R-P dismantles GM to advance to Section semis

TCR/DAWN HAUGE Rushford-Peterson Sophomore Kobe Lind was one of four Trojans who scored in the double-digits versus Grand Meadow last week, scoring 13 points.
By : 
Chad Smith
Tri-County Record

The Rushford-Peterson boys’ basketball team played one of its best games in what’s been a solid season to date, beating Grand Meadow in the Section 1A tournament quarterfinals 71-45 on Monday, March 4, in Rochester.

After a slow start, the Trojans shot a phenomenal 60 percent from the field in making easy work of a very good Grand Meadow club. R-P will play the section’s No. 2 seed, the Randolph Rockets, on Wednesday, March 13, in Rochester. Tipoff will be 8 p.m. The Trojans are 18-10 on the season and two wins from another state tournament berth.

R-P vs. GM

One R-P fan in attendance described the Trojans performance against the Superlarks as “surgical.” When you combine holding a solid opponent under 50 points while scoring their fourth-highest point total of the season, that observation is hard to argue with.

Though the Trojans fell behind early in the game, head coach Chris Drinkall called a timeout. After telling his players to relax and just play basketball, the team took off.

Though Grand Meadow came into the game with 18 wins and had spent time in the state rankings, the Trojans stepped on the gas offensively and put the clamps on defensively to lead by 19 points (37-16) at halftime.

While the second half was much closer, R-P still outscored Grand Meadow by five points (34-29) on the road to a 26-point victory and win number 18 on the season.

Once the Trojans got over some early jitters, the offense took off. R-P hit 28 of their 47 shots, torching the nets at 59% shooting. It didn’t matter where the Trojans shot from. Inside the three-point line, the team hit a remarkable 20 of 30 shots (66%). Even outside the arc, R-P drained eight of 17 attempts (a solid 47%). They didn’t need much help at the free throw line, making seven of nine shots.

It should come as no surprise that when a team hits six of every ten shots it takes, a lot of players end up scoring points. The Trojans had four players wind up in double figures. Freshman forward Justin Ruberg continued a solid campaign with team-highs in points (15) and rebounds (8). Landon Skalet scored 13 points and dished out a team-high seven assists. Kobe Lind also scored 13 (4 of 4 free throws). Luke O’Hare added 11 points and tied Skalet with seven assists.

GM had three players in double figures who combined for 35 of the team’s 45 points. Colt Landers scored 13 points to lead the Larks, while Austin Funk and Ethan Lane each added 11 points. The only place the Superlarks scored consistently well was at the free throw line, where they were a perfect 15 of 15.

The Trojans grabbed 27 rebounds (6 offensive) and dished out 20 assists (Ruberg 4). The defense only had two steals, but the Trojans also turned the ball over themselves just three times.


R-P got a couple of unexpected days off before their next playoff game. The Trojans were scheduled to face the No. 2 Seed Randolph Rockets (25-2) last Saturday in the Section 1A Tournament semifinals in Rochester. However, a winter storm over the weekend forced a postponement to Wednesday, March 13. They played the 8 p.m. game on Wednesday at the Mayo Civic Auditorium. The Rockets advanced in the tournament last week by dismantling a solid Kingsland squad 78-40 on Monday, March 4. The winner of Wednesday’s game will play either No. 1 Seed Spring Grove or No. 3 Seed Hayfield in the Section 1A title game on Friday night, May 16, in Rochester.