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  • Val T.

‘We ran out of gas:’ In first game in 15 days, Zebras fall to Manchester

Bowers, Reinartz, Paulik all reach double figures, but Betten’s 2 dunks highlights game-high 28


BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC


Tanner Reinartz

The Manchester boys basketball “grinds” on you with their pressure defense, relentless rebounding and overall physicality, according to Rochester coach Rob Malchow.

And what started as an eight-point lead in a battle of the final unbeatens in the Three Rivers Conference eventually turned into a 76-55 loss to the Squires once the needle .

Gavin Betten, a 6-6 center, hit three 3-pointers and led Manchester with 28 points, and Ethan Hendrix and Gavin Martin added 16 points each.

Rochester’s Drew Bowers scored a team-high 16. Tanner Reinartz added 13, and Carson Paulik had a career-high 12, including seven in the fourth quarter after Manchester had built a 27-point lead.

Manchester improved to 12-2 overall and 5-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Rochester fell to 4-6, 2-1.

Due to weather-related postponements, Rochester was playing for the first time in 15 days. Practices during that time also had been rare.

Both teams pressed at the outset, and it resembled a chaotic, fullcourt track meet.

Rochester finished with 26 turnovers.

“We ran out of gas,” Malchow said. “That five days – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday last week – that’s tough on the conditioning, but now we have to turn around and play tomorrow. That’s going to be a challenge, but there was a lot of things that I saw that I liked about the way we played tonight  physically. Because you got to play big boy basketball, and that means you got to know how to take a hit and still have the ball secure to make the pass or to make the next play.”

The key sequence might have been a 13-second span in the third quarter when Martin drove along the left baseline for a layup to give the Squires a 36-34 lead, countering right back after a Bryce Baugher layup off a Paulik assist tied it. Then Rochester’s Owen Prater committed his fourth foul vying for an offensive rebound with 6:05 left.

Prater had to sit for the rest of the quarter, and Manchester outscored Rochester 16-7 with Prater on the bench.

Reinartz’s acrobatic putback as he was fouled and subsequent free throw resulted in a 3-point play to get the Zebras back within 52-44 18 seconds into the fourth quarter, but Manchester delivered a 16-0 haymaker with help from three Hendrix drives for buckets, a Betten power layup, a Betten free throw, two Betten dunks on the break and a Betten 3 from the top of the key that pushed the lead to 24.

“They played hard, and they took away what we like to do, and they made us work to even get a good look on the offensive end,” Manchester coach Eli Henson said. “Now in the second half, we were able to put a lot of pressure on them and turn them over. … Just a sloppy game, a sloppy Friday night game for some reason. I don’t know why. We usually don’t play that sloppy. But the good thing was at least we were able to cause them to play how we were playing. But we were more aggressive in the second half and were able to get to the paint and were able to get to the rim quite a bit, and that was the big difference.”

Martin, Betten and Tyler McLain hit 3-pointers in the first four minutes as Manchester jumped out to a 15-7 lead, but Rochester answered with a 16-0 run. Manchester, who averages 68 points per game, encountered a five-minute drought as Rochester mixed pressure defense with a zone and man-to-man.

Reinartz hit a foul line jumper, Bowers hit a 10-foot pullup and scored on a putback, and Reinartz swished a 3 from just off the left corner to give the Zebras a 16-15 lead.

A Prater pullup 10-footer, a Reinartz pullup leaner over Betten and a Bowers 3-point play in transition off a Paulik outlet pass after a long rebound got the lead to 23-15.

“We really did OK in the first half,” Malchow said. “We just had too many turnovers. They would play physical, they would bump us, and we just kind of had the fumbles, and that led to turnovers. We have to have better focus against physical defenses. We want to play that way, and I thought that we did cause them some problems in the first half because we went right at them.”

Hendrix and Martin would hit 3-pointers as Manchester worked their way to within 25-21, and a Martin putback would cut the lead to two.

Bowers later hit a 12-foot banker off a tough angle to make it 27-24, but Betten scored on a drive, and Martin split a pair of free throws to tie it at 27.

Bryce Baugher’s two free throws with 54.9 seconds left in the half gave Rochester a 29-27 lead, but Betten’s hook in the lane tied it again, and a Henrdix free throw with 5.7 seconds left in the half gave Manchester a 30-29 halftime lead.

“I knew tonight was going to be good,” Malchow said. “They’re good. … The gas gauge read about a quarter of a tank at halftime.”

Manchester 76, Rochester 55

MANCHESTER (76) (12-2, 5-0)

Tyler McLain 2 1-2 6, Ethan Hendrix 6 3-4 16, Gavin Martin 6 1-3 16, Garrett Sites 1 2-2 4, Gavin Betten 11 3-5 28, Wyatt Prater 0 0-0 0, Carson Heath 0 0-0 0, Kaleb Kline 0 0-0 0, Tallon Torpy 1 0-0 2, Carter Wagoner 2 0-0 4

TEAM: 29 10-16 76

ROCHESTER (55) (4-6, 2-1)

Drew Bowers 7 2-3 16, Owen Prater 1 0-0 2, Carson Paulik 4 3-4 12, Bryce Baugher 1 4-4 6, Tanner Reinartz 5 1-1 13, Dylan Hook 0 1-2 1, Luke Malchow 0 1-2 1, Hunter Honkomp 0 0-0 0, Jonas Kiser 0 0-0 0, Grant Clark 1 0-0 2, Jack Reffett 1 0-0 2

TEAM: 20 12-16 55

Three-point field goals:

Manchester 8 (Betten 3, Martin 3, Hendrix, McLain),

Rochester 3 (Reinartz 2, Paulik)

Total fouls: Manchester 17, Rochester 17

Fouled out: Prater (RHS)

Turnovers: Manchester 19, Rochester 26

Score by quarters

Manchester 15 15 22 24 76

Rochester 16 13 12 14 55

JV: Rochester 54, Manchester 41


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