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  • Val T.

Prater’s 17, including go-ahead bucket in 4th, keys Zebra win over Southwood

Reinartz, Paulik, Bowers also score in double figures


Sports Editor, RTC

Owen Prater

WABASH — Owen Prater scored 17 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:47 left, to lead four players in double figures as the Rochester boys basketball team beat host Southwood 62-59 Thursday.

Tanner Reinartz added 13 points, Carson Paulik had 11, and Drew Bowers had 10 for Rochester, who won their fourth straight game and improved to 8-6 overall and 4-1 in the Three Rivers Conference.

Trailing by as many as seven points in the third quarter, they also ended a two-year losing streak to Southwood, and they beat Southwood at The Castle for just the third time in the last 20 years.

Bryce Wilcox, a 6-6 forward-center, led Southwood (4-11, 1-6 TRC) with 30 points, 12 rebounds and six blocked

Tanner Reinartz

shots. He scored 11 of his team’s 16 points in the fourth quarter. Fellow sophomore Maddox Marshall added 14, and Will Winer had 13.

But Winer, a senior and Southwood’s most experienced returnee from last year’s Class 1A state runner-up team, fouled out with 4:43 left and the game tied.

Bryce Baugher, who scored all eight of his points in the second half, was fouled with 7.0 seconds left and Rochester up 61-59.

Baugher missed the first free throw but made the second. Southwood had no timeouts left, and Rochester elected not to foul.

Jaret Denney advanced the ball from the left sideline into the frontcourt and fed Dalton Barney, whose turnaround 3-point heave at the buzzer was short of the rim and off to the left.

“They’re well-coached, and their defense is hard to play against,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said. “I thought we did a pretty good job. But on the other side, it’s always hard when you go on the road on a Thursday night an hour away to play a game. That’s a mental toughness piece, and we struggled through it. I called a couple timeouts, and my timeouts weren’t as much strategy as they were about mental toughness and doing things right so that we could separate and find a way to execute some of our stuff to finish. We figured it out just enough.”

Marshall’s 3-pointer with 2:52 on Southwood’s first possession after a timeout gave Southwood a 53-52 lead, but Reinartz answered with his third 3 to put Rochester back ahead.

Rochester went to a 2-3 zone, and Wilcox cut behind it for a layup that tied it.

But Rochester responded again as Reinartz fed Prater, who banked home a floater in the paint to put Rochester ahead for good at 57-55.

Marshall missed, and Baugher dropped in two free throws with 53.4 seconds left.

Wilcox missed a 3, and Reinartz rebounded and was fouled by Griffin Chambers with 26.4 seconds left.

Reinartz split a pair to increase the lead to give.

Marshall hit a pullup 15-footer, and Southwood called timeout.

Prater split a pair from the line with 17.5 seconds left, but Wilcox again cut to the hoop for a layup to make it 61-59.

Southwood used their final timeout with 7.7 seconds left and quickly fouled Baugher on the ensuing inbounds pass.

Rochester trailed 41-34 with 2:29 left in the third quarter when Malchow called timeout shortly after a Bo Liddick uncontested layup on a fast break.

He inserted Bowers after a brief rest when play resumed, and Bowers hit a 3 to kickstart a 14-2 run that bled into the fourth quarter.

Paulik hit 3-pointers from the right corner on back-to-back possessions, including one with five seconds left in the quarter to give the Zebras a 45-43 lead.

Malchow said that Paulik had spent extra time at practice working on his outside shot.

“I think it started our momentum to win the ballgame,” Paulik said.

Rochester made six 3-pointers in the third quarter.

“Defensively, we had a good game, but the third quarter killed us, absolutely killed us,” Southwood coach Christian Perry said. “We gave up 23 points in the first half, and we gave up 22 in the third quarter. And they hit six 3s there in that third, and we just didn’t get out to them.”

Another 3 from Reinartz with 7:33 left in the game, which was set up by a Prater steal of Wilcox as he tried to make an outlet pass after a defensive board, made it 48-43.

Southwood would scramble back into it and tie it at 50 on a Wilcox power layup, but when Bowers tried to go up at the other end, Winer committed his fifth foul and his night was over.

Bowers sunk two free throws to give Rochester a 52-50 lead.

Rochester senior Dylan Hook missed the game due to illness, and Grant Clark was out with a concussion, according to Malchow.

Rochester led 23-16 at one point in the second quarter, but Wilcox and Winer combined to go on a 12-0 run to close the half and give the Knights a five-point halftime lead.

“My challenge at halftime was that we had to play with more energy,” Malchow said. “That last three minutes of the second quarter, everything was slow. I told them, ‘We’ve got to get going. It’s like we’re still on the bus.’”

Said Paulik: “It feels amazing. We came out in the second half more energetic, more excited, and we started knocking down shots.”

Rochester also won the JV game 40-37.

Rochester 62, Southwood 59

ROCHESTER (62) (8-6, 4-1)

Drew Bowers 3 2-2 10, Owen Prater 7 3-4 17, Carson Paulik 3 2-2 11, Tanner Reinartz 4 2-3 13, Bryce Baugher 2 3-4 8, Robert Bozzo 1 0-0 3, Jonas Kiser 0 0-0 0, Jack Reffett 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 20 12-15 62

SOUTHWOOD (59) (4-11, 1-6)

Maddox Marshall 6 1-4 14, Will Winer 6 1-2 13, Jaret Denney 0 0-0 0, Dalton Barney 0 0-0 0, Bryce Wilcox 12 5-7 30, Caleb Wyatt 0 0-0 0, Griffin Chambers 0 0-0 0, Bo Liddick 1 0-2 2, Randy Boone 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 25 7-14 59

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 10 (Reinartz 3, Paulik 3, Bowers 2, Baugher, Bozzo),

Southwood 2 (Wilcox, Marshall)

Total fouls: Rochester 11, Southwood 16

Fouled out: Winer (SW), 4:43, fourth

Turnovers: Rochester 17, Southwood 14

Score by quarters

Rochester 10 13 22 17 62

Southwood 10 18 15 16 59

JV: Rochester 40, Southwood 37

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