The top-ranked Roosevelt boys have been known to score in a hurry this season, and after a bit of a slow start, the Riders did exactly that Thursday night at home against Washington.
The Riders blew things open in the second quarter and went on to defeat Washington 82-32 to improve to 17-1 on the season.
Roosevelt used a 26-point second quarter and hit five three pointers during that stretch to open a 41-19 halftime lead. The Riders finished the night going 13-for-25 from three-point range – a school record for made 3s – and shot a blistering 58-percent from the field.
“When they get a run going, all of the sudden the hoop looks like the size of the ocean and everybody can throw it in there,” Washington coach Craig Nelson said.
“They’re such a good team that any defensive mistake you make they’re going to make you pay for it. That’s the how basketball should be,” he added. “If you allow dribble penetration and a kick out, they’re going to knock it down. They don’t miss a lot of shots and bail you out with that. They’re just a very, very solid team. They have a lot of guys who can stroke it and make plays.”
If the game didn’t seem out of reach at halftime with the 22-point lead, the Riders made it very clear that Washington wasn’t going to stage any type of comeback in the third as Roosevelt outscored the Warriors 23-4 in the quarter.
After building a convincing 34-point advantage at 57-23 with just over three minutes to play in the third, Roosevelt coach Lee Taylor pulled his starters. Nelson did the same moments later, and the balance of the third quarter and the fourth quarter was a JV exercise for both teams.
“When we get out and run in transition, it energizes not just the guys on the court, but everybody on the team,” Taylor said. “That’s kind of what happened tonight. We got out and ran in transition and we started to see the ball in the basket. The way we play, we can get some big runs. It’s kind of like peaks and valleys. We know that the way play, we can be down by six but we could easily be up six in two minutes. We just have to stay composed, even when we have lulls, because we know we’re going to get it eventually.”
Roosevelt’s largest lead of the game was 52 points at 82-30. But obviously, the game was over in the second quarter when the Riders’ relentless defensive pressure and run-and-gun offense hit full stride.
In four consecutive trips down the floor midway in the second, Roosevelt connected on three-pointers. An acrobatic two-pointer moments later by Jeremiah Clark turned a 19-11 lead into 33-13 in less than three minutes of play.
“We’ve had a great couple of practices lately and that correlates to the game,” said Roosevelt’s Tyler Howard, who led the Riders with 15 points. “It all starts with our defensive pressure and that turns into easy buckets.”
Washington (4-15) stayed with Roosevelt in the early moments and led 9-6 after Grant Lewis threw down a monster dunk off of a nice feed from freshman Sam Siganos. Lewis led the Warriors, who shot just 11 percent from the field in the second half, with 13 points.
But following that dunk, Roosevelt’s Colton Kooima hit a three-pointer and Clark finished out the quarter with three buckets in the final 56 seconds for a 15-9 Riders lead after one. Roosevelt opened the second quarter on a 12-2 run, and the route was on.
“That starting five sets the tone defensively every game,” Taylor said. “They take ownership of that. Whenever we have a game, that’s all they talk about. They don’t talk about what needs to be done offensively. They make it a point that it starts on the defensive end.”
Ty Wiley 1 1-1 3, Brett Stanley 2 1-2 5, Alex Willis 0 0-0 0, Austin Benson 0 0-0 0, Grant Lewis 6 1-1 13, Sam Siganos 0 2-2 2, Sul Dibba 0 0-0 0, Kevin Nelson 0 5-8 5, Matt Rehurek 0 0-0 0, Austin Heins1 2-3 4. Totals 10 12-17 32.
Brandon Boggs 2 0-1 4, Lucas Wilber 4 1-2 10, Jeremiah Clark 5 0-0 11, Tyler Howard 7 0-1 15, Nate Cole 5 0-0 13, Ty Warkenthien 2 0-0 6, Jordan Johnson 0 0-0 0, Chris Phillipe 0 0-0 0, Zach Ekeren 1 0-0 2, Ryan Leslie 3 0-0 7, Creighton Thompson 0 0-0 0, Colton Kooima 2 0-0 6, Tanner Hennings 1 0-0 3, Jason Spicer 0 0-0 0, Jason Nelson 0 0-0 0. Totals 34 1-4 82.
Washington 9 19 23 32
Roosevelt 15 41 64 82
3-point goals – WHS 0, RHS 13 (Cole 3, Warkenthien Kooima 2, Wilber, Clark, Howard, Leslie, Kirkwald, Hennings 1). Rebounds – WHS 22 (Heins 5), RHS 32 (Howard, Phillipe, Kirkwold 5). Assists – WHS 6 (Willis, Siganos 2), RHS 24 (Howard 4). Blocked Shots – WHS 2 (Heins, Siganos 1), RHS 1 (Wilber 1). Turnovers – WHS 9, RHS 9. Total fouls – WHS 12, RHS 15.