R-P boys win a pair of playoff games to advance to Section 1A semifinal


TCR/DAWN HAUGE Freshman Justin Ruberg led the team with 20 points, six rebounds and a team-high four steals versus Southland in the playoff opener last week.

The Rushford-Peterson boys’ basketball team opened the Section 1A tournament as the No. 3 seed, playing at home against No. 14 seed Southland. The Trojans started the game slowly but got the offense moving in the second half, coming from behind and ending the game on a 25-3 run to grab the win.

R-P vs. Southland

On paper, it didn’t look like a tough matchup for the Trojans, as the Rebels came in with just six wins on the season. But funny things happen in the playoffs when it’s “win-or-go-home.” The Trojans got off to a slow start offensively and found  themselves down by three points (29-26) at halftime. However, after some halftime adjustments, R-P owned the second half, outscoring the Rebels by 17 points (40-23) and walking out with a 66-52 playoff win.

The No. 3 seed Trojans hit 21 of their 47 shots (45%) from the field. The real story was free throw shooting, where R-P hit an amazing 20 of their 24 attempts (season-high 83%). The team took most of its shots inside the three-point line, but still made four of nine shots from outside the arc.

Freshman forward Justin Ruberg had a big game, leading the team with 20 points on seven of 11 shooting (63%) while adding six rebounds and a team-high four steals. Landon Skalet added 15 points and two steals. Luke O’Hare added 12 points, including six of eight free throws, and a team-high seven rebounds. Kobe Lind tied O’Hare for the team-lead in rebounds (7) and finished first with three assists.   

The Rebels (6-20) led for the first 24 minutes of the ballgame before the Trojans finally closed out the game with a 25-3 run. Ethan Forthum led the Southland offense with 14 points, Nick Boe added 11, and Lee Wilson added eight. The Rebels shot well from the free throw line but didn’t give themselves a lot of opportunities, hitting eight of 10 attempts.

The team pulled down 27 rebounds (7 offensive).

Defensively, the team finished with nine steals and just eight turnovers of their own against the Rebels’ defense.

Schedule

The Trojans were 17-10 when  they faced off against #6 Grand Meadow in the Section 1A quarterfinals Monday night March 4. The Trojans jumped out to an early lead over the Superlarks and never looked back in a 71-45 victory. We’ll have the complete story on that game story in next week’s issue.

  That victory propelled R-P to the Section 1A semifinals, where they’ll face #2 seed Randolph. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday March 9 at Rochester’s Mayo Civic Center.

 

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