Hunting scores 22, Leasure adds 21 in Rochester win over North White
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Luke Hunting got the points, but he said the guards did the work.
Waiting for the Rochester boys basketball team’s guards to break down North White off the dribble and get in their line of sight where they could just throw easy passes to him for wide open layups helped the host Zebras earn a 68-37 win at the RHS gym Saturday.
Hunting scored a game-high 22 points, and Paul Leasure added 21 as Rochester came back from a three-day weather-related hiatus to improve to 8-5.
“It looks like I’m scoring all the points, but they’re doing all the work,” Hunting said. “They’re driving it in, and they’re getting me the basketball, and they’re getting me wide-open looks, so they’re a huge help for me.”
Dane Hood had 21 points, and Lukas Smith had 12 for the Vikings, who fell to 3-11.
Rochester went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter and an 11-0 run in the second quarter to build a 31-9 lead.
Leasure, a senior point guard, helped out by outsourcing the entire North White team 12-11 in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer, scored three times in transition and once off the drive and made one of two free throws.
“They tried to play some zone, and we were able to get inside of it a little bit and force them to go to man-to-man,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said. “Plus, we got a lead, and they needed to go man. And they tried to do some trapping too, and I thought we did a better job at the end of the third quarter or early fourth of attacking their pressure and getting some easy buckets.”
Leasure scored nine more points in the third quarter, including two more treys as the lead expanded to 51-29.
In addition to Hunting’s nine points in the fourth quarter, junior Luke Malchow had his first varsity bucket of the season.
“We said coming into the game that where we’ve always struggled with Rochester in the past, and we still struggle right now is they always seem to have a lot of length,” North White coach Matt Sipkema said. “And they utilize that length very well. They were very unselfish tonight. It didn’t matter what defense we threw at them at different times: They were able to get where they wanted to go north and south, and we just struggled all night. So hats off to them.”
Rochester’s scheduled game at Northfield was Friday as was North White’s game against Carroll (Flora). In fact, the Zebras had not convened in the gym since Tuesday, a day before a significant snow storm hit Rochester that caused school to be canceled.
“I think the turnovers you saw at times … we would lose control of the ball … it was almost like at times the ball had grease on it, it seemed like,” Malchow said. “I think that’s part of that piece where if you don’t practice for three days in a row … your hands … You got to have better focus. That’s why I did call a couple timeouts, just to remind them, ‘Listen, we’ve got to concentrate better. Take care of the ball. Be strong with it.’ Because they’re trying to swipe it away, and they did a good job a few times, and something that we typically do better at, I think, is where you see the three days off come into play where we were a little lethargic with our ballhandling tonight. But other than that, we got to get a lot of guys in and get up and down the floor a little bit and set ourselves up for next week.”
Rochester also won the JV game 47-6.
Rochester 68, North White 37
NORTH WHITE (37) (3-11)
Lukas Smith 3 4-4 12, Dane Hood 9 1-2 21, Eli Stearns 1 0-2 2, Artemio Benitez 0 0-0 0, Kade DeBoard 0 0-0 0, Fernando Perez Gomez 0 0-0 0, Andie Menjivar 0 0-0 0, Braylon Sipkema 0 0-0 0, Zach Cook 0 0-0 0, Andrew Buswell 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 14 5-8 37
ROCHESTER (68) (8-5)
Paul Leasure 8 2-4 21, Aidan Smith 0 0-0 0, Brock Bowers 4 0-0 8, Tanner Reinartz 3 0-0 9, Luke Hunting 10 2-3 22, Drew Bowers 0 0-0 0, Ethan Medina 0 0-0 0, Luke Malchow 1 0-0 2, Owen Prater 2 0-0 4, Bryce Baugher 1 0-0 2, Davis Renie 0 0-0 0, Xavier Vance 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 29 4-7 68
Three-point field goals:
North White 4 (Hood 2, Smith 2),
Rochester 6 (Leasure 3, Reinartz 3)
Total fouls: North White 7, Rochester 9
Turnovers: North White 12, Rochester 13
Score by quarters
North White 6 5 18 8 – 37
Rochester 18 13 20 17 – 68
JV: Rochester 47, North White 6