R-P boys drop two hard-fought games last week

TCR/DAWN HAUGE
Sophomore Kobe Lind joined point-leaders Landon Skalet and Luke O’Hare by chipping in eight points and six rebounds versus Caledonia last week. The Trojans came up short, falling to the Warriors 73-75.
By : 
Chad Smith
Tri-County Record

The Trojans boys’ basketball team dropped a couple hard-fought games last week, starting with a non-conference road loss at Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau on Feb. 11. The Trojans then went toe-to-toe with Class 2A powerhouse Caledonia on Feb. 15, falling by two-points on a last-second Warrior tip in. R-P is 15-9 overall (9-4 TRC) going into the final week of the regular season.

R-P vs. G-E-T

The first half turned out to be the difference in a non-conference road loss for the Trojans. R-P could only muster 19 points in the first half and wound up trailing by ten points (29-19) at the break.

The offense got going in the second half, with the Trojans more than doubling their first-half output. Though R-P held a five-point scoring edge after the break, it wasn’t enough for the comeback and G-E-T held on for a 59-64 win.

After a cold-shooting first half, the Trojans strong second half helped them hit 39% of their shots (23 for 58). R-P did its most consistent scoring inside the arc, hitting 18 of 44 shots (41%) from two-point range. They added five three-point field goals, along with eight of 13 free throws (61%).

It was a good-news/bad-news night for the Trojan offense. Though four R-P players wound up in double figures, rest of the team could only come up with three points, all from Vinnie Mason. Justin Ruberg and Luke O’Hare tied for the team lead with 17 points apiece. Landon Skalet and Ben Wieser each added 11 points.

The Trojans hit the boards hard, grabbing a total of 33 rebounds, 13 on the offensive end. Rebounding continues to be a team effort as eight Trojans contributed to the total. Ruberg and O’Hare led the way on the glass with seven rebounds each, Mason added six boards, and Wieser chipped in five.

O’Hare didn’t just lead the team in scoring, he also shared the ball well, leading the team with seven assists. Skalet added five and Ruberg had three.

The Trojan defense had eight steals, four coming from Skalet. Turnovers likely didn’t help the Trojans, who finished with an uncharacteristic 19 against the G-E-T defense.

R-P vs. Caledonia

This was the kind of ballgame everyone enjoys watching or playing, but no one wants to lose. The two-point Caledonia lead at halftime (44-42) would turn out to be the difference in the game. Both teams clamped down tighter on defense as each scored 31 points after halftime.

While Caledonia got a last-second tip in from junior Noah King to get the 73-75 win and the season sweep, R-P made the Warriors work much harder the second time around. Caledonia won the first game by 23 points (87-64) back in mid-December.

Point guard Skalet had one of the best games of an already stellar career. The senior standout was on fire, draining an unbelievable nine of ten shots on three-point attempts (unheard of 90%). Skalet’s 35-point night included 11 of 13 overall shooting from the field and four of four at the free throw line. He was also second on the team with five assists.

But Skalet’s effort wasn’t a solo affair. O’Hare contributed 15 points, a team-high seven assists, and five rebounds. Kobe Lind chipped in eight points and six rebounds. Eli King led the Warriors with 15 points and Noah King scored nine points.

The Trojans shot extremely well, hitting 28 of their 49 shots (57%) from the field. Thanks to Skalet’s red-hot night beyond the arc, R-P scored more points from downtown (39 points) than closer to the basket (30 points). They didn’t get much chance to significantly add to their point total at the free throw line, hitting four of their eight attempts.

The Trojan boys shared the ball well, racking up 20 assists on the night. They also grabbed 25 rebounds, only four of which came on the offensive end of the floor.

Trey Olson and Ruberg had the only steals of the game for the Trojan defense. R-P finished with 16 turnovers against the Caledonia defense.

Schedule

The final week of the regular season started with a rescheduled home game against Lewiston-Altura on Monday, Feb. 18. The Trojans head to Dover-Eyota for a conference game on Thursday, Feb. 21, before wrapping up the regular season the next night at Fillmore Central. Section 1A playoff seedings should be out on Saturday.

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