Name: Rece Henneman
Henneman’s week: The 6-5 forward for Jefferson-Morgan led the Rockets to back-to-back Section 5-AA wins. When Jefferson-Morgan played West Greene Jan. 14, Henneman scored 32 points to lead the Rockets to a 76-60 victory. Three days later, Jefferson-Morgan faced California at home to determine fourth place in the section. Henneman’s game-winning three-point shot led the Rockets to a 53-52 victory and the junior finished with 23 points.
The shot: Jefferson-Morgan (4-4, 7-8) needed a win over California. The Rockets were defeated by the Trojans, 67-45, Dec. 13 and the Rockets wanted to split the season series.
California led 52-50 with 10 seconds remaining when a Trojans player stepped to the free-throw line. The first shot was a miss. With the second shot in the air, Henneman positioned himself under the rim. The shot did not fall and the Rockets gained possession with the clock running out. The junior got the ball, dribbled it up the court into a 2-3 zone and a critical screen by his teammate, junior Christian Randolph, which left Henneman open for a deep three-point shot.
Three feet from behind the line, Henneman took position and hoisted a desperation shot with the game on the line. The shot went in to win the game for the Rockets and give Henneman a team-high 23 points.
“I think everyone was expecting me to drive to the hoop to try to tie the game,” Henneman said. “They gave me room to shoot, so I just shot it and it went in. I was pretty excited. It was definitely one of the best moments of my life. I’ve always wanted to be the person to make one of those game-winning shots and it finally happened.”
Jefferson-Morgan head coach Dennis Garrett was not surprised Henneman sank the game-winner. The junior forward has been steady all season – averaging 21.2 points per game.
“I knew when he had the ball in the hands, he had a good chance of making it,” Garrett said. “I was excited. It was a big win for us.”
Leader: Henneman is used to being critical to his team’s success. He leads not only by example, but is a vocal guide to the Rockets.
The junior was the starting quarterback for Jefferson-Morgan’s football team last fall. As a three-year starter in basketball, Henneman has guided the young Rockets squad with his play.
“I’ve kind of been that person through my whole sports career,” Henneman said. “Also, being the quarterback of the football team, people look up to me to be the leader, so I’m used to being that guy.”
Jefferson-Morgan has vastly improved from last season behind Henneman’s rebounding and strong perimeter shooting. Jefferson-Morgan has only three seniors.
Henneman is excited about the potential impact the win could have on the Rockets.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting us to make the playoffs or even have a chance, let alone beat Cal this year,” Henneman said. “They beat us by over 20 earlier this year, so people were expecting them to walk over us for an easy win last week. That was huge.”
Compiled by Lance Lysowski