ROSSFORD — Last year, Eastwood defeated Rossford twice, putting an end to any Northern Buckeye Conference championship hopes the Bulldogs might have had. Ultimately, the Eagles won the league title.
Friday night at George Wolfe Field House, the Bulldogs made sure it did not happen again.
Six-foot-3 senior guard Brenden Revels scored a game-high 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds in leading Rossford to a 65-47 victory over the Eagles.
“We really wanted our revenge because nobody likes to lose,” Revels said. “They beat us at our place and then we went there and lost, so it felt really good to get that win back.”
Rossford coach Brian Vorst added, “It felt like they had our number last year. It’s a good bounce-back win for us.
“The guys are happy, we’re happy. We had a great few days of preparation for this game, so our kids were mentally dialed in today.
“It’s just becoming a great team atmosphere. Everybody is doing their job — everybody is doing their little bit,” coach Vorst added.
Rossford improves to 6-1 overall and stays unbeaten in the NBC at 4-0 while Eastwood falls to 4-2 and 2-2.
At 6.8 points per game, Revels came into the game as Rossford’s fourth leading scorer behind 6-4 senior Jake Morrison (17.2 points), 6-10 senior Derek Vorst (14.7) and 6-4 senior Garette Murphree (9.5).
Revels said it was just his turn to have a big scoring night.
“It’s pretty much the unselfishness of our team,” Revels said. “Nobody cares who is putting the ball in the rim, as long as it is getting in the hole, we are all happy and very supportive of whoever scores with the basketball.”
Coach Vorst added, “It’s an incredibly unselfish team. The kids are learning that, and they are figuring out that it is truly honest that its Derek one night, Jake one night, and then Brenden, then Garette, and (senior) Wes (Ellison) has been playing well for us.
“(Senior) Brandon (Swope) had more points tonight and he played well. The guys are buying into that whole team thing.
“You’ve got a guy like Derek, and he’s committed and signed D-I (Indiana State), and when he’s not pressing to go up and score 26 a night, it makes us better,” coach Vorst continued.
“It allows other guys to be their best. That’s what great players do — great players make the players around them better and that is what he is doing.”
Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh said his team strategized to double Vorst in the paint because it had worked in the Bulldog’s season opening loss to Kalida. However, the taller Bulldogs were prepared.
“They can hurt you in so many different ways. They have so many good players,” Faykosh said. “You can start by doubling Vorst and try to get it out of his hands because we’re obviously mismatched inside.
“We were doubling, and he was kicking it out and made a lot of plays, and their guys knocked down a lot of shots.
“They have some shooters, too, so it is incredibly difficult matchup for us. They just did a good job — they got the inside presence and the outside,” Faykosh continued.
Vorst had a double-double 11 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two steals and he blocked four shots.
Murphree scored nine points on three triples, Swope scored eight points, Morrison had seven points, 11 rebounds, and six assists, and Ellison added two points.
Coach Vorst said that by doubling Derek, it gave others an opportunity to score.
“They did a very good job (doubling Derek Vorst),” coach Vorst said. “It opened lanes. We’re getting better.
“We talked about that after the game, in our first meeting with Kalida and our first couple games when he got doubled, we stood. The kids are doing a really good job cutting now and Derek is doing a great job finding them.”
Rossford shot 50% (24-for-48) from the field, made 8-of-23 three-point shots (35%) and was 9-for-10 from the line. Plus, the Bulldogs had a huge 38-17 rebounding advantage.
Senior guard Case Boos led Eastwood with 15 points and two assists and senior guard Noah Smith had 10 points and two assists. The Eagles had just six turnovers to the Bulldogs’ 13.
Eastwood 6-2 senior forward Brady Weaver, the Eagles’ tallest player with significant playing time, scored 10 points.
The Eagles shot 33% (18-for-54) from the floor, made 7-of-35 shots from beyond the arc (20%), and were 4-for-6 from the line.
Although the Eagles trailed by double digits the entire second half, they seemed to be hanging around enough that one scoring run could put them right back in it.
“We could have been a little bit better defensively the second half,” coach Vorst said. “I thought they split us and got into the paint a little too much, but all-in-all it was a great defensive effort from our guys.”
Eastwood sophomore guard Kadyn Donnell scored six points, and senior guard Tristan Schuerman, junior guard Caleb Souder, and sophomore guard Andre Lewis contributed two points each.