RANDOLPH – Playing on consecutive nights did not take much out of Randolph defensively.
After serving a first-quarter bagel at Oregon last night, the Rockets didn’t let visiting Rio score until 37 seconds remained in the opening quarter Tuesday night. Randolph, ranked first in Division 5 by The Associated Press, went on to a 51-29 Central Trailways boys hoops win over the Vikings (6-5, 3-3 Central).
The Rockets stayed unbeaten in 10 tries and are 6-0 in the Central to extend their league winning streak to 167. Randolph held the guests to 5-for-22 (22.7 percent) shooting in the first half and forced them to miss all 14 3-point attempts.
“We talked about setting the tone with our defense and they’re buying into it a little bit,” Randolph coach Bob Haffele said.
Randolph scored the game’s first 10 points. Rio trimmed the lead to 12-9 but got outscored by a 15-2 margin the rest of the half and hit one field goal in the final 6:17 of the half.
“They were sagging and we wanted to hit something to open up the middle,” Rio coach Rob Staveness said. “Brennan (Kearney) has been shooting well lately.”
Kearney entered the contest averaging 17 points per game but went 0-for-9 from the arc and finished scoreless. Josh Selje scored a game-high 18 points but got very little help.
“We wanted to get Josh the ball in a position where he could attack and he did a nice job,” Staveness said.
Meanwhile, Randolph converted 50 percent of its shots in the first half. Dylan Greeno provided a spark with eight of his 10 points off the bench before the break.
“He moves and he makes good cuts,” Haffele said. “He rubs tight off of screens, he’ll rebound and he keeps balls alive.
“We need to have more of that.”
Aaron Retzlaff led the Rockets with 14 points and five rebounds. Jay Peters finished with 12 points and seven rebounds as Randolph forced 10 of Rio’s 14 turnovers in the first half but struggled with 10 of 27 shooting after halftime.
“Overall, we worked a little longer to get a good shot,” Haffele said. “We just can’t finish.
“We looked at each other on the bench and said ‘How did we miss that?’ We can’t give away opportunities. We have to make the most of those.”
Randolph hosts Pardeeville Friday before heading to Wisconsin Dells the next day for the Wisconsin-Iowa Border Battle against Danville.
Randolph 51, Rio 29
Rio 3 8 10 8 – 29
Randolph 12 15 11 13 – 51
RIO (29) – Logan Hutzler 2, Jon Landsverk 5, Josh Selje 18, Trevor Kearney 2, Noah Schmidt 2. Totals: 13 3-6 29.
RANDOLPH (51) – Duke Vander Galien 4, Jay Peters 12, Aaron Retzlaff 14, A.J. Alexander 1, Kyle Roberts 8, Dylan Greeno 10, Allan Pocernich 2. Totals: 23 5-9 51.
3-point goals – none Total fouls – Rio 13, Randolph 10. JV – Ra, 42-19.