Boys: Roosevelt roars past Knights

Boys: Roosevelt roars past Knights

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Boys: Roosevelt roars past Knights

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For a team struggling to score points, the last thing the O’Gorman boys needed was to run into the relentless defensive pressure of the top-ranked Roosevelt Rough Riders.

The Knights have averaged just 42.7 points in their last three games (all losses), and things didn’t get any easier for them Saturday in their home gym against the Riders.

Roosevelt finished off the Knights 70-46 and improved to 11-0 behind Nate Cole’s 23 points, using a monster third quarter to pull away from O’G (5-7).

Roosevelt held just a six-point lead at halftime, but the Riders came out on fire to start the second half, going on a 14-2 run to open the quarter, and O’Gorman was never able to recover.

Roosevelt went on to outscore O’Gorman 44-26 in the second half.

“I think we just kind of wore them down after a while,” Cole said. “It was kind of frustrating having just 26 points at halftime, but we knew the shots would start falling when our defense picked up.”

On the other side of the ball, the Riders entered the game averaging 76.1 points, but despite holding O’Gorman in check in the first half, they were unable to open a significant lead in the opening two quarters. They scored just seven points in the second quarter.

“We’ve had quarters like that before this year, so our guys know how to dig out of that,” Roosevelt coach Lee Taylor said. “It comes down to taking good shots and making good decisions.”

But the offensive power of the Riders, fueled by their continued full-court pressure on defense, came out in full force in the third. The Riders left little doubt which team was more athletic by outscoring O’Gorman 15-4 to open the quarter, and they eventually built the lead to 18 at 42-24 with 2:34 to play in the third.

“They’re just that good,” said O’Gorman coach Derek Robey, who got 18 points from Kyle Scholten. “They exposed us, obviously. We were trying to do everything we could to break the press. We knew it was coming – everybody knows it’s coming. How do you prepare for that in practice when you know that type of press is coming? You just can’t mimic that in practice.”

O’Gorman handled the pressure admirably in the first half and kept things close. Roosevelt built a 12-point lead on three different occasions in the first half, but the Knight defense stiffened and didn’t allow a basket in the final 6:26 of the half.

The Knights cut the lead to 25-20 just moments before halftime when Jackson Lund hit two free throws.

“We weren’t that bad off at halftime,” Robey said. “We’re trying to make strides and we’re trying to get better. But that pressure is intense.”

The Riders built the lead to as many as 28 when Brandon Boggs scored with 3:05 to play to make it 65-39. At that point, Taylor pulled the full-court pressure off the Knights and both teams made wholesale substitutions in the final minutes.

ROOSEVELT (10-0)

Brandon Boggs 5 1-2 11, Lucas Wilber 5 0-0 10, Jeremiah Clark 3 4-4 10, Tyler Howard 2 0-1 4, Nate Cole 7 8-10 23, Jake Eichacker 1 0-0 3, Chris Phillips 1 2-2 4, Colton Kooima 1 0-0 3, Jason Spicer 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 15-20 70.

O’GORMAN (5-7)

Jackson Lund 0 2-3 2, Kyle Scholten 5 5-7 18, Braxton Elliott 0 0-0 0, Davis Cowan 2 0-0 5, Connor Nagel 5 0-0 10, Tyler Pals 3 3-3 9, Tommy Entwistle 0 0-1 0, Matt Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 10-15 46.

Roosevelt 19 26 44 70

O’Gorman 8 20 30 46

3-point goals – RHS 3 (Cole, Eichacker, Kooima), OG 2 (Scholten, Cowan 1). Rebounds – RHS 28 (Phillips 7), OG 25 (Pals 6). Assists – RHS 13 (Cole 5), OG 6 (Pals 3). Total fouls – RHS 17, OG 18. Turnovers – RHS 8, OG 20.

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