Rams off to slow start, still optimistic

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon, Tolland - posted Thu., Jan. 10, 2013
Rockville's Rae-Quan Barber finds a way to get a shot around the block of Tolland's Taylor Fortin. Photos by Steve Smith.
Rockville's Rae-Quan Barber finds a way to get a shot around the block of Tolland's Taylor Fortin. Photos by Steve Smith.

While the Rockville High School Rams boys’ basketball team struggled early in the season, it has been competitive in nearly every game. Coach Pete McCann said his 0-6 (through Jan. 4) team has impressed at times - including a comeback vs. Tolland where the team was down by 17 points, and narrowed it to three - and there is plenty of optimism about the rest of the season.

“We're more athletic and taller than we have been in the past - at every position,” McCann said. “That makes a huge difference. You can get your hands on more passes if you're taller. We can play a more quickly-paced game, and that's where we try to thrive - going up and down the court quickly and hitting the open guys.”

Senior Rae-Quan Barber is among the team's leaders. “He's done a great job of getting the ball in the post and going up and attacking,” McCann said, adding that junior Tarchee Brown - who transferred from Hartford Public - has also been a nice addition.

“He gives us a great job on the boards. He's a rebound king, and he helps defensively. He gets his hands on a ton of passes,” the coach said.

The Rams are also still optimistic after winning a preseason title. The team won the Southeast Division Championship of the 2012 CT Northstars High School Fall Tune-Up League. The four-division, 38-team league ran for 11 weeks and concluded on Nov. 18, 2012. The Rams went undefeated and finished at 12-0, under the coaching of former captain Brian O’Gara (RHS class of 2010).

McCann said he still thinks his team can make the Class L tournament. The keys to getting those needed wins are improving on different things each game. “Some days it's transition defense,” he said. “Some days it's the offense on the half court and just making shots we know we can make. It's a match-up issue for each of the teams that we play.”

The Rams host Fermi on Jan. 17 and Ellington on Jan. 18. For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.

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