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  • Val T.

Rochester committed 9 turnovers in 2nd quarter, falls to ‘quick’ Triton

Prater, Bowers lead Zebras with 15 each, Reinartz adds double-double


Sports Editor, RTC

Owen Prater

BOURBON — Tanner Witt-Hoyo scored 15 points, and Gage Riffle and Julian Swanson added 12 each to lead the Class 1A, No. 8 Triton boys basketball team to a 66-56 win over visiting Rochester at the Trojan Trench Tuesday.

Owen Prater and Drew Bowers scored 15 points each, and Tanner Reinartz added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Zebras, who lost their fourth straight game and fell to 8-10.

Triton won their sixth in a row and improved to 14-4. They have also won the last four meetings against Rochester.

Rochester has not beaten Triton since Nick Allen’s 3-point buzzer beater in 2020.

Rochester cut what had been an 11-point halftime deficit down to two in the third quarter, getting within 47-45 on a

Drew Bowers

Bowers 3-pointer, but Witt-Hoyo got consecutive buckets against Rochester’s 2-3 zone on passes from Dante’ Workman from the high post.

That gave Triton a 51-45 lead going into the fourth quarter, and Riffle hit two 3-pointers from the left corner to get the lead back to nine, and Triton would build the lead to as big as 12 in the waning seconds.

Rochester led 16-11 after one quarter and led by as many as six in the second quarter.

But Triton disrupted Rochester’s offense with their defensive pressure. Dante Workman had the primary defensive assignment, and sophomore reserve Landon Patrick bothered Bowers.

Rochester committed nine turnovers in the second quarter while Triton committed none.

Triton had runs of 7-0 and 10-0, and after Witt-Hoyo had a steal and a layup, the Zebras were forced to use a timeout with 1:13 left in the half as the lead reached 34-23.

Sophomore Jonas Kiser, who had seven points off the bench, hit a 3-pointer, but Swanson scored on a drive to the rim.

Prater hit a short jumper in the lane, but reserve Caden Large drained a 3-pointer with 0.5 seconds left to get the lead back to 39-28 and complete a 28-point quarter.

Patrick and Large came up large off the bench, combining for 11 points in the quarter.

Rochester coach Rob Malchow called the second quarter a “disaster.”

“We ended up with 13 quarters at halftime, and that’s more than you want in a whole game,” Malchow said. “So the turnovers were really frustrating, just really not taking care of the basketball when we have opportunities and then let them get back and take a nice lead at halftime.”

Triton coach Jason Groves said Rochester dictated the first quarter with their defensive pressure before his team’s pressure reversed the tide in the second quarter.

“We knew that trap was going to come, and the pressure was going to come, but we didn’t think it was going to come that quick and that early and with that many subs coming in,” Groves said. “We thought that kind of confused us a little bit. … But our kids starting dee-ing up, and I think it led to some easy baskets and got their confidence up on offense. And that’s something kids can control, and I talk about controlling the controllables, and defense is one of those areas where I think when you put in the effort, you can control that because it’s a lot about effort, staying in front of your man and rotating.”

Rochester came out in a 1-2-2 press to start the second half, and Reinartz and Bowers hit treys on the first two possessions to get the lead back to five.

Riffle hit a 3, but Prater scored on a driving layup, Kiser hit from the right baseline and Prater scored on a flash in the lane as the lead was cut to 44-40.

Swanson nailed a 3 from the top of the key, but Reinartz put back his own miss, and Bowers drained his 3 to make it 47-45.

“In the second half, we definitely played hard,” Mlachow said. “I think we only had four … turnovers in the second half. And we had an opportunity. … We just didn’t convert. When you’re playing that hard and you’re trying to get back in it, that’s the hard part of getting over the hump and holding on, especially on the road. So it was disappointing, frustrating because how we started the game well.”

Witt-Hoyo eventually got the defensive assignment on Prater while Workman stayed with Reinartz. Prater scored a career-high 23 points against Wabash in his previous game.

“That tape was there for people to see what Owen can do,” Malchow said. “And they did a good job of rooting him out and forcing him away from the block a little further, so he wasn’t able to have quite the success that he did against Wabash. The thing is, if we had just taken better care of the ball in that second quarter – a couple jump stops and not assume we’re going to float the ball into people’s hands – maybe they’re up two at halftime instead of 11 or whatever it was.

“But we just couldn’t finish. And to Triton’s credit. They’re quick. They play fast, and they do a good job of finishing around the bucket and attacking the bucket. They’re well-coached, and they did a good job.”

Groves praised Workman’s defense on Reinartz.

“Dante’ did a great job, I thought on him,” Groves said. “That was definitely one of our keys. He’s a big boy to handle. He shoots the ball extremely well, and he can go inside and out. … I Dante’ is pretty physical and pretty long, so it was nice that we had a kid like Dante’, and he’s so good at being able to defend and stay out of foul trouble too. So that kind of a key with that, and we were able to keep Dante’ on him and keep some other guys on Bowers.”

Rochester prevailed in the JV game 50-45.

Triton 66, Rochester 56

ROCHESTER (56) (8-10)

Drew Bowers 6 0-0 15, Carson Paulik 1 0-0 3, Owen Prater 7 1-1 15, Tanner Reinartz 5 2-3 13, Bryce Baugher 0 0-0 0, Dylan Hook 1 1-2 3, Robert Bozzo 0 0-0 0, Jonas Kiser 3 0-1 7, Grant Clark 0 0-0 0, Jack Reffett 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 23 4-7 56

TRITON (66) (14-4)

Dante’ Workman 3 3-5 9, Julian Swanson 5 0-0 12, Gage Riffle 4 0-0 12, Jacob Pitney 2 0-2 5, Tanner Witt-Hoyo 7 1-3 15, Landon Patrick 1 6-6 8, Caden Large 1 2-2 5, Wayne Reichert 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 23 12-18 66

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 6 (Bowers 3, Reinartz, Kiser, Paulik),

Triton 8 (Riffle 4, Swanson 2, Large, Pitney)

Total fouls: Rochester 16, Triton 11

Fouled out: Prater (RHS), :1.5, fourth

Turnovers: Rochester 17, Triton 13

Score by quarters

Rochester 16 12 17 11 56

Triton 11 28 12 15 66

JV: Rochester 50, Triton 45

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