Late game heroics by two seniors help lead the Storm to a 75-70 victory over bitter Rival Central on Wednesday.
Simpson was able to get out to quick start with a 12-4 run in the first five minutes of action. The Storm looked to be playing with a new sense of urgency and energy.
Senior Olu Rotibi caught fire early igniting the Storm going 5-8 from the field and 5-6 from the free throw line.. Sophomore AJ Arrington continued to be a consistent and dependable player going 5-8 from the field with 10 points and four rebounds.
The Storm shot 55 percent from the field in the first half.
Rotibi was playing with a different fire tonight that helped lead the team to a close and much needed win. After scoring a halftime career high of 15 in the first half, he came back in the second with the same intensity finishing the game with a career-high 20.
Central was unable to stop Rotibi’s penetration to the basketball which lead to him shooting 10-12 from the foul line.
“The win was the most important thing tonight,” said Rotibi. “I’ve got to thank all my teammates from continuing to feed me the ball and give me a chance to make plays.”
Junior PJ Edwards made an appearance in the second half and brought a new fire to the defensive end. Edwards was able to lockdown Central’s leading scorer Brandon Stubbs forcing turnovers and a few erred shots.
Senior Elijah Knox finished with 14 points and an overall great effort to help lead a late second half charge to put the game away.
“It feels great,” said Knox. “They hit us with a pregame snub and didn’t shake our hands, so it felt good sealing a win heading into the second half of the season.”
The Storm played with a new sense of urgency of the defensive end that had not been consistently present all season. Coach Charles Zanders expressed that it feels great when the team trust one another and they all play together.
“This game is so much bigger to this community than a win or a loss, but it does feel good,” said Zanders. “Considering some of the struggles we had been facing I couldn’t be more proud of my team and how they responded.”