Kiser, Cumberland, Johnson all score in double figures as Valley beats Rochester
Reinartz scores 8, but Zebras blanked in 4th quarter
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tippecanoe Valley boys basketball coach Joe Luce called timeout with 4:08 left in the first quarter and his team trailing host Rochester 9-6 at the RHS gym Friday.
The Zebras had hit three 3-pointers up to that point. After the timeout, Rochester never hit another 3-pointer.
For that matter, 2-pointers and free throws were sparse too as Valley pulled away to win 48-24.
Tayde Kiser scored a game-high 13 points for Valley, and Nolan Cumberland had 11, and Kyler Johnson had 10.
Tanner Reinartz led Rochester with eight points, but the harassing Valley defense held Rochester scoreless in the fourth quarter and held Rochester leading scorer Paul Leasure scoreless for the game. Leasure came in averaging 11.4 points per game.
Valley won their fifth straight game and improved to 10-3 overall and 3-1 in the Three Rivers Conference. They also snapped Rochester’s three-game winning streak while dropping the Zebras to 6-4, 2-1.
“Defensively, we were really good, especially in the third and fourth quarters,” Luce said. “We had to go to more fullcourt pressure. We still, I thought, guarded the lane. … Shots we gave up in the second half were contested. Really got better as the game went along.”
Valley will play four of their next five games at home. Rochester will play their next three games on the road, starting with a trip to Caston on Tuesday.
In other TRC games Friday, Peru edged Maconaquah 74-72 and Manchester beat Wabash 71-60.
That leaves Peru and Manchester as the lone remaining unbeatens in the TRC. Rochester and Valley are the only teams with one loss. Everybody else has at least two losses.
Peru will travel to Manchester on Feb. 10.
Rochester took their last lead at 16-15 on Reinartz’s driving banker on a weave play with 5:24 left in the first half, but the Zebras did not score again for over nine minutes.
“First half was excellent,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said. “Second half, I thought we came out, and we didn’t quite have the same determination defensively, and they started to turn the corner and get into the lane and got a little rhythm with their offense. And we had a lot of looks that we just didn’t knock down. And like I told them when you’re playing against a good defensive team that’s going to have some length and pressure, you’ve got to be able to make some shots with a little bit of a bump, or you’ve got to have your feet where you’re stepping into it when the ball’s on the way, so you can get the shot off before they can close out. Those are the things we talk about in practice we’ve got to keep working on.”
But Rochester’s active 2-3 zone also slowed down Valley and drew a compliment from Luce afterwards.
“So there’s a lot of teams that play zone, and they’re bad zones,” Luce said. “Like, his zone’s good. He coaches a zone. I was impressed. I was impressed coming into the game, and playing against him, I was impressed. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s a good coach. He coaches his zone stuff. When your zone’s good, all those pieces are moving together, and you’re covering your high post, and you’re covering your short corners, so it’s hard to play against.
“I thought our zone offense was OK. I thought we got some decent looks, but our transition offense was where we were able to break the game open.”
Dylan Neese split a pair of free throws with 3:49 left, Kiser hit a 3-pointer with 2:27 left, and Johnson, who scored in double figures for just the second time in his varsity career, hit a midrange jumper in the paint off a Cooper Walls assist.
A flying finger roll from Cumberland at the first-half buzzer was disallowed after officials determined he released it after the buzzer, but Cumberland found Johnson for a layup on a pass from the high post on the opening possession of the second half, and Kiser capped the 10-0 run with a putback to make it 25-16.
Luke Hunting, whose minutes were limited due to first-half foul trouble, scored on a left baseline jumper to get Rochester within seven, but Walls answered with a corner 3, and the teams traded buckets for the rest of the quarter.
But Drew Bowers’ short jumper in the lane with 1:53 left in the third quarter turned out to be Rochester’s final points. Valley closed on a 16-0 run, which included a pair of fourth-quarter 3s from Kiser.
Kiser had the defensive matchup on Leasure for much of the night while the 6-6 Johnson guarded Aidan Smith, who is listed at 5-11.
“Defensively, I got matched up with someone who I was surprised to get matched up with, and it actually turned out well,” Johnson said. “It’s nothing different. It’s just more literally a switch of pace in the game. Guarding a big, it’s a little slower, but guarding a guard I think actually helps. It brings the energy that I need. It’s actually better for me to guard someone that’s a little quicker pace, so I get on my pace, and I think I play better when I guard better.”
Valley also won the JV game 49-37. Ian Cooksey scored a game-high 21 points, including 15 in the third quarter. Nate Parker, Trent Marshall and Blain Sheetz had eight points each, and DeOndre Hamilton and Cam Manuel had two points each.
Owen Prater led the Rochester JV with 12. Bryce Baugher had six, Grant Clark had five, Carson Paulik had five, Jonas Kiser had four, Jack Reffett had three, and Drew Bowers had two.
Valley 48, Rochester 24
VALLEY (48) (10-3, 3-1)
Cooper Walls 1 0-1 3, Tayde Kiser 5 0-0 13, Nolan Cumberland 5 0-0 11, Stephen Akase 3 0-1 6, Kyler Johnson 5 0-3 10, Riley Shepherd 2 0-0 4, Dylan Neese 0 1-2 1
TEAM: 21 1-7 48
ROCHESTER (24) (6-4, 2-1)
Paul Leasure 0 0-0 0, Aidan Smith 0 3-4 3, Brock Bowers 1 0-0 3, Tanner Reinartz 3 0-0 8, Luke Hunting 1 2-2 4, Drew Bowers 2 0-0 4, Luke Malchow 0 0-0 0, Owen Prater 0 0-0 0, Bryce Baugher 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 7 5-6 24
Three-point field goals:
Valley 5 (Kiser 3, Cumberland, Walls),
Rochester 3 (Reinartz 2, B. Bowers)
Total fouls: Valley 7, Rochester 11
Turnovers: Valley 5, Rochester 11
Score by quarters
Valley 13 8 13 14 – 48
Rochester 12 4 8 0 – 24
JV: Valley 49, Rochester 37