Jack Rodgers scored 14 points for McGivney against Roxana on Monday night at McGivney. (All photos by Dan Brannan)

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GLEN CARBON - Jack Rodgers and Jacob Huber both scored 14 points, while Father McGivney Catholic went on a 12-0 run in the first after Roxana took an early lead, then dominated the boards in the second half to defeat the Shells 59-44 in a boys basketball game played Monday night at the McGivney gym.

Roxana came out strong and took a 10-2 lead early in the game, but the Griffins went on the run to take the lead and outrebounded the Shells in the second half to take control.

"We really came out strong," said Roxana head coach Mark Briggs, "but McGivney had a 12-0 run late in the first quarter and from there, we had to play catch-up most of the way. The difference was that we didn't own the glass as we did in the first and McGivney doubled us on the glass in the second half."

It's a young team Roxana has, with only two seniors and one junior on the roster. with many of the players being sophomores.

"Most nights, we start four sophomores," Briggs said, "and we have a bunch of guys stepping up at different times. Sometimes a senior, sometimes a sophomore, sometimes a freshman. So it's definitely a team effort."

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The Shells always come to practice ready to work hard and the team has played hard every night.

"They do," Briggs said. "It's a great group of kids, and although it's been a difficult year as far as wins, we're always looking for the little things and the positive things to build on."

The Griffins went on their 12-0 run late in the first quarter to take a 14-11 lead, then extended the edge to 29-23 at halftime, went further ahead 42-33 after three quarters and outscored Roxana 17-11 in the final quarter to take the win.

Besides Huber and Rodgers, Gabe Smith came up with 11 points for McGivney, Ashton Mersinger netted 10 points, Darren Luchettti had eight points and Evan Schrage scored two points.

Chris Walleck led the Shells with 15 points, with Aiden Briggs adding 14 points, Matthew Taylor came up with five points, Ashton Noble and Evan Wells had four points apiece and Nolan Tolbert scored two points.

The Griffins are now 10-12 and play Sandoval tonight, Valmeyer on Wednesday and Bunker Hill on Friday to finish up a four-game homestand, with all games starting at 7:30 p.m. Roxana is now 3-18 and hosts Piasa Southwestern tonight and play at Breese Central Friday night with both games starting at 7:30 p.m. Briggs has one goal in mind for his team for the rest of the season.

"We just keep trying to get better," Briggs said. "You always want to play your best basketball at the end of the season, and that's what we're trying to do right now."

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