Maybe Robert Rogers should miss more practice.

Bedridden for three days with the flu, Rogers returned to the Greater Beckley lineup Saturday afternoon and sparked an offensive uprising in the Crusaders’ 77-59 win over Mountain State Academy.

Rogers rose from bed with 22 points, all in the final three quarters, as Greater Beckley improved to 1-1 on the season.

“I think it was just a matter of him shaking out the cobwebs,” Greater Beckley coach Brian Helton said. “Once he got the sweat going a little bit, he was OK.”

That was apparent in the second quarter when he scored nine points to help the Crusaders stay in a game that had slowly started slipping away. Mountain State — coming off a hard-luck 49-48 loss to Mount Hope in the championship game of the Meadow Bridge tournament less than 18 hours before — had built a 25-12 lead at the 5:56 mark of the second quarter.

But Rogers, with a slick assortment of post moves inside, kept his team in the game. He started a 7-0 run with a basket, followed by a three-point play from B.J. Ainsley and a basket from point guard Dimitri Carter, to make it 25-19.

He had five points the rest of the way as the Falcons took a 33-28 lead into the break.

Rogers and Ainsley also proved to be big on a 19-0 run that spanned the last part of the third quarter and the first two minutes of the fourth.

Both had five points — each with old-fashioned three-point plays — on the run that made a 44-36 deficit a 55-44 lead.

“Greater Beckley’s got a great inside game,” MSU Academy coach Rob Fulford said. “Ainsley and Rogers both have great post moves. We knew coming in that they were going to pound it in the paint. We told our kids if one of their post players puts it on the floor, double him. For some reason we let them take three or four steps and then we double or we just didn’t do it at all.”

The Falcons would get no closer than seven the rest of the way.

It was a lesson in Basketball 101 for MSU Academy.

While the Falcons were busy hoisting up threes — and going 2-for-17 in the second half — the Crusaders were content to move the ball around and take high-percentage shots.

“We have outside shooters, no doubt about it,” Fulford said. “But we have to go inside first. Then we can kick it back out. We can’t play street ball and expect to win. We played street ball last night (against Mount Hope) and lost. We played street ball today and we lost. We aren’t going to win a game spreading the court and trying to play street ball.”

B.J. Rucker and Phillip Misiti led the Falcons with 20 points. Misiti had 10 rebounds.

Ainsley, a transfer from Liberty High, added 18 points and 11 boards and was workmanlike in the paint for the Crusaders.

“He’s really a blue-collar guy for us,” Helton said. “He gets after it. He’s one of those guys you don’t have to say anything to because his motor is always running. And I thought Dimitri (Carter) did a good job of finding Robert and B.J.”

Carter had 10 points and five assists and Justin Clemins had 12 points.

John Austin added 11 for MSU Academy.

The Falcons remain at home and face New Life Christian Tuesday.

Greater Beckley hosts the Kiwanis Classic at Appalachian Bible College Friday. The Falcons host Oak Hill and Independence plays Tolsia in the other game.

— E-mail: demorrison@

register-herald.com



Greater Beckley 77

Emmanuel Bland 2 2-2 6, B.J. Ainsley 8 2-2 18, Justin Clemins 5 0-0 12, Robert Rogers 8 6-8 22, Dimitri Carter 4 2-4 10, Aaron Williams 1 4-4 7, Eric Johnson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 29 16-20 77.

Mountain State Academy 59

Phillip Misiti 9 2-2 20, B.J. Rucker 8 0-0- 20, Trey Caldwell 2 0-0 6, John Austin 5 0-0 11, Chris Miller 1 0-0 2, Jon Coleman 0 0-0 0, John Kirkpatrick 0 0-0 0, Brian Rucker 0 0-0 0, Rob Kirkpatrick 0 0-1 0. Totals: 25 2-3 59.

GB (1-1) 8 20 24 25 — 77

MSA (1-2) 15 18 11 15 — 59

Three-point goals: GB: 3 (Clemins 2, Williams); MS: 7 (Rucker 4, Caldwell 2, Austin); Fouled out: None.

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