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Free throws seal Rustlers win over Roncalli

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Maddox Miller, right, goes up with a shot as Leola/Frederick’s Noah Kippley, left and Colton Spitzer, far left, defend during a game earlier this season at the Roncalli High School gym. Looking on at far right for the Titans is Brayden Sumption. Miller had a game-high 19 points in a loss at Miller Tuesday night. Photo by John Davis taken 1/10/2022

MILLER – Aberdeen Roncalli got a big-game effort from Maddox Miller Tuesday night, but missed the services of Maddox May in the interior in a 56-49 non-conference boys’ basketball loss to Miller on the road.

Miller, a sophomore for the Cavaliers, hit four three-pointers in the game, finishing with a game-best 19 points.

But it was the Miller Rustlers as a team that was able to execute down the stretch in the fourth quarter, pulling away from a two-point lead to finish with the seven-point margin of victory.

“They knocked down some free throws, but what really hurt us was they did a good job of getting to the basket,” said Roncalli coach Dan Gallagher. “Either finding posts on middle drives or just driving to the rim. … We let them go by too many times.”

Gallagher said the Cavaliers definitely missed May’s presence on the block, but said the experience of playing without the senior was a valuable one. 

“We’ve got guys who can fill those roles,” Gallagher said. 

In addition to Miller, Roncalli also got some key three-point buckets from Zee Mounga, who chipped in 10 total points in the loss. Miller’s offensive output came despite some second-half foul trouble, Gallagher said, noting the sophomore sat most of the third quarter with four fouls.

“We’re doing a better job of finding better looks,” Gallagher said, “but we’re settling for too many threes. We have to do a better job of getting inside and attacking the rim.”

Alex Schumacher finished with 17 points for the Rustlers, and Trevor Werdel had 16. As a team, Miller was 9-of-11 from the free throw line in the final stanza to help keep the Cavaliers at bay.

Roncalli, 3-6, is back in action Friday, hosting Webster. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. at Roncalli Gym.

ABERDEEN RONCALLI (3-6): Maddox Miller 7 1-2 19, Zee Mounga 4 0-0 10, Caden Shelton 1 1-2 3, Keegan Stewart 2 1-2 7, Jayden Munroe 1 1-2 3, Aiden Fisher 1 2-4 4, Zane Backous 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 6-12 49.

MILLER (1-9): Alex Schumacher 5 3-4 17, Andrew Knox 1 1-2 3, Dylan Hass 2 2-2 6, Trevor Werdel 6 4-4 16, Cole McKinstry 1 2-2 4, Caden Gortmaker 4 1-2 9, Derek Bruggeman 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 14-16 56.

Aberdeen Roncalli 10 23 37 49

Miller 8 20 39 56

3-pt FG – Miller 4, Mounga 2, Stewart 2, Backous; Schumacher 4. Fouled out – Stewart. Fouls – Aberdeen Roncalli 20; Miller 11.

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