News From Terre Haute, Indiana

High School

December 28, 2013

Rockville moves past Marshall into consolation final

TERRE HAUTE — Marshall had an off shooting day and Rockville took full advantage, earning a 42-36 victory Saturday afternoon to advance to the consolation final of the 14th annual Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic boys high school basketball tournament.

The victory puts the 5-3 Rox into a 3:30 p.m. matchup Monday at Terre Haute North.

Rockville didn’t allow Marshall to get the ball inside. Freshman Spencer Shaffner led the Lions with nine points and Keegan Steele, who entered the tournament averaging 19 per game, scored only three points on 1-of-11 shooting.

“We tried to make a few other guys hurt us. We talked about having a foot in the lane [on defense] and playing help-side defense. We switched from our normal matchup set and 1-3-1 set and went back to the old school straight man [defense] and tried to make kids responsible for their guy and yet still play team defense. I think it worked out well,” Rockville coach Ryan Luce said.

Marshall hit just 4 of 22 shots from 3-point range and only 4 of 12 at the free-throw line. Overall, the Lions shot 28 percent (14 of 49) from the floor.

The keys to Rockville’s success on defense were the brothers Wilkey — junior Keiontre’, the established leader, and sophomore Rayden, who just broke into the varsity rotation. They pressured the basketball and forced Marshall further from the goal.

“Rayden got his first real varsity rotations [Friday]. Those two are just so athletic that they cause problems for ball-handlers,” Luce said.

Rockville shot just 36 percent (17 of 47) and was 7 of 14 from the free-throw line.

“I don’t think either team shot it particularly well,” Luce admitted.

Sophomore Dalton Laney led the balanced Rockville scoring with 15 points and six rebounds as the only double-figure scorer.

But the Rox came through with big plays and big baskets at big moments, something the Lions didn’t do.

Marshall led throughout the first half, holding a 13-9 advantage after one quarter and 22-19 at halftime, thanks to a Shaffner basket.

Rockville’s Keiontre’ Wilkey and Leach scored the first five points of the second half. Marshall’s Chazz Lindsey gave the Lions their last lead of the game with 2:08 left in the third quarter.

A basket by Laney put the Rox up 28-27 going into the fourth quarter.

Rockville extended the lead to 33-27, the largest of the game, in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. Brown stepped outside for his second 3-point basket and Thurman put back a rebound.

Lindsey hit his only 3 of the afternoon to cut the Rox lead to three.

Then Keiontre’ Wilkey delivered two of the biggest plays of the contest. The diminutive Wilkey stole the ball and took it for a layup and a 35-30 lead with 3:36 left.

After Marhall missed the front end of a one-and-one, the older Wilkey took the ball to the basket, getting it through taller defenders and on the rim. When it bounced off, the 5-foot-7 junior somehow got the rebound and, as he was falling, flipped it back up for two points and a 37-30 lead.

“Marshall was starting to pick up momentum and that was something that really swung it back in our favor. Keiontre’ is a big-play player for us. He has to understand he doesn’t need to score to help us,” Luce said.

Free throws by Lindsey and Rayden Wilkey put the Rox up 40-30 with 1:06 to play.

The Rox hit just 2 of 8 free throws in the final 54 seconds and that kept Marshall’s hopes alive down the stretch.

Marshall leaves the tournament with a 5-4 overall record.

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