On Friday at home, Shelbyville was looking for a better game than they had at Clinton last week. They didn't get it. Maroa was too quick and too deadly from the arc in the Trojans' Okaw Valley Conference win, 67-31.
The Rams zone defense would shift back and forth as quick as they could, but the Trojan passes were quicker. Eventually, the Rams couldn't get to a spot-up shooter and the Trojans would bury it.
Offensively, the Rams fell behind and like salmon kept trying to swim upstream. They'd get close to jumping over the falls, when Maroa would hit another triple.
Five different Trojans connected from long distance. Jackson and Stelzriede had two, each, and Banning, Ascherman and Lambdin one, each.
Sharing the wealth worked for the Trojans inside the arc, as well. Six players were within three points of each other and combining for 57 of the 61 points in the balanced attack. Jackson had 11 points, Scott and Stelzriede 10, each, Banning and Ascherman with nine, each and Murphy with eight.
Despite the 24-point loss, Shelbyville had the game-high scorer in sophomore shooter Nate Standerfer. Standerfer scored 14 points, including a pair of 3-point bombs. The only other Ram in double figures was senior point guard Clayton Baker. Baker had 10 points, with one trey.
The Rams Brody Bence got the tip, but once again, their opponent stole it. Maroa set up for a 3 and promptly buried it, a foreshadowing of things to come. Maroa not only drew first blood they went on an opening 8-0 run.
Shelbyville turned the ball over on their first possession and Maroa answered with a long jumper from the just inside key, 5-0. Shelby had a 1-and-done jumper from the baseline and, after a Ram foul at the Maroa end, the Trojans buried another trey, 8-0.
The Rams had two more empty trips. After a Ram defensive rebound, speedy Jake Keown began the transition and dished to Baker to finish the break and finally get the Rams on the board after 2 minutes and 45 seconds of play.
True to form in this game, the Trojans answered the salmon attempt with another trey, 11-2. Nate Standerfer had his own response, getting into the half court and driving to the lane and scoring on a floater, 11-4.
Maroa came right back and scored inside. Darin Breedn set up in the high post for Shelby and deliverde the ball to a cutting Cody Langan in the lane and he finished, 13-6. Maroa had their first unforced error, but two possessions later, they were fouled on a fast break. Jackson split the pair.
Standerfer executed a back cut at the other end and got the ball and scored, 14-8. Maroa had another unforced turnover, but the Rams had their own turnover and then compounded it by fouling on the fast break score. Cole Banning converted the 3-point play and the Trojans were back up by 11, 19-8 with 1:28 in the 1st.
Clayton Baker drove for Shelby and got the foul and made the first of two foul shots. The second was up for grabs and caromed out of bounds to the Rams. Baker scored again, this time on a base line junper and the Rams were within eight, 19-11.
Maroa stopped and popped for two at their end. The Rams missed a shot with 15 seconds left in the quarter and the Trojans brought it. The Rams covered the 3-point shooter at the corner, so the shooter drove the base line and scored with 4 seconds on the clock, 23-11 Maroa.
Both teams started the 2nd period missing shots and making mistakes. On a Ram turnover, Maroa got a fast break and scored. Up 25-11, the Trojans called time-out with 6:50 left in the half.
The Rams answered by fighting through a 35-second possession to score. The missed a jumper and were fouled on the rebound. They got the ball back in and were fouled again. After a miss, Baker finally scored on the put back, 25-13.
The Ram defensive then fought at the other end. After a second chance Trojan possession, Shelby forced a turnover and Nate Standerfer buried a 3-poointer on a quick trigger, 25-16. Shelby's Brody Bence then had a clean block on a Trojan lob play on an inbound, but he was called for a foul. No matter, the Trojan went to the line and missed both shots, karma baby.
Defenses kept making plays, but offenses couldn't convert. After a 1-for-2 trip to tjhe line by the Trojans, the Rams turned the ball over and the Maroa fast break did convert, 28-16. Bence was fouled in the post and made 1-of-2 foul shots, and Maroa traveled. Baker then caugt the ball on the wing and buried his triple to get the deficit back under ten points, 28-20.
Just when the Rams were about to jump the rapids and get back in it, ka-boom, another Trojan 3-pointer. Maroa, in the bonus went to the line and made both shots for a 13-point lead, 33-20 with 2:00 in the half.
Breeden made 1-of-2 foul shots, but Maroa answered with a runner. Shelby turned the ball over with 30 seconds left. Could Maroa score as time winds down again? Affirmative. A shake and bake move got separation and the player buried the shot with 6 seconds left, 37-21 at the break.
In the 2nd half, Cody Langan became more of a factor offensively and defensively for the Rams, but Baker, who led all sorers with 10 points in the 1st half, would not score in the 2nd half. In fact, the Ram scoring would be limited to just seven buckets in the final 16:00.
Langan started the 2nd half hitting a short jumper in the lane. He then blocked a shot at the other end. Shelby missed a 3 and after a block at Maroa's end, came a foul with a 1-for-2 dividend.
A post steal by the Trojans turned into a transition 3 and thr lead climbed to 18 points. After another 1-and-done missed jumper by the Rams, Maroa went inside and was fouled. They made both shots and were up by 20, 43-23 with 5:35 left in the 3rd.
Brody Bence poste dup for 2 in reply and the next time down Langan got ni the post and drew the foul, making 1-of-2 shots, getting the deficit down to 17. Alternating misses was followed by a Maroa base line drive two. The Ram turned it over and Maroa came right back with another 3-pointer for a 22-point lead and forcing a Ram time-out with 2;23 left in the 3rd.
Out of the time out Standerfer delivered from the arc and got the lead under 20 again, 48-29. The Rams had chance to cut into the lead more, but missed two free throws. Maroa then scored on a floater, 50-29.
Standerfer asnwered again cutting inside and scoring. Maroa missed and, in the half-court, reserve guard Neil Yockey cut to the base line and got the ball. He went to the hole and slipped in for the two. The Rams were back within 17, but Maroa had the ball and another chance to close out a quarter with a score.
Langan kicked Maroa a bounce pass out of bounds. Maroa reloaded and Langan blocked a shot. Maroa got the rebound, but missed the shot and Rams finally defended at the end of a period, 50-33 Trojans after three.
After the 23-11 1st period, the Rams were more competitive and their defense more successful as they were only outscored by five points in the middle periods. But in the 4th, the Rams neede some offense to erase the deficit. They barely had any, scoring just two baskets in 8:00.
Maroa scored on a reset after a 3 miss. Baker drove and missed and the Trojans started to take off, but Baker recovered and forced a turnover. Standerfer got the balll and immediately scored on a floater, 52-35.
Langan then blocked another shot. Langan got a rebound and Breeden was fouled. However, a travel call ended the possession. Maroa missed a 3 and Langan got the rebound.The Rams brought it,but Maroa stripped it and came back to finish the fast break with a two, 54-35.
After a Ram miss Marioa went inside and scored again to go up 21, 56-35. The Rams missed again and Langan went for a steal and was called for a foul. Langan came right back on defense and knocked the ball out. Langan came after the ball again and was called for a foul that could have just as easily have been an offensive foul.
Shelby casued back-toback Maroa turnovers, but couldn't convert on offense. With 1:42 to play and a 21-point lead by the Trojans, subs flooded the floor. Maroa scored on a 3-for-aquarter opportunity, then came back with yet another 3-pointer, 61-35.
With 25 seconds left Standerfer dished to Bence for an inside 2 and capped the scoring, 61-37.
Maroa 61, Shelbyville 37
Ram stats: Nate Standerfer 14 (4-2s, 2-3 pt FGs), Clayton Baker 10 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Cody Langan 5 (2 FGs, 2/4 FTs), Brody Bence 5 (2 FGs, 1/2 FTs), Neil Yockey 2 (FG), Darin Breeden 1 (1/2 FTs). Team FGs 15. 3-Pointers: 3 (Standerfer 2, Baker). Team FTs 5-of-10.
Maroa stats: Jackson 11 (2-2s, 2-3 pt FGs, 1/2 FTs), Scott 10 (4 FGs, 2/2 FTs), Stelzriede 10 (2-2s, 2-3 pt FGs), Banning 9 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/3 FTs), Ascherman 9 (3-2s, 1-3 pt FGs), Murray 8 (3 FGs, 2/4 FTs), Lambdin 4 (1-3 pt FG, 1/2 FTs). Team FGs 23. 3-Pointers: 7 (Jackson 2, Stelzriede 2, Banning, Ascherman, Lambdin). Team FTs 8-of-13.
The prelim was much more competitive as the visiting Trojans started the Maroa sweep, 36-30.
Shelby, once again, had the game-high scorer, but lost the game. Neil Yockey led all scorers as the only one in double figures, 12 points. Once again, the Trojans out-shot the Rams at the arc, 3 to 1, with Yockey getting the only Ram triple.
Shelbyville out-shot Maroa from inside the arc, but Maroa won the long-shooting competition. Shelbyville had a 2-point advantage from the field, 27-25. The difference came at the free throw line. Shelby shot just seven free throws and made three. Maroa shot 17 free throws and made 11 for the 6-point win.
Maroa 36, Shelbyville 30
Ram stats: Neil Yockey 12 (4-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/3 FTs), Tucker Schwengel 6 (3 FGs), Spencer Shadwell 5 (2 FGs, 1/1 FTs), Trenton Shuff 5 (2 FGs, 1/1 FTs), Drennian Martin 2 (FG), Jake Foster (0/2 FTs). Team FGs 13. 3-Pointers: 1 (Yockey). Team FTs 3-of-7.
Maroa stats: Clawson 9 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs, 4/7 FTs), Smith 7 (1-3 pt FGs, 4/6 FTs), Beckman 6 (3 FGs), Martin 5 (1-2, 1-3 pt FGs), Leighton 4 (2 FGs), Murphy 3 (FG, 1/2 FTs), Bourey 2 (2/2 FTs). Team FGs 11. 3-Pointers: 3 (Clawson, Smith, Martin). Team FTs 11-of-17.