The Rockport-Fulton High School (RFHS) Pirate basketball team defeated the Kingsville Brahmas 64-60 after getting off to a sloppy start Tuesday, Jan. 21 at home.

RFHS’ district record improves to 6-0 with an overall record of 20-6.

The Pirates stayed the course in its run to stay undefeated in district play over a tough Kingsville team that had RFHS down through the first half of play. RFHS Head Basketball Coach Damien Bates said his team played an “ugly” game.

“We just didn’t come out playing like I thought we could,” said Bates. “Offensively, we couldn’t score. We got very stagnant and we just didn’t move the ball well.”

Bates said this game will be a wake up call for the team.

“It’s like I told the boys, ‘We got the win, we’re 6-0, and sometimes we need games like that to get our attention,’” said Bates.

In the first quarter, the Brahmas came out swinging with two straight 3-point field goals (FG) to go up 6-0. RFHS attacked Kingsville inside and brought the score to 6-4 with Chance Bates and Tyson Cox going 4-4 at the line. RFHS struggled to get going offensively after missing numerous shots on drives to the basket. Kingsville made a couple more shots to take a 10-8 lead.

In the second, Jeremy Hawkins put RHFS back in the lead early with a 3-point FG and looked to put Kingsville away. However, with three minutes remaining, Kingsville tied it up at 17-all and took the game back. The first half was very physical amongst both teams and RFHS was put into foul trouble late in the quarter, having already committed 10 fouls. Kingsville took advantage of RFHS’ reckless play defensively and went 6-9 from the line. Kingsville continued to play tough defense and RFHS also continued to miss opportunities they normally capitalize on offensively. Kingsville’s defensive game plan, along with RFHS’ multiple missed shots put the Pirates down 23-19.

In the third, Kingsville opened the quarter with another 3-point FG to extend its lead. Soon after, Cox took matters into his own hands offensively and finished on multiple drives to the basket. Kingsville struggled to find an answer on Cox’s drives to the net as he drew RFHS closer and closer. As Cox continued to collapse Kingsville’s defense, RFHS began to hit shots from beyond the arc. Konnor McMahon hit his first 3-point FG of the game and Hawkins ended the quarter with another big 3-point FG; his second. Hawkins’ shot from long range gave RFHS a 38-36 lead to end the third.

In the fourth, RFHS began to separate from Kingsville with a huge run of points by Cox and Ty Klender. Cox continued to cause chaos in the paint for Kingsville and the Brahmas had no choice but to foul Cox on multiple drives. RFHS also took advantage of Kingsville’s inability to cover the fast break and Klender got behind the Brahmas several times for a score and two assists to Cole Armstrong and Hawkins. However, Kingsville did not go away. Down 11 at one point, Kingsville battled its way back in the final minute to make it 62-60. Nonetheless, RFHS held its lead after another bucket by Cox put the game at 64-60 in the final seconds to put the Brahmas away.

Bates said Kingsville executed its zone defense well, but added there can’t be any excuses, and RFHS needs to play well every night.

“We’ve got to come every night. We have to show up,” said Bates.

Cox led RFHS in scoring with 26 points.

McMahon and Hawkins finished with 10 points each.

RFHS played Robstown Friday, Jan. 24. They play again at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Ingleside.

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