Indorante's 36 paces Charleroi in 68-59 victory

| Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Charleroi's Matt Indorante had a senior night that he won't forget.

After being honored as one of five Cougar seniors prior to the game, the 6-0 guard sank 10 3-pointers on his way to 36 points. He helped the Cougars stay in the Section 5 AA race for another night with a 68-59 win over Jefferson-Morgan.

“That's the Matt Indorante that we know,” Charleroi coach Bill Wiltz said. “He has that potential. He showed it a lot as a junior. At the beginning of this season he struggled a little bit, but he could do this any given night and hopefully he carries this over into the stretch run of the season.”

Powered by Indorante's 3-pointers and a pressuring 1-3-1 zone defense, Charleroi (11-7, 9-3) raced to a 41-22 lead over Jefferson-Morgan (9-11, 6-7) at halftime.

Indorante started the game on fire, sinking his first three 3-point shots and five of his first seven before he started to cool off in the second quarter.

But forward Ryan Konek was there to pick up the slack, scoring eight points of his 15 points in the second period.

Indorante finished the first half 7 of 12 from 3-point distance, and the Cougars' defense forced 16 turnovers — 26 for the game — pestering an ice-cold Rockets squad into mistake after mistake.

“I like that number,” Wiltz said in reference to the turnovers. “We had active hands and feet all game tonight. When you play the extended 1-3-1 with energy, it's a difficult defense to play against. If you stand and look around there are a lot of holes in it, but the kids were really active and did a nice job tonight.”

The Rockets found their groove in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 37-27 as 6-5 forward Rece Henneman started to heat up. Held to five points in the first half, the Rockets' star poured in 16 in the second half.

He also combined with fellow 6-5 forward Christian Randolph to control the boards with Charleroi's 6-7 center John Arnold out for the night, but the Cougars' lead proved to be insurmountable.

Randolph (21 points and 14 rebounds) and Henneman (21 points and 10 rebounds) each contributed double-doubles for the Rockets.

“When we run that 1-3-1 we have four players within 20 feet of the hoop. I think we controlled Henneman that way. But when you do that you give up some rebounds.

“We just couldn't get our wings crashed down when the ball was in the air like we were supposed to do. But with John coming back we can control the boards a little better going forward.

Fellow Charleroi seniors Konek, Brandon Bowman, Dakota Moorer and Bryan Dunseath were also honored before the game. Bowman (team-high four steals) and Moorer (team-high seven rebounds) were instrumental in the Cougars' defensive effort.

“I knew we were ready to play when we left the locker room,” Wiltz said. “Senior night is a special night, especially when you start all seniors like we do.

“The enthusiasm was high and there was a lot of energy, and when we play that way we win. If we shoot the ball as well as we did tonight and rebound a bit better, I like where we are headed.”

The Cougars will battle for second place in the section when they host Frazier Thursday in a make-up game from Monday.

Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.

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