Senior staff writer
On the night after Roncalli’s football team won the 4A state championship, the school’s basketball squad showed it could also move the ball well by routing Perry Meridian 66-41.
Roncalli overcame the Falcons’ tenacious halfcourt zone defense by moving the ball quickly upcourt for several fast-break baskets, beginning with leading scorer Christian Stewart going coast-to-coast for a lay-up and a permanent 9-7 lead for the Rebels.
Perry Meridian led early on Nate Mills’ deuce and three-pointer and only trailed 12-9 after Mills scored from the corner near the end of the first quarter. The 6-5 senior scored seven of his team-high 16 points in the first stanza.
“It’s always tough to play Perry because they play zone,” Roncalli coach Michael Wantz said. “We wanted to beat their zone down the floor because once they set it up with Mills on top, it’s hard to penetrate.”
The Rebels’ strategy worked as they enjoyed leads of 33-18 at the half and 58-31 at the end of the third quarter.
Stewart and backcourt mate Bryson Meek each scored 15 points; 6-10 Collin Sonderman chipped in 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Rebels’ home opener.
Roncalli’s man-to-man defense disrupted the Falcons.
“I’ve been pleased with our early start, but we were taken to the woodshed,” Perry Meridian coach Brent Keck said. “We got out-played, outworked and outcoached. … We have a lot to do; we have to become a decent rebounding team, which we are capable of.”
The Falcons dropped to 1-1 after winning their Nov. 22 opener 75-64 over Decatur Central, 75-64
Girls county tourney
Defending Marion County champion Roncalli is host to Southport in Tuesday’s opening round of the county tourney.
The Rebels won the school’s first county tourney last year by defeating Pike 66-52. The 4A No. 3 Red Devils have handed Roncalli (5-1) their only defeat this season, 70-46. Senior Paige Saylor (12.8 points per game), junior Elle Bischoff (10.5 ppg) and junior Katelyn McClary (5.7 rebounds per game) are Roncalli’s leaders.
Unranked Beech Grove (7-0) met its first 4A foe Tuesday (result unavailable at press time) against Tech and is host Thursday to 4A Franklin. The Hornets visit Warren Central (4-4) Tuesday. The one-two junior punch of Cameron Cardenas (19.6 ppg) and Katie Giller (18.3 ppg) leads the Hornets.
The schedule: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. – 4A No. 3 Pike (6-0) at Franklin Central (4-2); 4A No. 5 Lawrence North (5-1); Beech Grove (7-0) at Warren Central (4-4); Perry Meridian (2-4) at Brebeuf Jesuit (1-3); Southport (4-1) at Roncalli (5-1); Park Tudor (2-5) at Decatur Central (1-4); Speedway (1-6) at 4A No. 8 Ben Davis (7-1); Lutheran (1-3) at Lawrence Central (0-6).
The tourney continues Thursday, Dec. 8, at four sites before moving Pike for semifinal action at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, and the championship game at 7 p.m.