RANDOLPH – Bob Haffele admired the way Aaron Retzlaff literally elevated his game Tuesday night.
“He just seemed to rise above everybody,” Haffele said of Randolph’s senior forward. “He seemed to come out of every scrum with the ball.”
As a result, the Rockets came out a 50-45 Trailways scrum with a victory over visiting Oshkosh Lourdes. The division leaders clashed in a playoff-caliber tilt that went down to the wire but was ultimately decided by Retzlaff.
He scored a game-high 21 points to go with 15 rebounds, six assists and five steals. He had a dozen of each in the second half while battling Lourdes post standout Dylan Sommerfeld.
“He seems to be standing out a lot on the boards,” Haffele said. “He gets big ones when we need them.”
He had a pair of tip-ins during an 8-0 run in the third quarter that gave the Rockets (20-1, 14-0 Central) the lead for good.
The Red Knights (13-7, 11-2 North) cut the gap to two with 1:18 to play but missed a couple late chances.
Kyle Hellman, who hit six 3-pointers, missed a chance from the arc with 35 seconds left and traveled with 7.4 seconds remaining. It was the 18th turnover for the Knights, who hit two of seven foul shots while the Rockets converted 11 of 13 free throws.
“There’s your ball game,” Haffele said. “It was a grinder. We found a way to get it done.”
Jay Peters had 14 points and six steals for the Rockets, who were without post reserve Allan Pocernich. Randolph will try to extend its league winning streak to 176 games at Pardeeville Thursday.
The Knights were without Charlie Noone. Lourdes had a 26-25 edge in rebounding.
Randolph 50, Oshkosh Lourdes 45
Oshkosh Lourdes 12 12 8 13 – 45
Randolph 8 16 13 13 – 50
OSHKOSH LOURDES (45) – Jimmy Brooks 2, Sam Seibold 9, Kyle Hellman 18, Dylan Sommerfeld 12, Brady Schneider 4. Totals: 18 2-7 45.
RANDOLPH (50) – Duke Vander Galien 5, Jay Peters 14, Aaron Retzlaff 21, A.J. Alexander 3, Kyle Roberts 7. Totals: 18 11-13 50.
3-point goals – Oshkosh Lourdes 7 (Sam Seibold 1, Kyle Hellman 6), Randolph 3 (Duke Vander Galien 1, A.J. Alexander 1, Kyle Roberts 1). Total fouls – Oshkosh Lourdes 14, Randolph 13. JV – R won.