At Jackson Christian High School on Friday, the Royals honored 7 seniors before their game against Hillsdale Academy. That’s over half of Head Coach Rick Blumenstock’s team. Drew Blackgrove, Luke Carpenter, Kyle Cochrane, Mitchell McNeil, Thomas Miller, Nathan Ross, and Caleb Thomas were all honored before the game as they and their parents were presented with gifts and goodwill from their school and classmates. Nathaniel Reynolds was also honored as the team manager.
After the ceremony, the Royals didn’t waste any time getting down to the game they all love, as senior center Thomas Miller won the tip off. Both teams matched up evenly as the Colts tried to avenge the one-point loss they suffered on their home court earlier this season. But it was not to be as the Royals fought valiantly for a huge 41-35 victory.
It was a very close game before two evenly matched teams. The Colts took a 23-20 lead into the halftime and it was obvious from the team’s matchups they wanted to keep the ball out of Miller, Blackgrove, and McNeil’s hands.
But in the 3rd quarter, the Royals exploded right away when hard playing McNeil drove between 3 Colts defenders for the basket. Blackgrove came back to help by hitting a big 3 and the Royals never trailed again. Cochrane drained two 3 pointers to put the Royals way out front and the solid Royal defense and Miller’s exceptional rebounding ability kept the victory in the Royals clasp.
McNeil led all scorers with 14 points, Miller had 8 to go along with his team-leading 13 rebounds, Blackgrove finished with 7 along with 8 rebounds, 3 assist, a steal, and a block.
After the game, many of the kids went ice skating for their annual snowcoming event that the school puts on every year. The Royals play their final home game of the year Tuesday.