- Val T.
Rochester falls to high-scoring Maconaquah, finishes regular season 11-9
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
BUNKER HILL — Bauer Maple scored 33 points, and Josiah Ball added 20, and the Maconaquah boys basketball team routed visiting Rochester 80-31 Friday in the regular season finale for both teams.
Paul Leasure scored seven of his team-high nine points in the first quarter for Rochester, who fell to 11-9 and finished Three Rivers Conference play 5-4.
Sophomore reserve Drew Bowers had seven off the bench, all in the fourth quarter.
Rochester sophomore Owen Prater missed the game due to illness, and Luke Hunting left after a hard fall in the third quarter. Coach Rob Malchow said that Hunting was undercut in a postgame interview. Hunting was seen walking under his own power after the game.
“It was rough,” Malchow said. “There is no other way to say it. The first quarter was good, but the second and third quarters were rough. And the last quarter, we just finished.”
A.J. Kelly also totaled 12 points for Maconaquah, who improved to 15-7 and finished in a tie for third in the TRC at 6-3.
Tippecanoe Valley, who went 8-1 in league play, clinched the TRC title last week.
Already leading 10-8 after one quarter, Maconaquah started the second quarter on a 10-0 run. They went on another 24-0 run covering the second and third quarters to get the game to a running clock at 49-14 with just over four minutes left in the third quarter.
One game after Maconaquah scored a season-low 52 points in a loss to Culver Academy, they allowed a season-low in points to the Zebras.
Six opponents had scored 70 or more points against Maconaquah, but the Braves’ defense held Rochester to 29 percent shooting and forced 26 turnovers.
Maconaquah relies on a trapping zone defense in which guards Maple and Kelly hound ballhandlers who give up their dribble.
If they can force turnovers, that creates scoring opportunities in the fast break for players like Maple, who can both shoot the 3 and is also quick to the basket off the drive, and Ball, an athletic 6-5 wing forward.
“They’re quick, fast and long and aggressive,” Malchow said. “That’s the end of the story.”
First-year Maconaquah coach John Burrus said that he was concerned about Rochester’s 3-point shooting after the Zebras edged Peru last week. Aidan Smith, Brock Bowers and Hunting combined for six 3-pointers and 37 points last week. This time, none of them made a 3, and they combined for three points.
“I thought we were good in the fullcourt and the halfcourt,” Burrus said. “Rochester’s a team where if they get comfortable shooting the 3, it will open up other parts of the game. So we chose to chase them off the line as much as we could. Leasure got off to a good start though, but they went to a point where they really struggled to score. It’s a real credit to these guys just being active on defense and making them take tough shots, and then we got out in transition, and you got to see Bauer Maple tonight. He’s pretty special.”
Xavier Vance scored four points off the bench filling in for Hunting, and Hunter Honkomp scored his first varsity basket in the fourth quarter.
“There’s no doubt,” Malchow said. “It’s always good to get those kids some time in a game. … Hunter has really worked hard this year, and to be able to dress tonight and get some time was neat to see.”
Maconaquah 80, Rochester 31
ROCHESTER (31) (11-9, 5-4)
Paul Leasure 4 0-0 9, Aidan Smith 0 0-0 0, Brock Bowers 1 0-0 2, Tanner Reinartz 1 1-2 4, Luke Hunting 0 1-4 1, Hunter Honkomp 1 0-0 2, Drew Bowers 3 0-0 7, Ethan Medina 0 0-0 0, Luke Malchow 0 0-0 0, Bryce Baugher 1 0-1 2, Davis Renie 0 0-0 0, Xavier Vance 1 2-2 4
TEAM: 12 4-9 31
MACONAQUAH (80) (15-7, 6-3)
Bauer Maple 13 3-5 33, A.J. Kelly 5 1-2 12, Jackson Collins 1 0-0 2, Josiah Ball 6 6-7 20, Trace Armstrong 1 0-0 2, Braxton Birner 1 0-0 2, Ethan Zeiser 0 1-2 1, Fuddy Kile 2 0-0 5, M.J. Ellis 0 0-0 0, Kaden Miller 1 0-0 3, Oakley Reeser 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 30 11-16 80
Three-point field goals:
Rochester 3 (Leasure, D. Bowers, Reinartz),
Maconaquah 9 (Maple 4, Ball 2, Kelly, Kile, Miller)
Total fouls: Rochester 16, Maconaquah 13
Turnovers: Rochester 26, Maconaquah 7
Score by quarters
Rochester 8 6 6 11 – 31
Maconaquah 10 26 26 18 – 80