SportsHigh School


Lamancusa's big fourth quarter helps Rockford down East Grand Rapids

Rockford downs the Pioneers in the season opener
Jack Lamancusa steps up for Rockford
Posted at 11:16 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 23:16:00-05
Rockford 63, East Grand Rapids 58

Tuesday night's season opener was a barn burner between East Grand Rapids and Rockford.

The Pioneers and Rams would go back-and-forth in the opening half before Caden Pokozynski helped Rockford to a 30-26 lead with nine points in the first sixteen minutes.

In the second half, the Rams would extend the lead before Simon Neuhaus helped the Pioneers tie the game at 37-37 with just over two minutes left in the third.

Neuhaus would continue to step up throughout the game to keep East Grand Rapids in the game along with Drew Caswell but it was Jack Lamancusa stealing the show down the stretch.

The Rockford senior would convert on back-to-back and ones to help the Rams extend the lead to six, 48-42.

Minutes later, the lead was 54-47 Rockford until an East Grand Rapids run, led by a Neuhaus triple plus an and one to cut it to three.

With 40 seconds left, Rockford would lead by four until David Bernecker hit a three to once again put the Pioneers within one late.

However, late free throws and a Lamancusa layup would ice the game, giving the Rams a 63-58 win moving to 1-0 on the new season.

"My teammates just made it operate," Lamancusa smiled, "they got me the ball late and I just took advantage of it. I give all the credit to my teammates, they got every single possession for us, they rebounded, pushed the ball, great defense, that's all we did."

Rockford students celebrate a win

Rockford head coach Kyle Clough knows his team is a bit unknown this year, losing four starters but Lamancusa is the guy that will be leaned on, especially early in the year.

"Jack's the one guy that has been through it," Clough said after the win, "he's won a conference championship on the floor in big moments and a district championship with big moments. When the lights are on, Jack is comfortable, it was just a great high school basketball game and we expected that, they have a lot of experienced winners on that team so for us to pull that one out on the road, I thought it was a great start to the year for us."

Lamancusa would finish the game with 18 points, 14 of which came in the fourth quarter to lead the Rams while the Pioneers were led by Neuhaus' 28 points.