play in the game Friday night, to give Roosevelt the lead good and send the Rough Riders to their fifth straight win, a 52-47 Suburban League decision over host Aurora.
Common led Roosevelt (5-0, 3-0 American Division) with 19 points but got plenty of help from sophomore point guard Jayden Reynolds who had a great evening with 18 points. Junior Jeremiah Jones was also huge, hitting four straight pressure free throws during money time to help keep the Greenmen in check.
"It's a great team win," said Rough Riders coach Christian Hunter. "We had multiple guys contribute, especially down the stretch. Aurora played well and made runs and threw some punches. We were able to respond, on the road, in a good environment. I'm just proud of our guys."
On the way to its best start in years, Roosevelt has not allowed an opponent to score more than 47 points. Right now, Hunter's group is brimming with confidence.
"We have a lot of veteran guys and a lot of guys who have been through a lot of battles," said the fourth-year coach outside a very happy locker room. "Our guys are really competing and going out and executing and doing the things we are asking them to do. We are going into some places that we haven't won in a while. Guys' investment and committment to the right things is paying off."
Just a few feet, Aurora coach T.J. Henderson's primary talking point was his team's lack of rebounding, a trend that continued Friday and extended the team's losing streak to four games.
"The last four games, it has all been on the offensive and defensive glass. When the other teams have outrebounded us, we've lost," he said. "We've had a 2-point (loss), a 3-pointer a 9-pointer and a 5-pointer. They had 28 total rebounds, we had 18. They got 10 offensive rebounds and 18 defensive rebounds. And we are not shooting very well. We were 8-of-22 from 2-point range.
"I thought the effort on defense was fantastic tonight. We did what we were supposed to, but just fell short on a couple little plays here and there."
Tied at 32-all after 24 minutes, Roosevelt took a brief four-point edge only to see the Greenmen tie things at 40-40 on an Ethan Hays 3 midway through the final stanza. Hays finished with a team-high18 points.
Jones hit a free toss to break the deadlock and Hays countered with two from the charity stripe to give the hosts the lead by one.
Common then sank his big shot with just under two minutes to play to make it 44-42. After the teams traded turnovers, Jones drilled a pair of free throws to make it a four-point difference.
A Hays' free throw made a one-score contest, but Common and Jones hit more free throws to seal the issue.