News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 28, 2012

Unbeaten Rox ride early run to first-round victory over Casey

Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Rockville didn’t do anything against Casey on Thursday evening at the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic than it hasn’t been doing the entire high school basketball season.

And for the undefeated Rox, that’s a good thing.

Rockville’s defensive pressure, plus a hot hand by Gary Ulrich, led the Rox on a 16-2 run that started late in the first quarter and ended with a 27-12 lead early in the second quarter. The Warriors, with just one loss of their own entering the game, kept fighting but never got closer than 12 points before falling 66-52.

“We always seem to draw a really good team in the first round,” said coach Dave Mahurin of the Rox, who had a spirited but eventual losing battle with Sullivan a year ago. “We knew Casey was really good with one great player, so we had to play well to win.

“We are able to really get after it [defensively]; we run and jump and cause havoc,” he continued, “and we’re pretty good at spreading the floor when we get ahead.”

Coach Steve Hawkins of the Warriors wasn’t disagreeing with any of that.

“We just got out played today,” he said after the game. “We got outexecuted and outworked. We let their ball pressure get us out of some things.”

Ulrich had 11 of his eventual 16 points in the decisive run, starting it with a 3-pointer for a 14-10 lead and then adding another triple plus an inside move for a basket as the Rox pulled to a 21-12 lead at the first stop. When Nick Waltz and Ulrich opened the second quarter with 3-pointers, Casey was 15 points behind.

It was 41-24 at intermission, but the Warriors came out for the second half and picked up their own defensive intensity. They had the lead down to 13 points on two occasions, but then Rockville got the last six points of the quarter for a 55-36 advantage. Casey got within 62-50 and 64-52 late — as the Rox missed five fourth-quarter free throws — but Brandon Wolfe and Trivette Scales, who combined for 36 points, both fouled out.

“We made some runs; we just couldn’t maintain it,” Hawkins noted. “Rockville is a really nice team. They did a good job of spreading us out and getting some good looks, and we didn’t shoot well enough to make a game of it.”

Lane Mahurin did plenty of everything to lead Rockville, scoring 19 points, grabbing a game-high eight rebounds and getting five steals, four assists and a blocked shot.

Ulrich’s 16 points and four assists were complemented by 14 points and seven rebounds from Jordon McFall; Joel Wittenmyer came off the bench for four steals and four assists in addition to seven points.

Wolfe, the “great player” coach Mahurin mentioned, had 23 points and seven rebounds for Casey, while Scales scored 13. Matt McCown and Zach Murphy combined for 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Murphy had a game-high five assists.

Casey meets West Vigo at 4 p.m. today, while Rockville tangles with Marshall at 7. “It’s the next game I’m worried about,” Dave Mahurin said, “because it’s the next game.”

ROCKVILLE (66) — Mahurin 5-10 9-13 19, McFall 6-9 0-0 14, Waltz 2-5 0-0 5, Ulrich 6-12 0-0 16, Wilkey 2-3 1-4 5, Wittenmyer 3-6 1-2 7, Woodward 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-45 FG, 11-19 FT, 66 TP.

CASEY (52) — Wolfe 9-23 2-2 23, Scales 5-14 0-0 13, M.McCown 2-3 2-2 6, Murphy 2-7 2-2 6, Huisinga 1-4 0-0 2, McNeil 1-1 0-0 2, Carver 0-3 0-0 0, S.McCown 0-0 0-0 0, Fisher 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 20-56 FG, 6-6 FT, 52 TP.

Rockville    21    20    14    11    —    66    

Casey    12    12    12    16    —    52    

3-point shooting — Rockville 7-15 (Ulrich 4-8, McFall 2-3, Waltz 1-4), Casey 6-20 (Scales 3-6, Wolfe 3-8, Huisinga 0-1, Carver 0-2, Murphy 0-3). Total fouls — Rockville 11, Casey 17. Fouled out — Scales, Wolfe. Turnovers — Rockville 9, Casey 17. Rebounds — Rockville 28 (Mahurin 8, McFall 7), Casey 37 (Wolfe 7, M.McCown 7, Murphy 6). Assists — Rockville 18 (Mahurin 4, Ulrich 4, Wittenmyer 4, Wilkey 4), Casey 15 (Murphy 5, Scales 4). Steals — Rockville 12 (Mahurin 5, Wittenmyer 4), Casey 7 (Scales 3, Murphy 2). Blocks — Rockville 3 (Mahurin, Ulrich, McFall), Casey 3 (Wolfe 2, Scales).

Next — Rockville (8-0) plays Marshall at 7 p.m. today. Casey (6-2) plays West Vigo at 4 p.m.