Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ada News
Allen senior Logan Dennis was caught grumbling about a call and was whistled for a technical foul at the 2:37 mark of the third quarter. That crucial play was at the end of a 10-2 Roff run that allowed the host Tigers to cut a nine-point lead to 37-36 after two Dalton Reed technical foul free shots.
Dennis would make up for his blunder in a big way when he converted on a pivotal three-point play with just over a minute left in the game that gave the Mustangs the lead for good in a tense 62-57 road win Tuesday night.
The Allen boys improved to 7-2 heading into the holiday break, while Roff settled in at an even 7-7.
"Logan stepped up and did a good job for us. He did something that kind of put us in a bind a little bit too, but he made up for it," said Allen head coach Greg Mills. "He didn't duck his head and played hard. He's a senior, he should step up and play hard."
In the girls contest, Roff junior leader Lauren Trimmer showed no signs of a lingering ankle sprain as she returned to the starting lineup after missing a game with an injury and proceeded to pour in a game-high 24 points to propel the Lady Tigers to a 42-37 victory.
The Lady Tigers moved to 8-6 on the season while Allen left town at 3-6.
Allen 62, Roff 57
Roff sophomore Zach Lewis hit a 3-pointer with 1:24 left in the game to give the Tigers their first lead of the game since midway through the second quarter at 55-53. It was only the second field goal attempt for Lewis, who missed his first try just seconds before on Roff's previous possession.
But after a Roff timeout, Dennis muscled his way inside, made a layup, was fouled and hit the ensuing free throw to put Allen back on top 56-55. The Mustangs wouldn't trail again. Dennis would finish with 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Jarett Holland's steal and basket with 40 seconds left put Allen on top 58-55, but freshman Dalton Reed sank two free throws with 23.8 ticks left to again get Roff within one.
Allen newcomer Cole Young, who led a balanced AHS attack with 18 points to go with five rebounds and four steals, hit a free throw with 16.5 seconds remaining. His takeaway seconds later led to two free throws from Conner Johnson (after an intentional foul call that Roff head coach Bo Thomason protested, to no avail) that made it 61-57 and helped seal the outcome.
"It was a hard-fought ballgame," Mills said. "When we played about two weeks ago, it was a game just like this (Allen won 65-56). It was very, very physical. When you have two teams playing that hard, you never know what the outcome is going to be."
Holland scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, while Johnson finished with 11 after going a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. The Mustangs were 23-of-42 (54.8 percent) from the field as a unit.
Sophomore Dalton Madden erupted for a game-high 21 points for the Tigers, while Cade Carpenter added 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench for Roff. Reed added eight points, five rebounds and a pair of steals for Roff, which out-rebounded Allen 33-22.
Allen was without the services of junior Zayne Erickson, who was at home sick. Senior playmaker Lane Mills started the game despite battling illness, but after being whistled for his third foul with 4:12 left in the second quarter, he went to the bench and didn't return.
Counting Lane Mills, Greg Mills went with an iron man lineup of six players against the Tigers.
"They play hard every night, and that's all I can ask out of them. I'd like to go a little bit deeper down the bench after Christmas. That would help us out a little bit. Tonight, we just had to stick with our guns," he said. "I feel really good about this team heading into the break. I think we will be a different team when we come out (in January). "
Roff 42, Allen 37
The Lady Tigers appeared on their way to a dominant victory after rolling to a 21-8 halftime lead. Roff limited Allen to 4-of-25 shooting from the field during the first 16 minutes and by halftime, Trimmer had scored double (16) the entire Allen team.
Trimmer converted on a three-point play, and Kelsey Anderson followed with a free throw with 5:43 left in the game to boost the Roff lead to 42-28. The Lady Tigers' offense was shut out the rest of the way, as Allen scored the final nine points of the game. But time would run out on any hopes of a Lady Mustang rally despite the end-of-game cold spell by Roff.
"It was a total, good team effort. Everybody played their part tonight," said Roff head coach Scott Morgan.
Trimmer played a huge part, finishing with eight rebounds and four steals to go with her 24 points. She had suffered her ankle injury during a 44-28 loss to Stratford on Dec. 11. Trimmer sat out Roff's 53-35 win over Calvin on Dec. 14 but was back with a vengeance Tuesday night.
"She played really well. She played really composed," Morgan said. "The other kids did a good job of finding her when she was hot."
The Roff coach said his team has been getting better during its most recent outings.
"We've been working really hard on two things. No. 1, better defensive play. And No. 2, playing with a lot of intensity. I thought the kids answered the challenge," Morgan said. "We had a lot of passion and intensity, and that helped us out a lot."
Morgan said he likes the direction his team is heading.
"We've played really well the last week and a half. I've been really proud of the kids. We put a lot of challenges in front of them ... and they come and work hard every day," he said.
During Allen's game-ending run, freshman Alycia Evans had back-to-back steals in the final minute of the game that led to a Charlea Leonard layup and two free throws of her own with 20 seconds remaining that got the Lady Mustangs within five. But Allen wouldn't score again.
Sarah Gross had a solid, all-around game for Roff with eight points, seven rebounds and four steals. Anderson played her final basketball game for Roff. The senior is scheduled to have ACL knee surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
Leonard, one of six freshmen who saw action for Allen, scored eight points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead her troops while Hannah Heck, another freshman, scored seven. Sandra Howshar also scored seven points for Allen and added seven rebounds to help Allen win the battle of the boards 34-29.
Allen is back in action Jan. 4 at Stonewall, while Roff returns to the court Jan. 4 at Moss.