January 27th, 2018

Unfocused Rocks still topple DeSales

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer

Unfocused Rocks still topple DeSales
Trinity's David Johnson looks to drive past DeSales' Sam Weining/photo by Eric Thorne

For nearly 19 minutes the DeSales basketball team succeeded in frustrating host and top ranked Trinity Saturday.

However, but it was the final five minutes of the third quarter where the Colts wilted allowing the Rocks to roll to an 83-59 victory behind a double-double from Jay Scrubb who dropped in 25 points and pulled down 14 rebounds.

The Colts has erased an 11 point halftime deficit and got under double digits to 49-42 when Matthew Ruckreigle made four straight foul shots.  Scrubb picked up his fourth foul with 2:01 left in the quarter and Ruckreigle sank two more free throws making it 53-45.

But DeSales was unable to score the remainder of the quarter while Kammari Kennemore nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Stan Turnier his fifth of the game boosting the Rocks lead to 61-45 entering the final quarter.

“I really thought we played pretty well and were doing what we wanted to do making them take 30 to 40 seconds a possession to get shots off,” DeSales coach Tom Crews said. “We were right there within seven and eight points but some bad shots, unfortunate turnovers and missed opportunities at the foul line were costly.”

Trinity was called for 10 fouls in the third quarter alone, but the Colts couldn’t capitalize as Jack Michaels was unable to connect on 5 of 6 foul shots. That was despite the fact DeSales made 16 of 26 for the game.

Conversely the Rocks only made 1 of 5 from the foul line for the game.

That only compounded Trinity Coach Mike Szabo’s frustration.

Trinity (20-2) was still stinging from Friday night’s 53-52 upset loss at Madison Central and the lack of focus and execution carried over into the start of Saturday’s game.

Already having called a time out three minutes into the game, Szabo called another when Ruckreigle’s put back made it 13-10 with 1:25 left. Just eight seconds after inbounding the ball Szabo screamed for another timeout.

“I just don’t think we were executing very well at either end of the floor and I just expect a lot more than that out there,” Szabo said. “We have to get better defensively and communicate a whole lot better. We have to work together better, be sharper and that’s that the goal.

“We kept making mistakes with simple things and a lot of the stuff I saw was the exact same thing from the night before. We got destroyed on the boards at Madison giving up 17 offensive rebounds resulting in 20 points and that can’t happen.”

Sam Slaughter came off the bench out of the timeout and made a put back and Scrubb as well giving Trinity a 17-10 lead after the first quarter. David Johnson added eight.

The teams traded baskets to open the second quarter before the Rocks went on a 7-0 run as Tunier sank a pair of 3-pointers. The lead grew to 33-18 behind Scrubb.

That set up a furious finish that saw DeSales get 3-pointers from Keegan Brewer and Sam Weining making it 35-24. Trinity then worked the clock under 10 seconds and Kennemore found Kolton Rice for a 3-pointer.

“We tried to come out strong but that didn’t happen and thankfully we came back later in the game more ready,” Rice said. “We have get our head better to start the game and it definitely was just like last night. We have to be mentally ready for any team we step on the floor against.”

DeSales quickly inbounded the ball and Weining knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer making it 38-27.

“I wanted to play better today but the first half was much the same as last night and I wasn’t happy with either,” Szabo said. “We had a decent stretch in the second half, but still we need to do the little things better.”

Brewer kept the Colts close in the third quarter with his outside shooting from beyond the 3-point arc while Ruckreigle kept drawing fouls from Trinity and making good on his free throws including all six in the quarter.

With their leading scorers Johnson and Scrubb saddled with foul trouble much of the third quarter the Rocks relied on some strong play from its bench getting 22 points.

Kennemore tallied seven points and four assists while Rice stepped up with six points and handed out four assists as well.

“Absolutely Kolton and Kammari did solid jobs for us tonight both being juniors, and getting good minutes,” Szabo said. “We expect them to play good defense and both of them being smaller players they need to block out as well and they did decent jobs of that today.”

Rice was pleased with what he could contribute.

“For me I just try to come out get everyone involved so the team plays better,” Rice said. “My role is to play defense then get the ball and find people to get assists to. Drive and kick that my game.”

That is the kind of play from the bench that will be key in games down the stretch.

“We need everyone to step up and contribute especially off the bench,” Rice said. “It’s a team game and we all have to be in the game and have our heads in it to win.”

Kennemore echoed his sentiments.

“It was fun to get in there but I needed some confidence minutes so it was great to get that opportunity,” Kennemore said. “I bring great vision to the game and like to get all my teammates involved while playing solid defense.

“I’m just a role player right now but I do what I am called onto do whether that’s cheering on the bench, scoring or making plays on defense.”

Trinity hit on 35 of 64 from the field including 12 of 26 3-pointers.

Johnson had his usual solid game with 12 points, six rebounds and dished out eight assists, while  Turnier added 18 points.

DeSales (11-10) made good on 17 of 43 shots while connecting on just 7 of 24 from behind the arc. They were led by Ruckreigle with 21 points while Brewer added 19.

Trinity will travel to Atherton (6-11) on Tuesday while DeSales goes to Doss (16-5) for a key 22nd District matchup.



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