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by Jim Manion | Correspondent
Streetsboro -- The Rockets have played one of the toughest schedules in the area and unfortunately for the Streetsboro boys basketball team it has taken it on the chin several times.
The Rockets closed out the calendar year with a bad 30-point loss to a tough Hudson team. Last week they lost a 20-point decision to Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, the top seed in the Stow-Munroe Falls Division II sectional-district tournament.
On Feb. 12, Streetsboro lost to another top seed when Poland Seminary made it look easy with a 75-52 victory on Streetsboro's hardwood.
"Poland is a good team, they shoot well," said Rockets head coach Nick Marcini. "We are not playing very well offensively and the defense is not much better. We are not playing team basketball. We are playing very selfish and this is not the team that beat Norton [51-49 Jan. 8]."
Six first half three-pointers helped the Bulldogs run out to a 36-22 advantage at intermission. Poland went on an 11-1 run to end the first quarter for a 20-8 lead after one.
Kyle Dixon hit a pair of threes in the first quarter and then finished the run when the Bulldogs scored the final 10 points in the paint. Dixon went to the hole for the final three layup baskets of the quarter and finished the first half with 15 points.
Jordan Matusik became Streetsboro's all-time leading three-point shooter when he hit his third trey in the second quarter. His 59th successful three topped the record of Matt Cipra from the 1996-97 team. Matusik's three cut the Poland lead to 28-20 which was the closest since the first quarter. Matusik came back on the next trip down the floor and went inside, ran the baseline and scored to cut the deficit to only six points.
Unfortunately for the Rockets, that would be their final basket of the half and Poland went on a 8-0 run when George Chammas hit a long jumper at the buzzer but his foot was on the three-point line. The bucket gave the Bulldogs a 36-22 lead.
Poland (17-2) pushed its lead to a 20-point margin midway through the third quarter and led by 18 (54-36) after three.
Streetsboro's Brandon Gency ignited a short rally when he scored a pair of buckets and Paul Jenkins hit for six straight points as the Rockets went on a 12-4 run. However, the Bulldogs scored the final seven points for the final verdict.
Gency led Streetsboro with 17 points, hitting a trio of threes, while also pulling down a team-high seven rebounds. Matusik finished the night with 11 points, hitting three triples to break the record.
The leader for Poland was Jacob Wolfe with 22 points, while Dixon finished with 15 points, not scoring in the second half. Chammas scored 10 for the Bulldogs as 10 players hit the scoring column.
The Rockets lost a 53-50 decision in the junior varsity game. Jerry Judd led Streetsboro with 29 points.