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Rochester relies on pressure defense to beat North White, win 3rd straight

Baugher, Reffett, Prater score in double figures


Sports Editor, RTC

Bryce Baugher

MONON — The Rochester boys basketball team continues to apply defensive pressure and get offensive and defensive results.

The Zebras forced 15 first-half turnovers in building a 26-point halftime lead and relied on balanced scoring in cruising to a 68-36 win over host North White Saturday.

Bryce Baugher led three Rochester players in double figures with 11 points, and sophomore reserve Jack Reffett and Owen Prater added 10 each, Jonas Kiser and Tanner Reinartz had nine each, and Drew Bowers had seven.

Dylan Hook added six off the bench, and Carson Paulik also had six.

Dane Hood, who came in averaging 16 points per game, led North White with

Jack Reffett

13. He also had a team-high six rebounds.

Rochester won their third straight game and improved to 7-6.

“We’re a different team than we were in December,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said.

North White dropped their fourth straight game and fell to 4-11.

Rochester started the second half on an 11-0 run to take a 57-20 lead, and that initiated a running clock per the IHSAA Mercy Rule. Rochester coach Rob Malchow took off the press at that point.

The lead got as high as 43 in the fourth quarter before the Vikings closed on an 11-0 run against Zebra reserves.

Much of the pressure came in the backcourt or as soon as a North White ballhandler crossed halfcourt. Rochester defenders often got in the way of skip passes or crosscourt passes, and that led to fast breaks at the other end.

“I thought the guys rotated pretty well,” Malchow said of his team’s defense. “We had a couple slow rotations when they got some wide-open 3s and knocked them down, so we talked about that at halftime. I thought in the third quarter we were a lot better rotating, but all in all, it was a game that we needed to come take care of business, and I thought the guys did a good job of that.”

Rochester scored the first six points and never trailed. Baugher lasered a pass to Prater for a back-door layup, and Prater then hit a short banker. Bowers then scored a layup in transition off a turnover.

Rochester later hit a 3 in transition to make it 12-3.

Hood put back his own miss, but Rochester then went on a 22-3 torrent that spread into the first two-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter.

That included a highlight film-worthy spinning layup from Bowers on the break as he was fouled for a 3-point play, four free throws from Hook and 3-pointers from Kiser and Reffett.

When Hook hit two free throws with 5:42 left in the half, Rochester led 34-8.

Rochester was coming off a 76-54 win over Northfield on Friday. This marks the first time since the 2010-11 season – the final season of Malchow’s first stint as coach – that Rochester has scored 68 or more points in back-to-back games.

“I thought we did OK in the sense of how we ran the plays,” Malchow said of the offensive execution against North White’s man-to-man defense in the halfcourt. “But we need to do a better job of finishing around the bucket. I felt like we had some point-blank looks that we just didn’t knock down. And you know, some of that sometimes is the second night of a back-to-back. And they even talk about that in the NBA. When you get in a back-to-back, your legs are not quite what they are on a Friday night. … But all in all, we scored 68, and that’s not bad.”

Kiser is a part of a sophomore group that combined for 25 points. Malchow said he played well in both weekend games after getting over a recent illness.

Kiser said he was 6-0 last year. He is listed at 6-2 this year and said that simply growing has helped his game. He said he has worked on “really everything” since last year. 

“I think passing and beating the press, going over the top and playing defense and rebounding, I think I did pretty good tonight,” Kiser said.

Kiser, whose cousin Jack, a linebacker on the Notre Dame football team, was in attendance Friday, also noted the impact of the pressure defense.

“I feel like it gives is more offense from our defense,” Kiser said. “Having a good defense that intimidates the other team helps too.”

Rochester also rolled to a 61-21 win in the JV game. Kiser scored 14 points, Reffett had 11, and Brady Coleman and Parker Casper had nine each to lead Rochester. Davis Renie, Conner Dunfee and Trent Meadows had four each, and Ashton Musselman and Carlos Plascencia had three each.

Rochester 68, North White 36

ROCHESTER (68) (7-6)

Drew Bowers 3 1-1 7, Owen Prater 4 2-4 10, Tanner Reinartz 4 0-0 9, Bryce Baugher 4 1-3 11, Carson Paulik 2 2-2 6, Davis Renie 0 0-0 0, Dylan Hook 1 4-5 6, Luke Malchow 0 0-0 0, Hunter Honkomp 0 0-0 0, Jonas Kiser 3 2-3 9, Jack Reffett 4 0-0 10

TEAM: 25 12-18 68

NORTH WHITE (36) (4-11)

Chris Annis 1 0-0 3, Ephraim Denton 3 0-0 8, Dane Hood 6 1-2 13, Fernando Gomez 2 1-2 7, Chandler Hood 0 1-2 1, Alex Kneadler 0 0-0 0, Braylon Sipkema 1 1-2 4

TEAM: 13 4-8 36

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 6 (Baugher 2, Reffett 2, Kiser, Reinartz),

North White 6 (Denton 2, Gomez 2, Sipkema, Annis)

Total fouls: Rochester 15, North White 18

Turnovers: Rochester 9, North White 20

Score by quarters

Rochester 21 25 17 5 68

North White 8 12 3 13 36

JV: Rochester 61, North White 21

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