Photos by Tim Kolehmainen
Senior Ben Stelzer scored 41 points, including 10 three-pointers, as Manitowoc Roncalli upended Rocori, 64-54 in the 5th annual Border Battle at St. Cloud Tech High School Saturday afternoon.
"I got it going, the guys screened well and I just had the hot hand," said Stelzer, the Jets' leading scorer entering the game at 24.6 ppg.
Stelzer rained down seven three-pointers in the first half as the Jets (15-1, No. 6 DIII) opened up a 40-29 lead at intermission. Mike Gresl added a trio of first-half three pointers for Roncalli on his way to 11 points.
"We're a pretty good shooting team, but we don't really look for the three as much as take what teams are giving us," said Roncalli coach Joe Rux. "Early on I thought they were backed in pretty tight and protecthing the lane. We were content to let (Stelzer and Gresl) get some shots."
Stelzer, a Michigan Tech commit, cooled off in the second half, as he had to sit due to foul trouble, but still added 18 points after the break. Stelzer was also 7-of-8 from the free throw line to ice the game in the final minutes. Rux slowed the game down in the final minutes, trying to protect the lead.
"We pulled the reins back only because of the foul trouble," said Rux. "We certainly wanted to push the ball and attack on the offensive side, but when we got two or three guys with three or four fouls, we had to pull back and try to run some clock. Just shorten the game."
Rocori (12-6) was paced by Jonah Eisenschenk with 24 points and Nathan Meyer with 14. The Spartans were able to cut the lead to four points several times in the final minutes, but could not erase the haltime deficit.
Roncalli's Ben Stelzer
Ben Stelzer, Manitowoc Roncalli
Stelzer, a 6-foot-2 senior guard, was raining three-pointers from all over the St. Cloud Tech gymnasium in a victory over Rocori. The sharp-shooter hit seven in the first half alone as the Jets built a 40-29 lead. Despite second-half foul trouble, he drained three more for a game total of 10 -- and a huge 41-point outburst. The Michigan Tech recruit was also 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Rocori: Eisenschenk 24, Meyer 14, Hopfer 9, Moriary 4, Mueller 2, Fuchs 1.
Manitowoc Roncalli: Stelzer 41, Gresl 11, Kitzerow 7, Miller 3, Piaskowski 2.
Photos from this event can be ordered from http://photo21.dotphoto.com
Please check back tomorrow for galleries on that site, or contact Tim at tim@BreakdownSportsUSA.com