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  • Val T.

Leasure’s clutch 4th quarter helps Rochester top Garrett in consolation game

Woodlan big man Reidy dominates in win over Zebras in first round


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

SYRACUSE — The Rochester boys basketball team went 1-1 at the Wawasee Holiday Invitational at the Hardwood Teepee Wednesday and now stands at 4-4 on the season.

The Zebras began the day with a 61-34 loss to Woodlan in the first round before bouncing back to beat Garrett 46-40 in the third-place game.

Third place: Rochester 46, Garrett 40

Paul Leasure scored six of his game-high 13 points during a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter as the Zebras pulled out a win.

Tarick McGlothin added 12 points, and Luke Hunting had nine points and 12 rebounds. Hunting had nine rebounds in the second half alone.

The second half featured nine lead changes, including Leasure’s driving banker at the third-quarter buzzer that gave Rochester a 30-29 lead. The last one came when Leasure hit a right baseline fall-away jumper to give the Zebras a 37-36 lead with 5:18 left.

On the ensuing possession, Leasure couldn’t find an opponent teammate, so he dribbled to his spot along the right baseline and poured in another midrange jumper.

A Hunting free throw with 3:31 left got the lead to four. Two Leasure free throws with 2:51 left made it 42-36, and Aaron Huffman hit two from the line with 1:02 left to push the lead to eight.

Rochester went 8 for 10 from the line in the fourth quarter and outscored Garrett 12-4 from the line for the game.

Defensively, Rochester switched from a 2-3 zone to a 3-2 zone after coach Rob Malchow called timeout with 3:31 left before Hunting’s free throws. Huffman, McGlothin and Leasure formed the front wall of the zone.

It was a satisfying conclusion to a day after a 27-point loss to Woodlan in which Malchow said the Zebras “laid an egg.”

“We went to the 3-2 instead of the 2-3 because they did a good job at halftime of realizing they needed to get inside and finish inside, whereas they were trying to get inside and kick it all the time,” Malchow said. “They made an adjustment. We tried to play man-to-man late in the third quarter, and that didn’t work as well. In the fourth quarter, we just thought let’s try some ‘three,’ and that kinda mixed them up a little bit because then you’ve got three perimeter guys instead of two you’re trying to get through. And that little glitch got them enough to help us.”

Hunting did not score at all in the loss to Woodlan earlier in the day, but he had five points and nine rebounds in the second half alone. Hunting said he grew five inches since the end of last season.

Now standing 6-2, Hunting has not only had to adjust to the difference in speed from JV to varsity, but he’s also had to adapt to his seemingly new body.

A guard and wing on the JV, he is essentially the closest thing the Zebras have to a starting center. And with Aidan Smith (illness) and Xavier Vance (ankle) both out Wednesday, his rebounding was needed.

“I’ve obviously grown a lot in the offseason, and that helped,” Hunting said. “Going from a guard playing JV to a post in varsity, the game’s completely different. It’s tough to adjust, but I think I’m finally getting in that position where I’m doing well, I guess. … You’ve got to figure out your role. That’s the biggest part in my opinion.”

Said Malchow: “His transition from being kind of a perimeter wing guy as a freshman JV player and now without ‘X’ today … and Aidan being out – he was our leading rebounder – we needed someone to step up, and obviously, Luke did, and it was awesome.”

Tyler Gater hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points for Garrett, who fell to 2-8. Drayton Myers came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers and score nine, all in the second quarter.

Jasen Bailey, who had four previous double-figure scoring games this season, did not play.

In the championship game, Woodlan beat Wawasee 63-57 in overtime to win the title. Woodlan came into the tournament on a five-game losing streak.

First round: Woodlan 61, Rochester 34

Joe Reidy scored 28 points and hauled down 12 rebounds to lead the Woodlan past Rochester in a first-round game.

Leasure scored 16 points, but Rochester’s entire starting frontcourt – Hunting, Tanner Reinartz and Robert Bozzo – were all held scoreless.

Leasure suffered a left knee injury against North Miami in Rochester’s previous game, but he was back, and Malchow said that Leasure did not complain of any knee pain in practice leading up to this game.

Meanwhile, the Zebras tried mixing in a halfcourt trap defense to force the issue after falling behind 23-10 at halftime, but they only forced 10 turnovers.

“We were holding our own defensively in the first half, and then in the second half, we were trying to create some offense, so we went to halfcourt traps,” Malchow said. “And I was afraid what could happen, and it did happen: When you do that, they’re long enough, and they exposed some holes, and they got layups. … It’s something you want to use once in awhile to catch a team off guard, but we were trying to create some offense for ourselves, and we did shoot a little better and got a little more energy on offense, but it wasn’t a good trade-off for sure.”

Reidy has what could be described as a unique skill set for a high school player standing 6-7: Able to handle the ball comfortably, shoot the 3-pointer, drive to the basket and score in the post, he was able to score over, around and through Rochester.

He has already set Woodlan’s all-time scoring and rebounding records – the previous record-setting scorer was Lloy Ball, who is most famous for winning an Olympic gold medal in volleyball in 2008 – and has a minimum of 11 more games to add to his records.

Woodlan placed him in the short corner of the court against Rochester’s 2-3 zone, and he was able to attack from there.

Smith is Rochester’s leading rebounder, and the 6-5 Vance is Rochester’s tallest player. It was not ideal not having them on the floor against Woodlan’s big man.

“He’s a good player,” Malchow said. “We missed ‘X’ a little bit in that situation, just having a bigger body down there to help when he would get some rebound putbacks. But to his credit, he handled the ball well, and he handles his body as far as how he’s got good body control when he attacks the bucket. He’s a good player. He was obviously at times more than we could handle.”

Woodlan went on a 14-0 run covering the first and second quarters to build an 18-4 lead. They went on another 12-2 run to start the second half and expand the lead to 35-12.

Stopping the guard tandem of Leasure and McGlothin was a priority for Woodlan.

“I feel like in scouting them, Rochester runs as those two guys run – McGlothin and Leasure,” Woodlan coach John Baker said. “I think they’re both so good that it’s hard to keep both of them. … They’re not true point guards, but they find ways to score off the dribble. That’s tough to guard. That midrange game off the dribble is tough, and Leasure hit some really tough shots. He’s a heck of a player, and we just wanted to make sure those guys were working for everything and make sure those shots they were taking were contested, and I feel like for the most part, we did a pretty good job of that.”

In the other first-round game, Wawasee defeated Garrett 56-38.

Third-place game: Rochester 46, Garrett 40

GARRETT (40) (2-8)

Tyler Gater 4 0-0 11, Luke Coffman 0 4-4 4, Christian Hess 0 0-0 0, Kyle Smith 2 0-0 4, Jaxson Fugate 3 0-0 6, Drayton Myers 3 0-0 9, Konner DeWitt 3 0-0 6

TEAM: 15 4-4 40

ROCHESTER (46) (4-4)

Tarick McGlothin 4 3-3 12, Paul Leasure 5 2-2 13, Tanner Reinartz 0 2-4 2, Luke Hunting 3 3-5 9, Robert Bozzo 2 0-0 5, Hunter Campbell 0 0-0 0, Brock Bowers 0 0-0 0, Aaron Huffman 1 2-2 5

TEAM: 15 12-16 46

Three-point field goals:

Garrett 6 (Gater 3, Myers 3),

Rochester 4 (Leasure, McGlothin, Bozzo, Hoffman)

Total fouls: Garrett 12, Rochester 5

Technical foul: Smith (GARR), :2.8, first

Turnovers: Garrett 15, Rochester 15

Score by quarters

Garrett 6 13 10 11 – 40

Rochester 11 10 9 16 – 46

First round: Woodlan 61, Rochester 34

ROCHESTER (34) (3-4)

Tarick McGlothin 2 0-0 5, Paul Leasure 7 0-0 16, Tanner Reinartz 0 0-0 0, Luke Hunting 0 0-0 0, Robert Bozzo 0 0-0 0, Hunter Campbell 2 1-2 5, Brock Bowers 1 0-0 2, Aaron Huffman 0 0-0 0, Evan Elliott 3 0-0 6

TEAM: 15 1-2 34

WOODLAN (61) (5-6)

Dawson Lichty 2 0-0 4, Alex Miller 1 0-0 2, Braden Smith 2 0-0 6, DeJay Gerig 1 0-0 2, Joe Reidy 10 7-9 28, Lincoln Sparks 0 0-0 0, Luke Fox 0 0-0 0, Dakota Sparks 4 0-0 9, Trey Yoder 3 0-3 6, Drew Fleek 2 0-0 4

TEAM: 25 7-12 61

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 3 (Leasure 2, McGlothin),

Woodlan 4 (Smith 2, Reidy, D. Sparks)

Total fouls: Rochester 10, Woodlan 6

Turnovers: Rochester 10, Woodlan 10

Score by quarters

Rochester 4 6 12 12 – 34

Woodlan 11 12 19 19 – 61


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