By MATT NYE
RAWSON — Some nights the basket can look as big as an ocean, while other nights it seems to have a lid on it.
St. Wendelin couldn’t open the lid on the basket Thursday night as it fell to Cory-Rawson 48-35 in nonconference play.
Grant Risner poured in 26 points on 12 of 17 shooting and pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who improved to 9-12. They outrebounded the Mohawks 28-17 and caused 17 turnovers.
Nick Root scored 13 points to lead St. Wendelin, which shot only 25 percent (12 of 47) from the floor. Steven Murray added eight points for the Mohawks as they dropped to 9-12.
St. Wendelin fell behind 24-15 at halftime and never could make a run in the end.
“Defense wasn’t bad. We let (Grant) Risner go off tonight, but defensively, still holding them (Cory-Rawson) to 48 points isn’t bad,” St. Wendelin coach Jim Rutter said. “Offensively, we were pretty much as stagnant as we could be. We didn’t move without the basketball, we just stared at who had the ball, we took a lot of off-balance shots and took a lot of rushed shots.
“We’ve been playing better offensively lately, but we didn’t execute very well tonight. We’ve had a lot better ball movement the last couple of weeks, but tonight we just stood and watched.”
The Mohawks did get off to a good start with a 6-0 run, but the Hornets came back with a pair of Risner 3-pointers. Risner put in 10 points in the quarter and Cory-Rawson led 12-8 after the opening frame.
The second period was more of the same, as the Hornets outscored the Mohawks 12-7 and went into halftime with a 24-15 lead.
“We’ve played a lot of games here the last three weeks,” Cory-Rawson coach Aaron Long said. “I was a little worried about us having some tired legs, and coming out we were a little slow to get into a rhythm offensively and defensively. But we fought through it. It wasn’t our best basketball, but considering playing St. Wendelin, who’s been playing really well lately, it’s a game we had to battle through. It really showed how far we’ve come these past couple of weeks from earlier in the season.
“I liked that we kept our composure and didn’t let things get to us like maybe it would have earlier this season. Also, an ugly win is better than a loss any day. We have a lot of smart guys out there, so we can run a lot of sets against man and against zone. We’ve executed well down the stretch with our offensive sets and tonight was no different. We knew they were going to switch to zone and we then executed our zone sets and extended our lead.”
St. Wendelin struggled in the third period to find any kind of offense, scoring just five points and going without a basket until Murray hit a jumper 6 minutes in.
Down 35-20 heading into the fourth quarter, St. Wendelin needed some baskets and stops to get back into the game. However, Cory-Rawson wouldn’t let the Mohawks anywhere close, pushing the lead to 48-30 with slightly more than a minute left.
Heath Risner grabbed six rebounds for the Hornets, who made 19 of 45 shots (42 percent) Thursday night.
Gabe Walters ended up with six points and seven rebounds for the Mohawks.
“We are just going to have to look at the things we do that are effective and focus on that moving forward,” Rutter said. “It’s pretty simple: We have to move better without the basketball and the kids have to realize that they can’t just stand there and watch. Defensively, we would have liked to do a better job on (Grant) Risner, but it wasn’t a terrible effort. It was more about the offense than about the defense tonight.”
Cory-Rawson won the junior varsity game 45-32 as Ryan Forney scored 20 points for the Hornets. Joel Lopez had nine for the Mohawks.
St. Wendelin (35)
Root 4-3–13, Murray 3-0–8, Walters 2-2–6, Frankart 1-0–3, Rutter 1-0–3, Campbell 1-0–2, Scudder 0-0–0, Schetter 0-0–0. TOTALS: 12-37 5-13 — 35.
Moser 1-1–3, Alspach 0-0–0, Waltz 0-0–0, Silvers 2-0–4, Schaller 0-0–0, Rossman 1-0–3, Tuttle 1-0–2, G. Risner 10-4–26, Shepler 2-0–6, H. Risner 1-0–2, Miles 1-0–2, Forney 0-0–0. TOTALS: 19-42 5-8 — 48.
St. Wendelin 8 7 5 15 — 35
Cory-Rawson 12 12 11 13 — 48
3-Point GOALS: St. Wendelin 6-18 (Root, Murray 2, Frankart, Rutter); Cory-Rawson 5-11 (G. Risner, Shepler 2, Rossman).
rebounds: St. Wendelin 17 (Walters 7); Cory-Rawson 30 (G. Risner 12).
turnovers: St. Wendelin 17; Cory-Rawson 15.
junior varsity: Cory-Rawson, 38-28.