Rockets Basketball Defeated by Appleton East, Plays as a Team

January 23, 2023

Rockets’ Boys Basketball fought against Appleton East’s Patriots at the Ron Einerson Fieldhouse this past Friday.  Healthy-sized student sections from both warring factions cheered on both the Rockets and the Patriots as both teams kept the score neck-and-neck for the entire game, only for Appleton East to jolt ahead with a couple of free throws in the final segments of the game.  This brought the Patriots to a 46-38 victory, with last-minute 3-point shots by Elliot Swanson and Sam Coulthard failing to land in the basket.

Once the undisputed champs of the Fox Valley Association, the Neenah Rockets Boys’ Basketball team is now racking up losses.  For over a month, the team remained undefeated in conference, though all of its conference matches since Jan. 6’s game against Oshkosh North have resulted in defeat.  The team has fallen to 3rd place in Fox Valley Association rankings this year.

“I think we have got to do better on offense.  We have just got to get better shots up.  I think we did pretty well on defense, but we lost at the end of the day.  We need to score more points, improve, and move on from here,” player #34 (junior) Ethan Hoelzel said.

Several student spectators attributed the Rockets’ underperformance to the on-court absence of Cal Klesmit, the team leader in points, rebounds, and assists, according to wissports.net. Hoelzel, however, was quick to refute blaming any singular entity for this loss.

“It’s a whole-team effort.  We play as team, we win as a team and lose as a team,” he said.

Thus far, the team has scored 9 wins and 6 losses (including non-conference matches), a performance far short of the near-perfect 29-1 overall season of last year’s state champions.  Records on maxpreps.com indicate that the Rockets have not incurred such heavy losses since the 2018-’19 season, ending 19-8.

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