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Post: Blog2_Post
  • Val T.

Prater scores 14, adds strong defense in Rochester triumph over Winamac


Sports Editor, RTC

Rochester boys basketball coach Rob Malchow gives his players homework assignments.

He tells them whom they are going to guard for their next game. Their assignment is to watch film of that player and make up their own scouting report.

Junior Owen Prater’s assignment was Winamac’s John Malchow, and he appeared to ace it.

Prater scored a game-high 14 points while holding Malchow, who came in averaging 18 points per game, scoreless in the first half.

It was enough to lead the Zebras to a wire-to-wire 44-26 win over the Warriors.

Drew Bowers added 11 points for Rochester, including seven in the fourth quarter.

Rochester beat Winamac for the sixth consecutive time. Though Winamac won a sectional game over North Miami at the RHS gym nine months ago, they have not beaten the Zebras there since 2017.

Rochester improved to 2-0. Winamac is 2-1.

“It was phenomenal,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said of Prater, whom he later called a “ball hawk.”

It also was a chapter in the Malchow family rivalry as senior Luke Malchow made his first career start and scored four points off a pair of second-half assists from Prater.

Luke Malchow filled in for Dylan Hook, who is expected to miss much of the rest of the season after tearing ligaments in his right pinkie finger. Coach Malchow said before the game that Hook’s injury, suffered in practice, will require surgery.

John Malchow led Winamac with eight points. Brendan Hines added six, and Will Malchow had five.

John and Will Malchow are brothers. Luke Malchow is their cousin. John, Will and Luke Malchow are all nephews of Rob Malchow.

“It was pretty cool, especially since I’ve been playing with them since I was a little kid,” Luke Malchow said. “It was just fun to get out here and play with them, and it was a fun experience. … It definitely brought some energy, so I’m glad.”

Said Prater: “We got in here, and I said, ‘They want to win it for them. Let’s win it for Luke and Coach.’”

Rochester led 24-9 at halftime, and Winamac never got the lead closer than 11 in the second half.

They cut the lead to 35-24 on John Malchow’s driving banker with 6:56 left.

Prater was cited for his fourth foul with 5:56 left, but coach Malchow left Prater in and instead switched from a man-to-man to a 2-3 zone defense.

Rochester responded with a 9-0 run, which included two baskets from Bowers – one on an off-balance runner in the lane as he was fouled and the other in transition as he stopped near the rim and watched a defender fly by as he stopped and laid it in.

As for the 2-3 zone, Winamac had a 6:48 scoreless drought that was not broken until Maddox Bucinski’s layup with eight seconds left.

“We deal with it too in high school,” coach Malchow said. “There’s something about getting kids to attack a zone and get into the middle and go inside out, and sometimes it takes a half a quarter to get to that point or a whole quarter. Fortunately, when we put it on them, it was in the fourth quarter, and they did not have time to figure it out.”

Meanwhile, Prater outscored the entire Winamac team 10-9 in the first half. Rochester hit five 3-pointers while Winamac hit none in the first half. Winamac also had 11 first-half turnovers.

All the while, he fought through screens to stay in front of John Malchow.

“He is an athlete,” Prater said of John Malchow. “When you say athlete, that’s him. John Malchow is just an athlete. We preached all week we’re going to shut him down – pressure, retreat, cut, contain as coach says. And that’s what we did. … I knew there was a really good possibility I could be guarding him, and I’m happy I did. I’m happy I did watch that film.”

With 3:16 left in the first half, Hines was called for a charging foul and then a technical foul for arguing after colliding with Bryce Baugher in the lane.

That gave him four fouls, and he had to sit for the remainder of the half.

Winamac coach Mike Springer was unavailable for comment after the game.

Rochester 44, Winamac 26

WINAMAC (26) (2-1)

Will Malchow 2 1-2 5, Brendan Hines 2 1-2 6, Jayse Bentle 1 1-2 3, John Malchow 3 2-3 8, Ayden Jimenez 0 0-0 0, Aiden Schoolder 1 0-0 2, Justin Potthoff 0 0-0 0, Brayden Mathias 0 0-0 0, Ethan Burgess 0 0-0 0, Maddox Bucinski 1 0-0 2, Jaybin Hines 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 10 5-9 26

ROCHESTER (44) (2-0)

Drew Bowers 4 2-5 11, Owen Prater 5 2-2 14, Luke Malchow 2 0-0 4, Tanner Reinartz 2 0-2 5, Bryce Baugher 1 0-2 3, Davis Renie 0 0-0 0, Robert Bozzo 1 0-0 2, Carson Paulik 0 1-2 1, Jonas Kiser 0 0-0 0, Grant Clark 0 0-0 0, Jack Reffett 1 1-2 4

TEAM: 16 6-15 44

Three-point field goals:

Winamac 1 (B. Hines),

Rochester 6 (Prater 2, Bowers, Reffett, Reinartz, Baugher)

Total fouls: Winamac 18, Rochester 12

Technical foul: B. Hines (WIN), 3:16, second

Turnovers: Winamac 21, Rochester 12

Score by quarters

Winamac 5 4 10 7 – 26

Rochester 15 9 9 11 – 44

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