Playing in this “invite only” national event for the first time, the Illinois Rockets 17 Red squad showed exceptionally well against teams from five different states.
First up was Blue Star Florida and as has been their want, the Rockets dropped a close one by the score of 61 – 57.
West Michigan Drive 17 was the next opponent, and the Rockets played well throughout, earning a very nice team win, 51 – 35.
The third opponent in Pool Play was the Kansas Eclipse, and the Eclipse raced out to a 23 – 9 first quarter lead. From that point on, the Rockets ladies played very well, but still came up on the short side of the 72 – 55 score.
Earning second place in the pool due to the point differential tie-breaks, the Rockets advanced to the top bracket play – known as the RED bracket. Facing the top seed in the event – the Arizona Select – the Rockets again fell behind early and trailed by 12 after the first quarter, 20 – 8. As they did against the Kansas Eclipse, the Rockets settled in and played the kids from Arizona well in the final three stanzas, but came up short, 71 – 55.
Playing a consolation bracket game to end the event, the Rockets triumphed over a very talented team from the state of Washington – the Northwest Magic – 53 – 49.
Rockets players are Clara Prasse, Kate Moore, Jaida Smith, Lauren Daffenberg, Caylin Rufus, Mya Shannon, Antwainette Walker, Ashley Konkle (injured – but cheered us on from the bench), Lindsay Harrison and Sadie Jurkovic. Coaches are Drew Ondik and Mike Prasse.