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  • Val T.

Reinartz scores 19, Bowers adds 12 for Rochester in win over Whitko

Hunting adds 9, rebounds intentionally missed free throw to preserve win


Sports Editor, RTC

SOUTH WHITLEY — Tanner Reinartz made five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 19

Tanner Reinartz

points, and Brock Bowers added 12 for the Rochester boys basketball team as they recorded a 48-45 win over host Whitko Friday.

Luke Hunting added nine points for the Zebras, but his biggest contribution might have been a rebound of Kyler Krull’s intentionally missed free throw with 3.8 seconds left and the Zebras clinging to a 47-45 lead.

Hunting then made the first free throw with 1.4 seconds left to make it 48-45 but missed the second. Jaylen Gibson rebounded the miss, but Whitko had no timeouts left, and Gibson’s 65-footer at the buzzer was no good off the backboard as time expired.

Krull, a 6-6 guard-wing who came in averaging 19 points per game, led Whitko with 22, including all seven Wildcat points in the fourth quarter. Riley Harman added a career-high 19, including four 3-pointers.

Rochester improved to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Whitko fell to 1-8, 0-3. This marked the fourth straight year that the road team has won between these teams.

“Whether it’s high school or college, conference coaches know each other best,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said. “They know how to play each other best, and they did a good job against us, but I thought in the fourth quarter, our guys really responded well and played with more urgency, played with more energy. Defensively, we did a much better job of taking care of business with number 3 (Krull), especially the last four minutes of the game.

“And we knocked down enough shots to get the win.”

Rochester scored the first eight points of the game and led 17-5 after a backcourt steal and layup from Aidan Smith off the fullcourt press in the first minute of the second quarter.

Whitko coach Chris Benedict called timeout after Smith's bucket, and the Wildcats responded with a 15-3 run to close the half.

“We started taking quick shots,” Malchow said of the second quarter troubles. “The first shot that came along, we were putting up, and we didn’t knock them down, and we weren’t taking much time off the clock, and they got a little momentum, and the next thing you know, it’s 20-20 at halftime. That was just us not being as patient as we needed to be on offense, and them finding some offense and attacking.”

Rochester played a man-to-man defense to start the second half after playing a halfcourt 2-3 zone in between pressure looks in the first half.

Krull scored on a half-hook with Rochester in a man-to-man to give Whitko their first lead at 22-20 with 6:46 left in the third quarter.

Whitko would eventually lead by four, the last time at 36-32 on a Harman driving layup.

Bowers would respond with a 3, but Whitko led 38-35 going into the fourth when Rochester would go on a 9-2 run to start the quarter.

Backup sophomore guard Drew Bowers, whom Malchow credited with providing a “spark,” hit a 17-footer, and Hunting swished a long 2-pointer with his foot on the line to put Rochester ahead for good at 39-38 with 7:20 left.

Smith hit two free throws with 6:22 left to extend the lead to three, but Krull scored on a cutting layup and was fouled with 5:48 left. He missed the free throw that could have potentially tied it, and Reinartz drained a 3-pointer from the left of the key to get the lead to four.

“We talked in the huddle – stop, score, stop right here would put us in a position to really put the game where we can control how we’re going to play the end of the game,” Benedict said. “And they went on that little run and took the lead, and then you’re playing from behind, and Rob's teams are so good with the ball. He spreads it out once they get that lead, and then they hit their free throws so well, so they’re hard to play catch-up on.”

Krull hit two free throws, but Paul Leasure dribbled towards the left baseline and passed to Smith on the wing who then passed to Reinartz, who splashed an open 3 from the top of the key to extend the lead to 47-42.

“It was good to see him find his touch,” Malchow said of Reinartz.

A Krull bucket in the post with 1:56 left cut the lead to three, and Whitko called timeout.

The Zebras then took 1:27 off the clock on the ensuing possession, but it ended with a turnover.

Benedict called timeout with 16.8 seconds left, and backup big man Brent Bowers missed a 3-pointer. Harman got the offensive rebound, and Benedict used Whitko’s final timeout as Harman was juggling the ball and falling to the ground with 8.5 seconds left.

Hunting fouled Krull with 3.8 seconds left. Krull made the first free throw, and Rochester called timeout expecting Krull to miss on purpose.

“It’s pretty nice to come out here and get a win because I feel like we needed this as a team,” Brock Bowers said. “Very talkative, lots of energy.”

Rochester also won the JV game 47-31. Carson Paulik scored 12 points, and Jonas Kiser and Davis Renie had eight each to lead Rochester. Hunter Honkomp had six, Drew Bowers had five, Grant Clark had four, and Luke Malchow and Bryce Baugher had two each.

Rochester 48, Whitko 45

ROCHESTER (48) (5-3, 2-0)

Paul Leasure 0 0-0 0, Aidan Smith 1 2-2 4, Brock Bowers 5 0-0 12, Tanner Reinartz 7 0-0 19, Luke Hunting 3 3-5 9, Drew Bowers 2 0-0 4, Ethan Medina 0 0-0 0, Owen Prater 0 0-0 0, Bryce Baugher 0 0-0 0, Xavier Vance 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 18 5-7 48

WHITKO (45) (1-8, 0-3)

Jaylen Gibson 0 0-0 0, Kyler Krull 8 5-11 22, Easton Grable 0 0-0 0, David Ousley 0 0-0 0, Riley Harman 6 3-4 19, Logan Hoffman 0 0-0 0, Brent Bowers 2 0-0 4

TEAM: 16 8-15 45

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 7 (Reinartz 5, B. Bowers 2),

Whitko 5 (Harman 4, Krull)

Total fouls: Rochester 14, Whitko 10

Turnovers: Rochester 7, Whitko 10

Score by quarters

Rochester 13 7 15 13 – 48

Whitko 5 15 18 7 – 45

JV: Rochester 47, Whitko 31

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