Rochester boys celebrate seniors, beat North White
McCarter scores 20, Hughes adds 10, Reinholt hits clutch 3-pointer
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Rochester senior boys basketball player Grant McCarter was not going to start on senior day against North White Saturday afternoon.
Seniors always start on senior day as is custom at RHS, but the team has six seniors, so somebody had to be the odd man out.
The other five seniors wanted little-used senior Reece Renie to get a start, and McCarter, who has started every game this season, volunteered to come off the bench until Reinholt insisted to coach Rob Malchow that he be the one that comes off the bench.
But when it was time to come up with one of the biggest baskets of the game, Reinholt was on the floor making a big impact.
Grant McCarter hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points, and Blake Hughes added 10, but it was Reinholt who had arguably the game’s biggest basket, a 3-pointer in the third quarter, in the Zebras’ 55-39 win.
“Grant was actually going to sit and come off the bench, and I just feel more comfortable coming off the bench evaluating the team and see where I need to adjust and try and make the best plays to put us ahead,” Reinholt said.
Hunter Pogue led North White with 15 points before he fouled out with 3:10 left. Bentley Buschman added 11.
Back on the floor 18 hours after beating Northfield Friday night, Rochester completed an 8-0 January and improved to 11-1.
North White, who was playing their third game in four days, fell to 6-7.
Only Twin Lakes (38) has allowed fewer points to North White in a game than RHS. The Zebras’ 37.2 defensive average remains No. 1 in the state.
“We wanted to make sure that number 11 (Pogue) and number 20 (Buschman) weren’t getting many shots,” RHS coach Rob Malchow said. “I thought we really did a good job on 11 in the second half. … We did a lot better on him. We just knew between him and 20 that that’s 60 to 70 percent of their offense. So we did a far better job. I thought that was the turning point.”
Rochester led by as many as eight in the first half, but North White got within four at halftime when the diminutive Pogue – he’s listed at 5-8 – sunk a 3-pointer from the volleyball line at the buzzer and then got within 28-25 on two Buschman free throws and a Pogue acrobatic runner in the lane.
That’s when Quin Stesiak found an open Reinholt on the right wing, who nailed one of seven RHS 3-pointers on the day.
They proved to be Reinholt’s only points, but they triggered a 24-6 run that bled into the fourth quarter. Malchow called Reinholt “selfless” afterwards.
“I think the 3-pointer helped push us over the hump and get us going and get our feet on the ground and then take off and make the game what it was in the second half,” Reinholt said. “I was open and had my feet under me. I got the green light. So I had one last game. I might as well try it.”
A Hughes 15-footer and a McCarter 3-pointer got the lead to 36-26.
North White got within 40-31 on a Pogue trey from the left wing with 6:29 left, but McCarter hit two free throws, and Tarick McGlothin got a 3-point play on a driving banker after being freed from Pogue’s hounding defense.
Hughes scored off a Kyle Reinartz assist, Stesiak hit two free throws, and McCarter split a pair on the foul that fouled Pogue out. When McGlothin fed Hughes for another layup, the lead was up to 52-31.
Malchow said a focus in the second half offensively was using their size better.
“The first thing I said when I came in (at halftime) was us keeping the ball high and keeping separation where we’re not getting ourselves tied up with jump balls and then stealing it from us, and I thought we did better,” Malchow said.
North White coach Matt Sipkema noted the Zebras’ nice on the front line with Stesiak, Reinartz and Hughes.
“What makes it tough is not many guys are 6-4, 6-5 and 6-6 in this area, and it’s hard to get a team with three guys like that,” Sipkema said. “And they’re so strong. And one thing I enjoy watching them do is they talk really well on defense. They talk on the floor, and they just know where to be at.
“Even with that, I thought we were able to get the high post a lot and get some good looks out of it. Credit to them … but they had all the size and all the muscle, and we just wore down after awhile. This was our third game in four days, and it just wears on you after awhile.”
The Southwood-Rochester game scheduled for Thursday was postponed due to inclement weather and rescheduled for Tuesday. The “C” team game will start at 5 p.m., the JV game will follow at 6:15 p.m., and the varsity game will cap the night at 7:45 p.m. Rochester and Southwood were the two TRC teams that won their sectional last year.
The Caston-North White game scheduled for Saturday was also postponed. No makeup date has been set. The teams are sectional rivals.
In a JV game that was limited to two quarters due to North White’s lack of numbers, The Zebras edged the Vikings 14-11. Aaron Huffman and Robert Bozzo had five points each for the RHS JV, and Evan Elliott had four.
The RHS JV beat Northfield 41-22 on Friday. Brock Bowers scored 13 points, Luke Hunting had eight, Elliott and Dryden Vance had four points each, Hunter Campbell and Colton Ferverda had three points each, and Huffman, Bozzo and Kaiden Towell had two points each.
Rochester 55, North White 39
NORTH WHITE (39) (6-7)
Nate Miller 2 0-0 5, Hunter Pogue 6 0-0 15, Bentley Buschman 3 2-2 11, Brayden Buschman 0 0-0 0, Jeffery Stevens 1 1-2 3, Andrew Buswell 0 0-0 0, Isaiah Denton 0 0-0 0, Dane Hood 0 0-0 0, Dominick Hernandez 1 2-2 5, Caleb Orr 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 13 5-6 39
ROCHESTER (55) (11-1)
Grant McCarter 5 5-8 20, Quin Stesiak 2 3-4 8, Kyle Reinartz 3 1-3 7, Reece Renie 0 0-0 0, Blake Hughes 5 0-0 10, Tarick McGlothin 2 2-3 6, Aaron Huffman 0 0-0 0, Trenton Reinholt 1 0-0 3, Evan Elliott 0 0-0 0, Dryden Vance 0 0-0 0, Aidan Smith 0 1-2 1, Brock Bowers 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 18 12-20 55
Three-point field goals:
North White 8 (Pogue 3, Bentley Buschman 3, Miller, Hernandez),
Rochester 7 (McCarter 5, Stesiak, Reinholt)
Total fouls: North White 19, Rochester 11
Fouled out: Pogue (NW), 3:10, fourth
Turnovers: North White 9, Rochester 13
Score by quarters
North White 9 12 7 11 – 39
Rochester 14 11 13 17 – 55
JV: Rochester 14, North White 11