Zebras adapt to new roles for a half, improve to 5-0 in TRC
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
WABASH –- Roles were reversed for a half between Rochester boys basketball players Grant McCarter, Tarick McGlothin and Kyle Reinartz against Northfield Friday.
The top 3-point marksman was McGlothin, not McCarter.
The top assist man picking apart the opposing defense was Reinartz, not McGlothin.
And the top rebounder getting the transition game going in the other direction was McCarter, not Reinartz.
The consistent aspect of the Zebras all season, though, has been their defense, which ground down the host Norsemen in a wire-to-wire 60-36 win at Kaltenmark Gymnasium.
Reinartz scored a game-high 16 points and also had seven rebounds and seven assists to go with it. McGlothin hit four 3-pointers and scored 14, and Blake Hughes had 10 points.
The Zebras also made all seven of their free throws.
Rochester improved to 10-1 overall and 5-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Peru also stayed undefeated in the conference with a 60-56 home win over Whitko. The Tigers, who are 6-0 in league play, and Zebras will meet at RHS on Feb. 19.
Clayton Tomlinson scored 14 to lead Northfield, who lost their fifth in a row and fell to 4-11, 3-3 TRC. Jayden Peas had 10. But Dillon Tomlinson, who came in averaging 9.5 points per game and who had 24 in a win over Tippecanoe Valley three weeks earlier, was held to two.
Already leading 34-17 at halftime, Rochester scored the first six points of the second half on two Hughes baskets and a McGlothin driving layup to grab a 23-point lead, and Northfield never got closer than 19 after that.
In a battle of zone defenses, Reinartz picked it apart with assists on RHS’ first four baskets. Two of his dishes went out to McGlothin for open 3-pointers, and the other two went to Hughes for a layup after an offensive rebound and later an open 15-footer.
“I think he and Quin (Stesiak) do a good job of finding each other a lot of times in that block-to-block or high-low situation,” RHS coach Rob Malchow said. “And since we’ve been getting Blake more time and he’s been more aggressive, Blake’s been the recipient of some of those as well. So it’s kind of a situation with those three guys, there’s a camaraderie and kind of a feel where they who what we’re running, they know where they should be, and when they get two guys on them, they know that they have to be wide open, so they just make the pass.”
McGlothin’s third trey of the quarter came off a McCarter assist, and Hughes later added two free throws to cap an 11-0 run to close out the quarter and give RHS a 19-5 lead.
The lead stayed in double digits the rest of the night.
Defensively, the Rochester game plan was to keep an eye on the Tomlinson brothers and seal off the paint.
“They didn’t attack us in the seams real hard because I thought we moved our feet well when they tried to,” Malchow said. “When you can make the opposition a jump shooting team, over the course of the game, it usually plays in your favor. 21 (Peas) got hot for them and made a couple shots he hadn’t really made based on the film that we saw. So we made that adjustment at halftime, and he only had two in the second half, but if you’re a jump shooting team, you can stay in halves, but it’s pretty hard sometimes to play a whole game that way.”
Northfield coach Rick Brewer said “there’s no doubt” that Rochester is the best team they have faced so far. He said they took dribble penetration away from Dillon Tomlinson, which also affected his 3-point shot.
Brewer also said Reinartz and Stesiak “really played well,” and he called Hughes “phenomenal,” saying that Hughes was doing what Brewer was trying to get his big men to do.
“We were supposed to be running shallow cuts and every time we made a shallow cut, we scored,” Brewer said. “Which was coming through the elbow and shooting that little 12-foot shot. I just couldn’t get guys to want to take that challenge. I thought Rochester, they started big guys, and because they didn’t want us to get the ball down inside – because typically we start almost every game by going down inside for quick scores – and they took that away with the zone by having big guys there.”
Rochester also won the JV game 41-22.
Rochester’s home game with North White was moved up to 3 p.m. Saturday. North White lost to Carroll (Flora) 77-49 Friday. A JV game consisting of two quarters will begin at 2 p.m.
Rochester 60, Northfield 36
ROCHESTER (60) (10-1, 5-0)
Grant McCarter 3 0-0 8, Tarick McGlothin 5 0-0 14, Quin Stesiak 2 3-3 7, Kyle Reinartz 7 2-2 16, Blake Hughes 4 2-2 10, Aaron Huffman 0 0-0 0, Trenton Reinholt 1 0-0 3, Evan Elliott 0 0-0 0, Dryden Vance 0 0-0 0, Aidan Smith 1 0-0 2, Brock Bowers 0 0-0 0, Reece Renie 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 23 7-7 60
NORTHFIELD (36) (4-11, 3-3)
Dillon Tomlinson 1 0-1 2, Alex Haupert 0 0-0 0, Clayton Tomlinson 6 2-3 14, Jayden Peas 4 0-0 10, Kaleb Krom 1 1-2 3, Eric Tracy 0 0-0 0, Trent Osborn 0 0-0 0, Jaxton Peas 0 0-0 0, Jake Halderman 2 0-0 5, Eli Kroh 1 0-0 2, Noah Burkhart 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 15 3-6 36
Three-point field goals:
Rochester 7 (McGlothin 4, McCarter 2, Reinholt),
Northfield 3 (Jayden Peas 2, Halderman)
Total fouls: Rochester 7, Northfield 9
Turnovers: Rochester 15, Northfield 13
Score by quarters
Rochester 19 15 16 10 – 60
Northfield 5 12 8 11 – 36
JV: Rochester 41, Northfield 22