New?Riegel hands Carey first loss

NEW RIEGEL – Brandyn Reinhart didn’t care for the call. His coach, Todd Aichholz, wasn’t particularly fond of it either.

But their votes didn’t count, and so the offensive foul sent Reinhart to the sideline with his fifth personal with 2:42 left to play and New Riegel clinging to a 53-50 lead.

But the end of the night for Reinhart didn’t have to be the end of the line for the Blue Jackets. They watched Carey tie the game but had enough at the finish for a 60-55 win in a showdown of Midland Athletic League unbeatens here Friday.

New Riegel improved to 10-1 overall and shares the top spot in the league with Old Fort at 4-0. The loss was Carey’s first in nine games. The Blue Devils are 3-1 in the MAL.

Reinhart, the league’s leading scorer at nearly 22 points per game, was having another monster night. But his aggressive way led to his own demise. The 6-foot-4 senior picked up his third foul on the first possession of the fourth period and was whistled for his fourth with 3:04 to go.

Zach Boes made two foul shots to pull the Blue Devils to within three, but Reinhart went hard to the hoop at the other end and Carey’s Jared Wentling drew a charge.

“Two of those were not good fouls,” Reinhart said. “Coach is always telling us to be smart with your fouls and I, uh, wasn’t. That last one, in my opinion, it wasn’t a foul, but “

But it didn’t matter.

After Wentling and New Riegel’s Jake Dryfuse traded baskets, Boes canned a 3-pointer to tie it at 55 with 1:19 to go. That was the last advance for Carey, however.

Korey Williams hit two foul shots to put New Riegel back in the lead and Dryfuse took a pass from Andrew Hohman for a strong post move to make it 59-55 with 45 seconds left.

Carey had a turnover and Williams sealed it with a foul shot.

“Next man up. That’s the way we’ve been playing all season,” Aichholz said of the plan after Reinhart fouled out.

That was a little easier said than done, considering Reinhart had 30 points and seven rebounds before exiting.

He and Dryfuse, who added 16 points and a game-high 11 boards, gave New Riegel a solid 1-2 inside punch. But from there the scoring fell to five by Williams.

For his part, Reinhart mostly let the game come to him.

“If they double-teamed me, I knew I’d be passing it back out,” he said. “If they didn’t double me, I was going to see if I could score. I guess there were enough times that they didn’t double me and I was able to score quite a few.”

But it was on the defensive end that New Riegel turned things around with a tight man-to-man challenge after Carey had opened a 33-22 halftime lead.

The Blue Devils did their thing with a balanced attack. Wentling came off the bench for 14 points, mostly inside. Meanwhile, Bryan Powers (13 points), Justin Meek (13 points) and Boes (10 points) combined for seven 3-pointers, three of them by Powers.

“We played a little more zone than we’re used to and tried to play a little more of a half-court game in the first half,” Aichholz said. “But that’s not us. We went back to our bread-and-butter and played great, aggressive man defense.

“When we started picking up on defense, our offense got better and our transition was better,” he said.

Did it ever.

New Riegel scored on nine of its first 10 possessions of the second half. Nick Wank had a couple baskets and Williams added another on what was otherwise the Reinhart-Dryfuse inside show as New Riegel took a 44-42 lead.

“I thought we got a little complacent at halftime when it came to our 11-point lead,” Carey coach C.J. Kin said. “The third quarter, we were just terrible. We didn’t rotate, we didn’t get back, we didn’t do all the things we did in the first half that got us that lead.

“We knew coming in we were going to concentrate on taking Williams away and doubling on Reinhart as much as we could,” he said. “We told our kids, ‘Don’t let anyone else go off on us.’ But Dryfuse stepped up and hit some good shots for them.”

Aichholz said Dryfuse’s game has been coming on lately.

“At the beginning of the year, I thought he was pretty passive and he’s not a good player when he’s passive,” Aichholz said. “Jake’s been coming out and playing his game.”

Reinhart issued his junior fellow front-liner a challenge.

“I was telling him before the game that if I was going to scout him, I would say ‘you can shoot but you can be weak at times,'” Reinhart said. “I said, ‘Jake, prove me wrong. Be physical.’ Man, he definitely proved me wrong.”

“I knew it was a big game and I felt like, if we were going to win, I was going to have to play well,” Dryfuse said. “But really, everybody played well.”

The next man up and then some.