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  • Val T.

North Judson holds off Rochester 4th quarter rally, wins 50-45

Bowers scores 15, Baugher adds 12 for Zebras


Sports Editor, RTC

Bryce Baugher

NORTH JUDSON — Jesiah McDaniel scored 23 points, and Quinn Bales added 11, all in the first half, to lead the North Judson boys basketball team to a 50-45 win over visiting Rochester et The Nest Friday.

The Blue Jays built a 14-point lead and held off a Rochester rally that twice cut the deficit to five in the final 30 seconds.

North Judson made all eight of its free throws, and McDaniel hit the two clinchers with 17.0 seconds left and Rochester out of timeouts to make it a three-possession game at 50-43.

Drew Bowers scored 15 points, right at his average, to lead the Zebras. Bryce Baugher added a career-high 12, all in the second half.

North Judson, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, beat Rochester for the third straight year and improved to 3-0. Rochester fell to 2-1.

“I felt like in the first quarter, we came out and got a nice little lead and were pushing the ball up the floor, and we had good rhythm offensively,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said. “Towards the end of the first and throughout the whole second quarter, we just did not play with the same energy, and we started to struggle knocking down shots, and we had some really good shots at times, and we weren’t making them, and I just think it goes back to our mental and physical effort of attacking the rim instead of settling and putting yourself in a place where you can obviously finish your shots, and we did not do that very well.”

McDaniel not only hit five 3-pointers on offense, but he also had the defensive assignment on Bowers. The muscular 6-0 McDaniel made the 5-8 Bowers’ attempts to create his shot off the bounce more difficult as the game progressed. Bowers scored all four of Rochester’s points in the second quarter, but he did not score in the third quarter.

A McDaniel 3-pointer and transition layup right after a Zebra timeout in the third quarter got the lead to 30-17.

Baugher hit two 3-pointers, and Jack Reffett also hit a trey as Rochester reduced the lead to 37-26 after three quarters.

But the Zebras also seemed to struggle to finish shots in the paint against North Judson’s man-to-man.

“We talked about that at halftime, about getting within five feet,” Malchow said. “Whether you do it via attacking the rim like Bryce was doing there in the fourth quarter or you have your back to the bucket, and we’re not very good back-to-the-bucket post players, but we can get inside the way Bryce was doing it. Again, we had some opportunities there throughout, I thought, the first three quarters, and the shots didn’t fall, and that was as much about just having some kind of attack-mode mentality that we didn’t have early.”

Rochester led 10-6 with 2:39 left in the first quarter at which point North Judson coach Kent Chezem called timeout. Judson had started with a 6-2 lead, but Rochester went on an 8-0 run after switching from a man-to-man to a 2-3 zone.

From the time of Chezem’s timeout until the end of the half, North Judson outscored Rochester 19-7.

“It’s early in the season, and they went zone, and we weren’t attacking it like we practiced, so we just needed to review some of the concepts that we want done against the zone,” Chezem said. “And our kids came up and did a little bit better, and the ball went in the basket. That was probably a bigger part of that.”

A Bales 3-pointer and two Kole Wilcox free throws gave North Judson an 11-10 lead, but Carson Paulik drilled a 3-pointer just before the first quarter buzzer to put Rochester back ahead.

Bowers answered Connor Benson’s short jumper with one of his own in the lane. Rochester was back up 15-13.

North Judson also won the JV game 45-42 in overtime. They outscored the Zebras 7-4 in the extra session.

Jack Reffett scored 12 points to lead the Zebra JV. Grant Clark and Jonas Kiser had nine points each, and Hunter Honkomp and Davis Renie had six each.

North Judson 50, Rochester 45

ROCHESTER (45) (2-1)

Drew Bowers 5 5-5 15, Carson Paulik 1 0-0 3, Tanner Reinartz 1 0-0 2, Owen Prater 4 0-0 8, Bryce Baugher 5 0-0 12, Robert Bozzo 1 0-0 2, Jack Reffett 1 0-2 3

TEAM: 18 5-7 45

NORTH JUDSON (50) (3-0)

Jesiah McDaniel 8 2-2 23, Kole Wilcox 2 4-4 8, Connor Benson 3 0-0 6, Quinn Bales 4 2-2 11, Lukas Burkett 1 0-0 2, Owen Radtke 0 0-0 0, Sam Holem 0 0-0 0, Logan Pradke 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 18 8-8 50

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 4 (Baugher 2, Paulik, Reffett),

North Judson 6 (McDaniel 5, Bales)

Total fouls: Rochester 14, North Judson 13

Turnovers: Rochester 14, North Judson 16

Score by quarters

Rochester 13 4 9 19 45

North Judson 11 14 12 13 50

JV: North Judson 45, Rochester 42 (OT)

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