Crimson Pride Hands Knights Tough Loss

Several Roncalli players try to trap point guard John Hudson '18 as guard Drew Thornton '20 looks for the pass.

Cole Kalkowski

Several Roncalli players try to trap point guard John Hudson '18 as guard Drew Thornton '20 looks for the pass. "They were more physical than us. We needed to be more aggressive," Thornton said.

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The Roncalli Crimson Pride defeated the Mount Michael Knights 55-37 on Friday night, handing the Knights their first loss in nearly a month. Roncalli emerged victorious behind their tenacious defensive effort and a strong shooting night.

Junior guard Alex Rodgers led Roncalli with 16 points and contributed 6 of the team’s 12 steals. Roncalli forced 17 turnovers in total and shot 62 percent from the field. Center Kaleb Brink ‘21 scored 13 points for the Knights, and he was their main source of offense. However, it was Roncalli’s physical style of play that led to their victory according to Mount Michael head coach Derrik Spooner.

“Roncalli was more physical than we were,” Spooner said. “When we drove the ball they didn’t back down.”

This forced the Knights to work the ball around the perimeter for the majority of their possessions. When they did get the ball inside, Brink had some success. He drew four shooting fouls.

Roncalli opened the game on a five point run, with a three-pointer in the opening seconds. Mount Michael responded with a run of its own to take an 8-7 lead halfway through the first quarter. It was the only lead they would possess for the rest of the game. Roncalli then finished the quarter on a 13-3 run, entering the second quarter with a 20-11 lead.

The game continued to be dictated by streaks of scoring by either team in the second quarter. Mount Michael opened the quarter with a seven to two run. However, Roncalli responded and went into halftime possessing a 31-21 lead.

The third quarter was the downfall for the Knights; they were outscored 14-4. They struggled to get the ball to the inside and keep control of the ball. Roncalli forced several steals in the quarter, and Rodgers exhibited his speed with two fastbreak layups.

The Knights failed to muster a game changing run in the fourth quarter, and both teams put in their reserves with two minutes remaining. Knights starter and guard Lorcan Jamal ‘18 finished the game strong with two layups he was fouled on in the final two minutes. Assistant coach John Roshone ‘99 was impressed with how the team finished the game.

“We finished the game the right way,” he said. “Lorcan had a couple of tough drives to the hoop to finish. You guys did a good job of that.”

Spooner was disappointed with the loss, stating that “[Roncalli is] the type of team we need to beat.” However, he emphasized that the team could not dwell on the loss. Their next game is tonight at home against South Sioux City in their River Cities Conference Tournament opener.

“It’s time to get ready for South Sioux City,” he said. “They saw what happened tonight, and now they’re thinking they can come in here and press and steal a win. We’re not going to let that happen. Let’s get this place rocking again on Tuesday.”

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