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  • Val T.

Sweet scores 9, but Lewis Cass eliminates Pioneer

Winamac pulls away in 2nd quarter, beats NM behind J. Malchow, Bentle


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Caleb Sweet

Tyson Good scored 18 points to lead three players in double figures, and L.J. Hillis scored eight points as part of a game-opening 11-0 run as the Lewis Cass boys basketball team topped Pioneer 65-29 in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinal at Rochester Tuesday.

Luke Chambers added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Kings, who improved to 16-7 and will play Rochester in a semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Hillis finished with 10.

Caleb Sweet led Pioneer with nine points. Noah Miller added six. Drew McKaig, who came in averaging 16 points per game, was held to five, but he did lead the Panthers with seven rebounds.

“I think they stepped up their intensity too,” Pioneer coach Darren McKaig said when asked about the impact of Lewis Cass’ size advantage. “And really just started us man-to-man and basically said, ‘We’re more athletic than you, and we’re taller than you, and we’ll just guard you man-to-man,’ and we couldn’t really do much against it.”

Pioneer finished 5-19. They lost to Lewis Cass for the seventh consecutive time. Pioneer has not won a sectional since 2013.

The final 1:09 was played with a running clock, per the IHSAA Basketball Mercy Rule.

Hillis scored the game’s first points on a layup, and then he swished two 3-pointers from the left corner. A Good 3-pointer made it 11-0.

McKaig scored on a runner in the lane, and Lucas Perry knocked in a 3 from the left wing to make it 11-5, but Haden McClain answered with a 3-pointer.

Lewis Cass then had a five-point possession with 1:40 to go in the quarter: Keaton Lewellen drove the left baseline for a bucket and a foul. He missed the free throw, but Chambers rebounded and scored on a putback and was fouled and then added a free throw to make it 19-5.

Two Noah Miller treys kets the Panther deficit at 21-11 going into the second quarter, but Good went on a personal 8-0 run to start the second quarter that included two triples and nifty drive to the bucket and left finish.

That made it 29-11, and Pioneer never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.

The game featured contrasting defenses. Lewis Cass played a man-to-man with McClain getting the primary responsibility on McKaig. Meanwhile, Pioneer played a matchup zone on Lewis Cass.

“We had to kind of double-team Good or have two or three eyes on Good and Chambers at all times, and we were just going to try to recover in those other guys, and it just kind of backfired on us,” coach McKaig said. “Once you get down like that, sometimes it’s just hard to recover.”

Sweet, Gage Harper and Andrew Helton all graduate.

This marked Pioneer’s first year in Class 2A. In the history of class basketball, Pioneer had always been in Class 1A prior to this year.

“I made a comment earlier today about what a year to go 2A and draw Lewis Cass,” coach McKaig said. “They’re going to graduate all these big guys this year, and we kind of got stuck in a storm against them tonight. There’s going to be tough teams in that sectional. I think basketball is going to improve at Pioneer. We’ve got a pretty good eighth grade and seventh grade class and a good fifth grade class. And I think we’ll be able to compete better.

“Also, our enrollment is right there on the edge. This is a two-year thing, and we don’t know if we’ll go back down or stay, so we’ll see.”

Lewis Cass 65, Pioneer 29

PIONEER (29) (5-19)

Brayden Erickson 0 0-0 0, Drew McKaig 2 0-0 5, Rylahn Toloza 0 0-0 0, Gage Harper 2 0-0 4, Caleb Sweet 3 2-3 9, Noah Miller 2 0-0 6, Ryan Looker 0 0-0 0, Andrew Helton 0 0-0 0, Micah Rans 0 0-0 0, Lucas Perry 1 2-2 5

TEAM: 10 4-5 29

LEWIS CASS (65) (16-7)

Haden McClain 2 0-0 5, Tyson Good 7 0-1 18, Trey Johnson 1 0-0 2, L.J. Hillis 4 0-0 10, Luke Chambers 6 2-2 14, Wyatt Loos 0 0-0 0, Brennan Deeter 0 0-0 0, Brody Hillis 1 2-2 4, Owen Lowe 2 0-0 5, Keaton Lewellen 3 1-3 7, Wade Tocco 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 26 5-8 65

Three-point field goals:

Pioneer 5 (Miller 2, Sweet, McKaig, Perry),

Lewis Cass 8 (Good 4, L.J. Hillis 2, McClain, Lowe)

Total fouls: Pioneer 11, Lewis Cass 6

Turnovers: Pioneer 12, Lewis Cass 10

Score by quarters

Pioneer 11 8 8 2 – 29

Lewis Cass 21 16 19 9 – 65



Winamac 66, North Miami 48

John Malchow scored a game-high 23 points, and Jayse Bentle scored 10 of his 14 in the second half to lead Winamac in a Class 2A, Sectional 36 quarterfinal at Rochester Tuesday.

Winamac improved to 9-15 and earned a meeting with Wabash, who received a bye, in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday. Senior floor general Michael Loehmer added nine points, and Hines chipped in with eight.

North Miami lost their 22nd straight game and finished 1-22. They have not won a sectional game or sectional title since 2011.

Winamac went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter to establish a 29-15 lead with 4:36 left in the first half on a left baseline jumper from Will Malchow.

After falling behind by 17 on two occasions in the third quarter, North Miami pecked away at the lead and got it within single digits at 53-44 on an up-and-under move off one foot from Landen Hunt in the lane with 5:17 left.

On the ensuing possession, Brendan Hines missed a 3, but John Malchow ran down the offensive rebound and stepped behind the arc and nailed his own 3-point try to get the lead back to 12. A driving layup from Hines made it 58-44.

A Ray Pickett steal and a pullup banker for North Miami made it 58-46.

A Hunt steal and layup made it 58-48, but Winamac finished on an 8-0 run, which included two Bentle buckets.

Hunt, a senior point guard, led North Miami with 17. Jake Riley added 14, and Brayden Binnion scored 13 in his final prep game.

Winamac 66, North Miami 48

WINAMAC (66) (9-15)

Brendan Hines 3 0-0 8, Michael Loehmer 4 0-0 9, John Malchow 8 5-6 23, Jayse Bentle 6 2-2 14, Sawyer DePoy 1 0-0 2, Chase Keller 1 0-0 2, Maddox Bucinski 0 0-0 0, Gavin Taylor 0 0-0 0, Evan Eaton 1 0-0 2, Will Malchow 2 2-2 6, Ethan Burgess 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 26 9-10 66

NORTH MIAMI (48) (1-22)

Jake Riley 7 0-0 14, Landen Hunt 7 3-4 17, Ray Pickett 1 0-0 2, Drew Wright 0 0-0 0, Brayden Binnion 5 1-4 13, Dolan Blakely 0 0-0 0, Braxtyn Rader 0 0-0 0, Lake Musall 0 0-0 0, Bryce Gosnell 0 0-0 0, Isaac Floyd 1 0-0 2, Kale Deardorff 0 0-0 0, Ryan Smith 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 21 4-8 48

Three-point field goals:

Winamac 5 (J. Malchow 2, Hines 2, Loehmer),

North Miami 2 (Binnion 2)

Total fouls: Winamac 8, North Miami 10

Score by quarters

Winamac 19 13 17 17 – 66

North Miami 13 8 15 12 – 48




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