Whiteland’s offense went stone cold after the first quarter and Roncalli took advantage, pulling away for a 50-38 win in boys basketball Friday at Whiteland.
The host Warriors started the game hot, jumping out to a 15-7 lead after the first quarter thanks in large part to five Roncalli fouls that led to six free throws.
But little went right after that for Whiteland, which managed just two points in the second quarter and seven in the third as the Rebels pulled away.
“We talked about starting fast tonight, and we started the game with a steal, which was huge, and we followed that with a long possession that led to two free throws. We couldn’t have put two better possessions together to start the game,” Whiteland coach Matt Wadsworth said.
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“In the second half, as their defensive pressure increased, our shot selection slipped a little bit.”
Despite the cold spell Whiteland stayed in the game thanks to its defense.
Roncalli (4-0) chased the Warriors throughout the second quarter and didn’t take its first lead of the game until a Bryson Meek 3-pointer with 1:21 left gave the Rebels a 19-17 lead at the half.
Whiteland (0-4) opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer by Riley Higdon to retake the lead and still led 22-21 moments later after two free throws by Carter Crowe.
But the rest of the game belonged to Roncalli. Kellen Schreiber kicked off what ended up being a 24-4 run as the Rebels took control of the game.
Unlike last week’s loss to Perry Meridian when Whiteland rallied from an 18-point deficit only to lose in overtime, there would be no comeback this time.
Roncalli led by as many as 17 midway through the fourth and although the Warriors outscored the Rebels 12-5 the rest of the way, it wasn’t nearly enough.
“(Matt) Wadsworth had a great game plan and those guys were making shots and making it hard for us to do what we wanted to do,” Roncalli coach Michael Wantz said. “I thought our defense kept is in because if you’re not careful that game is 30-19 at the half.
“We kept getting stops and we broke loose there a little bit in the second half.”
Conner Gore led Roncalli with 12 points and Meek finished with 10. Crowe scored 13 points to lead Whiteland, but nine of those came in the fourth quarter.
Whiteland travels to Center Grove next Friday while Roncalli hosts Class A No. 10 Lafayette Central Catholic today.