Guard Jake Fenlon hits six three-pointers en route to 24 points as the Knights pick up their 11th win of the season. Royal Comet forward Emett Peters leads all scorers with 25 points.
McQuaid Jesuit head basketball coach Jack Ruppert has always had plenty of size since he took over the Knights program seven years ago. This year’s roster is no different, with four players 6-foot-5 or taller.
This year’s team is different than previous years. For Ruppert he is most excited about what is around the talented interior players.
A veteran backcourt with outstanding shooters as taken pressure off the frontcourt. The formula worked added up to another victory in the team’s latest game.
McQuaid (11-3 overall) defeated Rush-Henrietta 65-57 in a non-league game on Monday at McQuaid. The Knights starting backcourt of Jake Fenlon and Charlie Zaepfel finished with 24 and 15 points respectively, while forward Zack Ayers recorded 15 points.
“Our program has had a history of great shooters but we have been challenged from the perimeter in recent years,” Ruppert said. “This is the first group we have had since my first year that shoots the three this year.”
Royal Comet (5-6) senior forward Emett Peters, who led all scorers with 25 points, tied the game at 41 on the first basket of the fourth quarter. The rest of the quarter belonged to McQuaid.
Zaepfel’s layup culminated a 9-1 run to give the Knights a 49-42 lead with 5:32 remaining. A three-pointer by Fenlon pushed the lead to 12 with just under three minutes left.
Bay Barley (18 points) hit a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 60-54 with 1:41 left, but McQuaid scored the next five points to sew up the win.
“I don’t think I would have any those shots if wasn’t for my teammates setting screens, and (Zaepfel’s) always looking to get me the ball,” Ruppert said. “All of my points, I am feeding off those guys. I get what they give me.”
The Knights tough 2-3 zone defense forced R-H into a 5-for-23 night from beyond the arc. McQuaid’s game from behind the three-point line was much different, as they hit 8-of-15.
Fenlon led the three-point parade hitting 6-of-8 attempts.
“We played well with our 2-3 defense,” Zaepfel said. “We let Peters get inside and hit some shots, but other than that we contested shots and rebounded better in the second half.”
Juwan Beale gave the Royal Comets a spark heading into halftime knocking down a three-pointer right before the second quarter buzzer to cut the deficit to 28-25. Peters hit back-to-back layups to give R-H a 37-36 lead late in the third.
Five straight points by the Knights put McQuaid up 41-37 but Beale hit a jumper at the buzzer to cut the deficit to two heading into the fourth quarter.
“Having scouted them, we wanted to make them shoot jump shots,” Ruppert said. “I want to give Emett a lot of credit, he played great. I think defensively we tried to change defenses, and in the end we went to our 2-3 (zone) because that was the most successful for us.”