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Home » Boys' Basketball News

Varsity Boys Basketball

March 2, 2011
Rossville Middle High School

Trojans put Hornets away early

T-C uses 23-4 first-quarter advantage to oust Rossville

By Phil Friend
Published: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 6:06 AM EST

SHARPSVILLE - Tri-Central was ready to go Tuesday night.

Rossville didn't appear to be as prepared.

The Trojans, who had lost to the Hornets in the regular season, left very little doubt they were going to win the game after the opening eight minutes - a stanza in which T-C outscored Rossville 23-4 and had everything go their way.

It was smooth sailing from there as the Trojans ended the Hornets season with a 74-53 decision in a Class A Sectional 53 quarterfinal at Tri-Central.

"Sometimes I swear we're two different teams," said Tri-Central head coach Kyle Zahn, referring to the Trojans' loss to Eastern to end the season. "It's a lot of fun when the team that was here (Tuesday) shows up. There was a completely different look to these guys and a different feel. When they come out and get that mental focus and play with emotion, everything else comes together.

"When that emotion is there, we're tough to beat. We weren't going to take Rossville for granted (Tuesday). There's no way."

Rossville had beaten Tri-Central in the regular season contest, 74-66.

The Trojans move on to play Clinton Prairie (6-14) in a Friday semifinal.

Tri-Central (13-8) hit 9 of 12 shot attempts in the first period and 3 of 6 3-point attempts. Brock Tew, the Trojans' leading scorer, and Jake Robertson scored nine points each in the stanza.

Overall, Tew led all scorers with 26 points while Robertson added 18. Robby Howell scored 15 points.

The Trojans used a half-court trap and an 2-3 zone defense to confuse the Hornets into seven first-quarter turnovers, jumping out to leads of 8-0 and 12-2 before an 11-0 run to end the first quarter gave T-C a 23-4 lead.

"Their intensity was very high," Rossville head coach Michael Gick said. "We were able to mix up our defenses the first time. We got down early to the point where we couldn't run a lot of things that we do well on defense. You can't run your zone sets when you're down 12, 14, 16, 18 points.

"I just didn't think our intensity was there like it was the first game and we looked a good step slow (Tuesday)."

Howell's defense was a factor throughout the game. He blocked four shots in the first quarter and finished with seven overall. He also led the Trojans with 10 rebounds.

The closest Rossville got the rest of the way was 53-37 when Tanner Hack hit a 3-pointer to end the third period. Hack, a senior, paced Rossville with 25 points on 11 of 21 shooting and also chipped in seven rebounds.

"Tanner plays very well inside," Gick said. "We list him at 6-3, but he's no more than 6-1. I think you could make a case for him as the (Lafayette area) small school player of the year. The last few weeks, he's been phenomenal.

"We didn't get much scoring from anywhere else."

What bothered Gick the most was how Tri-Central was able to penetrate the lane with ease, mostly by the hand of Robertson, who had 10 assists on the night.

"We couldn't stop dribble penetration," Gick said. "You can't give up the dribble-drive against anybody. Everybody can hit (baskets) from six feet in and they did that 12-13 times."

T-C's dribble-drive led to easy lay-ups as the Trojans made 31 of 49 (63 percent) field goal attempts.

Rossville, by comparison, was 23 of 51 (45 percent).

Freshman Brandon Tonsoni chipped in nine points for Rossville while another frosh, Austin Miller, scored eight points.

In their final games in Rossville uniforms, Charlie Nichols scored two points and Matt Ummel five. Hack is the Hornets' other senior.

"Matt and Charlie aren't glaringly great basketball players, but just hard workers," Gick said. "This summer, (Charlie) played a lot of baseball and wasn't in the gym. He was only getting 2-3 minutes a game to start the season and was a great example of hard work and he earned his increased minutes through his work ethic.

"Matt got the most out of 5-9 frame. Matt wasn't that good of a shooter but he just dedicated himself to his shot and had a phenomenal senior year."

Tri-Central 74, Rossville 53

At Sharpsville


Tri-Central 23 16 14 21 - 74

Rossville 4 14 19 16 - 53

Tri-Central (13-8) 74

Robertson 8-11 0-0 18, Baird 2-3 1-2 5, Tew 10-16 2-4 26, Howell 7-11 1-2 15, King 1-2 0-0 2, Adair 2-4 2-2 6, Haak 1-1 0-0 2, Garrett 0-1 0-0 0, Pyke 0-0 0-0 0, McCorkle 0-0 0-0 0, Williamson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 31-49 6-10 74.

Rossville (6-15) 53

Nichols 1-2 0-0 2, Hack 11-21 2-5 25, Baker 2-5 1-2 5, Ummel 2-7 0-0 4, Tonsoni 4-8 0-0 9, Klimek 0-0 0-0 0, L. Brenneman 0-0 0-0 0, E. Brenneman 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 3-8 0-0 8, Cornell 0-0 0-0 0, Holden 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 23-51 3-7 53.

3-point field goals: TC 6-15 (Tew 4-9, Robertson 2-4, Howell 0-1, Adair 0-1), RV 4-15 (Miller 2-6, Hack 1-3, Tonsoni 1-3, Nichols 0-1, Ummel 0-2). Rebounds: TC 25 (Howell 10), RV 23 (Hack 7). Assists: TC 12 (Robertson 6), RV 10 (Tonsoni 3). Steals: TC 11 (Robertson 5). Blocks: TC 7 (Howell 7), RV 2 (Hack, E. Brenneman 1). Total fouls: TV 10, RV 7. Turnovers: TC 13, RV 19.

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