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Webster grabs road victory over Roncalli

Webster Area’s Jaydon Keller, center, moves to the basket between Aberdeen Roncalli’s Maddox Miller, left and Maddox May, right, during Friday night’s game at the Roncalli High School gym. Photo by John Davis taken 1/21/2022

An adjustment on defense started an uprising and a two-pronged attack on offense finished it Friday night at Roncalli Gym.

Webster Area erased an early deficit and rolled to a 68-39 Northeast Conference boys’ basketball win over Aberdeen Roncalli.

The momentum changed with Roncalli holding a 14-10 lead late in the first period. Soon, the Bearcats had gone on a 19-2 surge and Roncalli never recovered.

Webster made a switch on defense and the Cavaliers managed just two points in more than eight minutes.

“I was working on a zone trapping package the last couple of days in practice. I kind of thought a zone might affect these guys a little bit,” said Webster coach Jared Vergeldt. “I had a couple of quick guys, a little package off the bench, that came in and really pestered their ball handlers up top to make those passes to the wings or passes inside hard.”

The defense not only stopped Roncalli, it also jump started the Webster offense.

“We got a couple of steals off it, and I think we got a couple of easy layups out of it. And that mattered,” Vergeldt said. “Once that defense kind of settled in, I think we caused a lot problems up top for them. They had a hard time making passes around us.”

Roncalli coach Dan Gallagher said his team was not prepared for that defensive look.

“When they switched up to the zone, it’s a coaching flaw where we just didn’t put in the practice plan lately. That’s on us,” Gallagher said. “We couldn’t find ways to get the ball inside and we weren’t shooting well. When you can’t shoot well, you need to find a way to get the ball in.”

While Webster’s defense was a problem for Roncalli, the two-man attack of Jaydon Keller and Jacob Pereboom was just as big of an issue.

Keller hit from inside, midrange and outside on the way to 30 points, while Pereboom used his left hand to finish off drives or nail three-point field goals.

“They were in a soft man and penetration helped us out. We got a lot of kick outs,” Keller said. “When we use our athleticism, we can get wide open shots. That’s what really helped us bump our percentage.”

The Bearcats shot better than 50 percent for the contest. While that hasn’t always been the case, Vergeldt knows that his players are capable shooters.

“We can shoot the ball,” Vergeldt said. “We’re just not very consistent.”

Webster was willing to make the extra pass and that resulted in high-percentage attempts.

“We were a lot more confident. A lot of times our guys are shying away from shots,” Keller said. “We got a lot of wide open good looks in the paint. We took a great shot, not a good one. That really helps us when we do that.”

The Cavaliers never really had an answer for either player.

Keller scored seven early points before Pereboom got going.

Webster Area’s Jacob Pereboom, right, pushes the ball up the floor as Aberdeen Roncalli’s Keegan Stewart, center, closes in on defense during Friday night’s game at the Roncalli High School gym. In the background for the Bearcats is Gavin Sannes. Photo by John Davis taken 1/21/2022

“We had a little too much help on Keller right away and that’s when Pereboom started to go off,” Gallagher said. “We were telling our guys, he’s a left-handed guy and he loves his left so sit on his left. Even when he goes right, don’t go with him. He found ways to put the basketball in the hoop. He’s a good shooter, but he doesn’t get credit enough for the way he finishes at the rim, too.”

Keller was a factor on both ends of the floor. When he wasn’t scoring, he was snatching up rebounds, collecting a game-leading dozen.

“He’s a talented player,” Gallagher said, “and he gave us fits everywhere on the court tonight.”

Pereboom added nine rebounds to the Webster total.

Roncalli was led by Keegan Stewart with nine points, Zee Mounga with eight, and Maddox Miller and Jayden Munroe with seven apiece. Munroe also grabbed nine rebounds.

The Cavaliers, 3-7 on the season, play at Hamlin on Tuesday.

Webster is now 2-7 on the year. The Bearcats host Waverly-South Shore Tuesday and will have some new-found confidence after their performance against Roncalli.

“This is a huge confidence booster for us,” Keller said. “We have to use it. We have to ride it into our next couple of games. We have to get back on track.”

WEBSTER (2-7): Jaydon Keller 11 3-4 30, Jacob Keller 1 0-0 3, Jaiden McCreary 2 0-0 5, Jacob Pereboom 7 3-4 20, Tommy Vergeldt 1 0-0 2, Brent Bearman 0 4-4 4, Kayden Stoks 1 0-0 2, Ian Lesnar 0 0-2 0 Aiden Kroll 1 0-0 2. Totals 24-46 10-14 68.

ABERDEEN RONCALLI (3-7): Maddox Miller 3 0-0 7, Zee Mounga 2 3-7 8, Keegan Stewart 3 0-0 9, Maddox May 1 0-0 2, Aiden Fisher 0 2-2 2, Jayden Munroe 2 3-4 7, Hunter Binder 1 2-2 4. Totals 12-45 10-15 39.

Webster 12 36 61 68

Aberdeen Roncalli 14 22 28 39

3-point field goals – Jayden Keller 5, Jacob Keller, McCreary, Pereboom 3; Miller, Mounga, Stewart 3. Total fouls – Webster 16; Aberdeen Roncalli 12. Rebounds – Webster 37 (Keller 12, Pereboom 9); Aberdeen Roncalli 27 (Munroe 9). Turnovers – Webster 7; Aberdeen Roncalli 8.

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