BOURBON — A second-half defensive change fueled a pair of offensive runs as 10th-ranked Triton in Class 1A outscored Rochester 55-43 on Tuesday, Feb. 15, in non-conference men’s basketball at the Trojan Trench.

“We went to a box-and-1,” Triton coach Jason Groves said of the change against the Zebras coming out of halftime. “To be honest, we were struggling to keep in our (man to man). They scattered you. They played well offensively and scored a lot of points.

“They are difficult to keep. They arrive at the basket. They understand the offense. They make the pass and we weren’t shooting very well.

Groves believed that by going box-and-1, his team could neutralize junior Paul Leisure from the perimeter and also contain the penetration.

“We wanted to test the shooting of the other guys and that’s exactly what we did,” said Groves, who saw his team open the third quarter on a 9-0 run for a 40-29 lead and make a 12-0 run that ended in the fourth quarter and put the Trojans up 52-32.

For the game, Triton beat Rochester 22-6 in points on turnovers. Led by senior Ashton Oviedo (5) and senior Bruce Johnson (3), the Trojans made 13 steals and forced the Zebras to 19 turnovers (Triton had eight).

“That’s where our guys thrive,” Groves said. “We have guys who can end up in transition.

“One thing we focus on in practice is getting diversions and trying to get out and go the other way.”

Rochester coach Rob Malchow came away impressed with the Trojans.

“They have six seniors,” Malchow said. “They are very athletic and very high IQ players.”

Triton led 31-21 – the biggest differential of the first half – only to see the Zebras finish the second period on an 8-0 run.

“We made this run using our 2-3 zone and closed the gap at halftime,” Malchow said. “They blocked in the third quarter and our block didn’t come back.”

Leading by no less than nine points at 16-7 in the first quarter, Triton took a 21-15 advantage in the second quarter.

Senior Tyson Yates (14 points – seven in the third quarter), senior Caden Graham (8 – all in the first quarter), senior Cole Shively (8 – five in the first half), Ovideo (5) and Johnson (5) led the attack on Troy. Graham sank two 3-pointers and Yates one.

Triton (14-5) shot 19 of 47 from the floor and had 28 rebounds, led by Shively (7) and Johnson (5).

Rochester (9-9) was paced offensively by second Robert Bozzo (9 points – six in the first quarter), Leasure (7 – all in the first half) and junior Luke Hunting (6). Bozzo (3), Leasure (1) and junior Ethan Medina (1) accounted for the Zebras 3 points.

Rochester went 15 of 42 from the floor and 8 of 8 at the foul boards. The visitors grabbed 31 rebounds – five each for Hunting, Brock Bowers, junior Tarick McGlothin and rookie Xavier Vance.

The Trojans ran their three-way winning streak and are now 5-1 against Class 2A teams and 8-2 at home.

The Zebras fell to 2-5 on the road and 4-4 against 1A competition.

In the junior varsity game, Rochester edged Triton 42-40. Hunter Campell (16 points), Bryce Baugher (5), Dylan Hook (5) and Owen Prater (5) led the scoring for the JV Zebras. Wayne Reichert (15), Jacob Pitney (11), Evan Briles (8) and Dante Workman (6) paced the JV Trojans (14-5).

Argos visits Triton on Thursday February 17th and Caston travels to Rochester on Friday February 18th.