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  • Val T.

Triton’s box-in-one in 3rd quarter leads to win over Rochester

Bozzo leads Zebras with 9 off bench


Sports Editor, RTC

BOURBON — Tyson Yates scored 14 points, including a highlight-film caliber bucket to close out the third quarter, and Caden Graham added 12 off the bench to lead the Class 1A, No. 10 Triton boys basketball team past visiting Rochester 55-43 at the Trojan Trench Tuesday.

Sophomore reserve Robert Bozzo hit three 3-pointers and led the Zebras with nine points. Paul Leasure added seven, but he didn’t score in the second half after Triton went to a box-in-one defense designed to stop him.

Rochester closed the first half to cut what had been a 10-point deficit down to 31-29, but Triton outscored the Zebras 19-3 in the third quarter. Rochester had a scoring drought of 5:41 in the second half that Luke Hunting broke when he hit two free throws with 6:42 left, but by then, Rochester trailed 52-34.

Triton won their third straight game and improved to 14-5. Rochester had their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 9-9.

Yates had eight points in the third quarter. He hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline in transition to make it 36-29. He later hit a fading jumper from the left baseline and later had a steal and went behind his back on the move for a sweet lefty finish to make it 50-32.

Rochester’s only points in the third quarter came on a Bozzo 3-pointer from the right corner with 4:23 left. The Zebras had seven turnovers in the quarter as Triton faced up on Leasure and limited his touches while the other defenders played a zone.

“We just didn’t do a very good job,” Malchow said of handling the box-in-one. “We called a couple timeouts, but we didn’t respond very well to it. … They’ve got six seniors, and they’re very athletic, and they’re very high-IQ players.”

Triton coach Jason Groves said that his team was giving up too many open looks in their man-to-man in the first half.

“To be honest, we had a hard time guarding them in our man-to-man,” Groves said. “They spread you out, and I knew that was the case. They’ve been playing really well offensively, scoring a lot of points. And they’re hard to guard. They get to the basket. They understand the offense. They know where to make the pass, and we weren’t rotating very well in it, weren’t containing them. And I thought this would take away Leasure from the perimeter and still be able contain the other guys’ penetration and contest the other guys’ shooting, and that’s exactly what we did.”

Graham hit two 3-pointers and scored eight for Triton as they took a 21-15 lead after one quarter.

The lead reached 31-21 after a Yates steal and layup, but a Xavier Vance 3-point play, three Bowers free throws after being fouled in the act of shooting beyond the arc and a Hunting putback at the buzzer after his first try at the rim was blocked cut the lead to two.

This starts a week of three road games in five days for Rochester. They travel to Class 3A, No. 6 Peru on Friday and to reigning Class 1A regional champion Southwood on Saturday.

“This was a blessing in disguise, I think,” Malchow said. “Because this is on video, and this is the second time a team has boxed or tried to face-guard Paul. So we’ve got to figure out how to help the kids handle that better. Because we don’t want to get knocked out in the sectional because of that type of defense. So this was maybe a wake-up call for us.”

Rochester won the JV game 42-40 behind Hunter Campbell’s 16 points. Dylan Hook, Owen Prater and Bryce Baugher had five points each, and Luke Malchow, Drew Bowers and Colton Ferverda had three points each. Thatcher Sampsel had two.

Zebra notes

  • Rochester had won their previous three meetings against Triton, including their last two road games against Triton. They won 39-38 on Nick Allen’s 3-pointer at the buzzer in 2020, and they won 54-41 in 2018 in a game that had to be moved to Plymouth due to the Triton court needing repairs. This was the first meeting of the teams since that 2020 game. Last year’s game was canceled.

Triton 55, Rochester 43

ROCHESTER (43) (9-9)

Tarick McGlothin 2 0-0 4, Paul Leasure 3 0-0 7, Brock Bowers 1 3-3 5, Tanner Reinartz 0 0-0 0, Luke Hunting 1 4-4 6, Owen Prater 0 0-0 0, Dylan Hook 0 0-0 0, Evan Elliott 2 0-0 4, Aaron Huffman 0 0-0 0, Robert Bozzo 3 0-0 9, Ethan Medina 1 0-0 3, Xavier Vance 2 1-1 5

TEAM: 15 8-8 43

TRITON (55) (14-5)

Cole McKinney 3 2-2 8, Ashton Oviedo 2 1-2 5, Tyson Yates 5 3-6 14, Cole Shively 3 2-4 8, Bruce Johnson 2 1-2 5, Chandler Westafer 1 0-0 2, Caden Graham 3 4-4 12, Dante Workman 0 1-2 1, Evan Briles 0 0-2 0, Connor Large 0 0-0 0, Jacob Pitney 0 0-0 0

TEAM: 19 14-24 55

Three-point field goals:

Rochester 5 (Bozzo 3, Leasure, Medina),

Triton 3 (Graham 2, Yates)

Total fouls: Rochester 16, Triton 11

Turnovers: Rochester 21, Triton 8

Score by quarters

Rochester 15 14 3 11 – 43

Triton 21 10 19 5 – 55

JV: Rochester 42, Triton 40

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