MACEDONIA — With a small starting five, the Highland boys basketball team is going to give up size. That got to the Hornets on Tuesday in a 65-63 non-conference loss to Nordonia.
The Knights (1-1) featured a lineup with 6-foot-9 Ben Broscheld (14 points, 6 rebounds). The biggest players for Highland (0-2) were 6-3 Landon Mazzocco and Jarrett Smith.
Any time the Hornets went into the tall timber, the ball got kicked back or put in their face.
“It’s hard,” Highland point guard Jake Rogers said. “You either have to go around them or go through them. (Broscheld) is big. He can block shots.”
That’s exactly what the senior center did when the Hornets were threatening to tie the game.
His team down 63-61 after a timeout with 8.1 seconds left, Rogers cleared the lane and drove left. Broscheld slid over and Rogers dished to Mazzocco (16 points) for what appeared to be a wide-open layup, but Broscheld adjusted and blocked the shot.
Jordan Jones went down to the other end and iced things with two free throws with 6.1 seconds left.
“Tonight, (Broscheld) was motivated,” said Knights coach Matt Cash, whose team went 7-17 last season. “He played hard and he controlled the paint. Usually, it was one and done when we had him on the floor.
“Highland may have gotten offensive rebounds off a scramble, but when you’ve got a 6-9 kid that is long and lengthy, it’s hard for a team that is dribble-drive motion or dribble-drive kick to the three. It’s huge because when you’re going in there and he’s 6-9, it’s hard to get those layups up. You have to alter it if we don’t foul you.”
While Mazzocco (9 rebounds), Collin Rittman (6) and Ryan Frederick (5) looked solid on the glass. Jones (10), Tye Evans (7) and Broscheld (6) helped Nordonia to a 41-28 rebounding edge.
“We really did have to work hard for the baskets we did get,” said Rittman, who finished with 21 points. “We had a few offensive rebounds, but they had those big guys and it’s hard to get them out of there. It’s hard to move them. It’s hard to box them out. You can’t make excuses because we’re small, because it’s an effort thing.”
Down 13-2 to start, the Knights shot 15-of-28 in the second and third frames to push to a 50-46 lead heading into the fourth,
Any time Rittman, Mazzocco or Smith (10 points) scored, Nordonia answered with Evan Wiehe (17 points), Julius Jones (13) or Broscheld.
“Our whole game was up and down,” Rittman said. “We were tired in general. We’d work hard to get a bucket, but they’d answer right back.”
- Coaches from Ball State were in house to watch Evans. The 6-foot, 215-pound senior running back will play football for the Cardinals in the fall.
- Nordonia’s Joel Jones hit a buzzer-beater to send the junior varsity game to overtime, where the Knights won 61-58. Tommy Williams led Highland with 19 points.
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nordonia 65, Highland 63
HIGHLAND 21 12 13 17 — 63
NORDONIA 10 19 21 15 — 65
Highland — Collin Rittman 9-2-21, Ryan Frederick 2-0-6, Landon Mazzocco 5-6-16, Jarrett Smith 4-0-10, Jake Rogers 3-0-6, Connor Klein 0-1-1, Peter Gmitric 0-0-0, Alex Jaworski 0-0-0, Cole Tessena 1-0-3. TOTALS: 24-9-63.
Nordonia — Tye Evans 2-0-4, Spencer Harp 1-0-2, Kyle Craft 1-0-2, Evan Wiehe 6-0-17, Drew Petros 1-2-4, Julius Jones 5-3-13, Robby Levak 1-1-3, Ben Broscheld 7-0-14, Jordan Jones 1-4-6, Alec Broscheld 0-0-0. TOTALS: 25-10-65.
3-point goals — Frederick 2, Smith 2, Tessena, Rittman, Wiehe 5. Rebounds — Highland 28 (Mazzocco 9), Nordonia 41 (Jo. Jones 10). Assists — Highland 17 (Frederick, Smith, Rogers 4), Nordonia 17 (Harp 4). Records — Highland (0-2), Nordonia (1-1). Junior varsity — Nordonia 61, Highland 58.