It wasn’t an encouraging first half for R-P’s boys. W-K played inspired ball, including having just one turnover in the stanza. The Falcons went to intermission with a healthy 27-13 lead. But the 1A Round of 16 contest between the Falcons (10-seed, 10-16) and Trojans (7-seed, 12-13) was far from over. R-P hit its first eight second stanza field goals. A 16-3 run quickly cut W-K’s lead to 30-29 (11:00). The Trojans wouldn’t take the lead until Logan Skalet hit one of two free throws, making it 37-36 (5:09). The sophomore also made a couple key threes. Thrice late, the Falcons regained the edge via shots from 6’3” senior G Taariq Bouissardane. The last (45-44 > 0:50) came after a big Skalet three. Subsequently, R-P missed two free throws and W-K split at the line, leaving it 46-44 Falcons (0:24.4). Luke O’Hare then had a bunny for the tie, but he missed. He got fouled on a second attempt. The Trojans most experienced guy hit two big freebies to tie the game at 46 (0:12.9). W-K missed a low percentage three before the buzzer. Erasing a 14-point halftime deficit, R-P forced overtime. There, O’Hare took over, scoring a three-point-play, then hitting four more free throws. Chris Drinkall’s group built a 53-46 lead and advanced to Rochester via 59-49 overtime final. O’Hare was huge (game-high 20 pts, 10-12 FTS, 8 rebs, 6 asts). Ruberg added his tenth double-double (19 pts, 7-14 FGs, 15 rebs). Bouissardane (16 pts), Luke Bergan (15 pts, 5-8 threes), and Avilez (10 pts, 5 rebs, 5 asts) led W-K. The Trojans started the game 5 of 13 at the line, leading up to O’Hare’s game-tying regulation makes. They finished the game 13 of 15, going 11 of 13 in OT. W-K had 11 turnovers in the second half. The Trojans avenged a 47-39 loss. R-P (13-13) next plays Hayfield (2-seed, 22-5).
About Paul Trende