Boys basketball: Hall 66, Princeton 51
SPRING VALLEY — For a game that wasn’t much of a game from the start, it sure had all the excitement as can be expected when the Princeton Tigers and Hall Red Devils met Tuesday in the latest chapter of their longtime rivalry.
The red-hot Red Devils scored the game’s first six points and took a quick 14-4 lead.
A Princeton player was hit with a technical late in the first quarter, and head coach Kevin Howard, who was not pleased about the first, was assessed two technicals early in the second quarter and ejected from the game.
Hall (15-2, 3-0) went on to build a 39-18 halftime lead and breezed to a 66-51 victory.
Hall sophomore guard Ty Rybarczyk led all scorers with 21 points, five (5-6) on the technical shots.
“I told our kids it was going to be an emotional game. Princeton wanted to come in and beat us, obviously, and Princeton and Hall is always a rivalry,” said Hall coach Mike Filippini, a former Red Devil cager. “The last thing I wrote, we had to keep our composure. … Kids can freak out when there’s technicals, and there’s not many kids cooler than Trez. I think he shot 9-10 on technicals.
“We must have a good ability for making other people mad, because we get a lot of technicals (on the other team),” he added with a laugh.
Senior post Devan Janssen scored three times inside for Hall, the third on a no-look pass from Chance Resetich, and the Tigers couldn’t hit anything from the outside as the Red Devils built a 10-2 lead four minutes into the game.
Hoops by James Mautino and Jimmy DeAngelo (on a putback) put the Red Devils up 14-4.
PHS senior Koel Hjerstedt was called for a foul trying to get the ball back from Hall, and when he displayed his displeasure, he was also slapped with a technical foul.
Howard didn’t think Hjerstedt’s actions warranted a technical and voiced his objections, then was told by the referee to take a step back into the coach’s box.
Rybarczyk sank both technical shots and added a deep 3 from the right corner as Hall went on to take a 19-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Rybarczyk hooped once and then scored on a runout with a left-handed finish to stretch Hall’s lead to 23-6 to open the second quarter.
Shortly after, Howard was assessed a technical by the same official who had whistled the first when he believed actions by Hall players warranted a technical. When Howard followed the official well onto the court, he was given another technical, requiring his dismissal from the game.
“Kole got a T that I thought was extremely quick. He didn’t cuss. He smiled at a call that was made, kind of shrugged his shoulders with his hands and really didn’t say anything,” Howard said. “I asked the official what he did, and he said he complained about a call. To me, that’s not enough to get a T right away. That’s a warning.
“After that, a player on their team is going crazy over a call and another one cusses behind him. How’s that not a T. Everyone saw it. … That doesn’t make any sense to me.
“I feel bad because I didn’t want to get kicked out. I’m just trying to defend the kids. What’s fair is fair. If you’re going to call it one way, you got to call it the other way.”
Howard said he regrets walking onto the floor, but always wants to have his players’ backs.
Cole Wozniak followed with a 3-pointer to cap a 6-0 swing by Hall to take a 29-8 lead. The Red Devils kept that same 21-point edge when Rybarczyk beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to make it 39-18.
“We came out kind of flat, missed first six out of seven or eight shots. That hurt us, too,” Howard said. “That’s a game if we don’t come out the right way, it’s going to be that. And we can beat that team, but we’ve got to be careful. We came out flat, and we’re going to be in trouble and we get three T’s. From that point, it’s tough.”
With assistants Michael Murray, Daniel Murray and Tim Smith in charge, Princeton outscored Hall 33-27 over the second half, but it was much too little, too late.
Jamie Reinhardt, who led PHS with 13 points, opened the fourth quarter with a hoop and a layup off a steal, pulling the Tigers within 15 (50-35). That was enough for Filippini, who quickly called a timeout.
“I told our assistants, ‘I got five timeouts and I may use them all. Every time they score two times in a row I’m calling one.’ I was a little nervous there,” Filippini said.
The strategy worked with the Red Devils ripping off 10 straight points to put the game away at 60-35.
“I was really happy with our effort from the start of game to the finish. We were very unselfish,” said Filippini, praising the play of Chance Resetich and James Mautino.
Rybarczyk (21) and DeAngelo (17) combined for 38 Hall points with six other Devils scoring.
Junior reserve Christian Smith gave PHS a spark with three baskets and an assist on four possessions late in the fourth quarter.
• Notes: Per IHSA rules, Howard could not coach Friday’s game with IVC nor attend. Howard said the school has given him an additional two games off. PHS AD Jeff Ohlson declined comment if further action would be taken. ... Hall won the sophomore prelim 48-43. Payton Plym had 16 points for the Red Demons and Brayden Scaggs had 22 for the Kittens. ... The rivals will meet again Feb. 5 in Princeton.