Zebras overpower Apaches, stay undefeated in TRC
Stesiak, Reinartz, McCarter combine for 58 in 10-point win
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
WABASH –- The Wabash boys basketball team was determined not to let Rochester’s Grant McCarter beat them at Coolman Gymnasium Friday.
So Quin Stesiak and Kyle Reinartz beat them instead.
Stesiak scored a season-high 24 points and hauled down 13 rebounds, and Reinartz added a career-high 22 points to lead RHS to a 67-57 win over the host Apaches Friday.
McCarter scored seven of his 12 in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer that extended the Zebra lead to 57-51.
That was the only Rochester 3-pointer on the night. Wabash hit nine 3s, but RHS outscored Wabash 18-8 from the foul line and played pinball on the offensive glass.
That included a six-point possession in the third quarter in which RHS got three offensive rebounds off missed free throws.
RHS won their 11th straight game and improved to 14-1 overall and 7-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. Wabash fell to 4-12, 1-6.
Rochester got more good news after the game. Manchester topped Peru 87-74, handing the Tigers their first TRC loss.
That leaves RHS as the only remaining unbeaten in the TRC. The Zebras host Peru next Friday.
Freshman reserve Trevor Daughtry led Wabash with 19 points. Joe Leland added 13, and Jasper Walter had 10.
The 10-point margin of victory represented RHS’ largest lead of the game.
Wabash tied the game at 40 with a minute left in the third quarter on a Leland 3-pointer, but Blake Hughes scored on a 12-foot putback with 40 seconds left to put Rochester ahead for good and trigger an 8-0 run that spilled into the fourth quarter.
A Hughes bucket off an inbounds play with three seconds left in the quarter made it 44-40.
A Reinartz putback of his own miss, and a Stesiak layup off a McCarter assist got the lead to 48-40 and led to a Wabash timeout.
“We did a good job of entry-passing, and the guys posted hard,” Rochester coach Rob Malchow said. “Once we did get it, our size was able to overpower them.”
The lead remained 54-46 when Reinartz found Stesiak with a post-to-post pass to the right block for a layup. Stesiak was fouled but missed the ensuing free throw.
Leland hit a 3-pointer. Wabash called timeout. After the timeout, Bryant Boggs picked Tarick McGlothin’s pocket and drove in for a layup and foul on Stesiak.
Boggs missed his free throw, and McCarter followed with his corner trey to double the lead to six.
Boggs scored on a driving finger roll to make it 57-53.
McCarter answered with two free throws with 1:11 left. Tarick McGlothin split a pair with 1:01 left. Stesiak split a pair with 39.5 seconds left.
Walter hit two at the line to make it 61-55 with 39.0 seconds left, but Stesiak answered with two at the 35.7 second mark.
Daughtry hit a 17-footer off a curl, but McCarter and Stesiak went four for four from the line in the final 22.1 seconds to close it out.
“Crashing the boards more and just being more physical and playing our game instead of trying to play theirs,” Stesiak said when asked what was the difference in the second half. “We knew their post game wasn’t their strong suit, so we tried to target that, and we did that pretty well.”
RHS went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter to take an 11-4 lead. Reinartz had seven points in the first quarter, and Aidan Smith hit an acrobatic reverse layup while falling down.
Walter and Daughtry hit 3s on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to give Wabash a 20-18 lead, but a Hughes 15-footer, a McCarter steal and layup and a Reinartz bully ball post up helped RHS to a 26-24 halftime lead.
A Leland trey from just to the right of the key gave Wabash a 30-28 lead with 5:42 left in the third, but that’s when RHS embarked on perhaps the game’s defining six-point possession: Reinartz scored in the post and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Stesiak got the offensive rebound and he was fouled.
Stesiak made the first free throw but missed the second, and Reinartz rebounded and he was fouled. He made the first but missed the second, and Stesiak rebounded, and he scored on a putback to complete the possession and make it 34-30.
A Daughtry 3-pointer and a Leland step back turnaround jumper gave Wabash a 35-34 lead, but Stesiak and Reinartz scored in transition to make it 38-35.
That’s when RHS switched from their more customary 2-3 zone to a man-to-man defense.
“I thought when we went to our man-to-man, it helped us,” Malchow said. “They were doing a good job getting shots against our zone tonight. Our zone wasn't as quick and active as it has been at times. I thought our man-to-man coming out and changing things up threw them off balance. I thought that was huge in how we were able to finish.”
Wabash coach Paul Wright cited the third quarter as the difference. He also said they worked for four days in practice on defending the 3-pointer. He wanted to “speed up” Rochester with defensive pressure. They also emphasized doubling Stesiak, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds in a 45-44 Wabash win at RHS last year.
But Stesiak was even better this time.
“23 and 11 (Hughes and Reinartz), they really hurt us inside tonight,” Wright said. “So we’ve just got to get better. … They really hurt us in the middle.”
Wabash took the JV game 50-34. Evan Elliott scored 16 points, Robert Bozzo had six, Aaron Huffman and Colton Ferverda had four each, and Brock Bowers and Luke Hunting had two each.
Rochester 67, Wabash 57
ROCHESTER (67) (14-1, 7-0)
Grant McCarter 3 5-6 12, Tarick McGlothin 0 1-3 1, Quin Stesiak 8 8-11 24, Kyle Reinartz 9 4-7 22, Blake Hughes 3 0-0 6, Trenton Reinholt 0 0-0 0, Aidan Smith 1 0-0 2
TEAM: 24 18-27 67
WABASH (57) (4-12, 1-6)
Bryant Boggs 2 3-5 7, Jasper Walter 3 2-2 10, Joe Leland 5 0-0 13, Keegan O’Neill 0 0-0 0, Dave Ford 2 1-1 5, Trevor Daughtry 7 2-2 19, Andrew Dinkins 0 0-0 0, Izaak Wright 0 0-0 0, Colten Learned 1 0-0 3
TEAM: 20 8-10 57
Three-point field goals:
Rochester 1 (McCarter),
Wabash 9 (Daughtry 3, Leland 3, Walter 2, Learned)
Total fouls: Rochester 12, Wabash 20
Turnovers: Rochester 11, Wabash 15
Score by quarters
Rochester 13 13 18 23 – 67
Wabash 10 14 16 17 – 57
JV: Wabash 50, Rochester 34