DERUYTER — Going into Tuesday’s non-league game, DeRuyter boys’ varsity basketball coach Ric Barnes knew his undefeated Rockets would face a good test against visiting Groton.
Through the first half, DeRuyter enjoyed a six-point lead before blowing the game open in the third quarter and cruising to a 67-48 victory. New York state’s third-ranked Class D team improved to 12-0 with the victory. Groton slips to 6-7 overall with the loss.
Benjamin Barnes powered the DeRuyter offense with 23 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Gavin Richardson added 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists while Riley Glisson netted 10 points and two steals.
Groton got 19 points from Kalib Manning. Garrett VanBenschoten chipped in with 12 points and James Lucey had eight points.
“We were lucky enough to get a tough team at home and played a team game to get a hard fought victory,” Coach Barnes said. “We turned the ball over six out of the first seven possessions. The guys were red up and played a bit tight the first few minutes.”
Once Richardson hit a 3-pointer, the DeRuyter players began to relax and get into a rhythm. The Rockets would hold a 10-9 lead after one quarter. Benjamin Barnes and Richardson each had five points in the quarter.
Manning started to heat up from Groton in the second quarter as he pumped in seven points including a trey. Benjamin Barnes countered for DeRuyter with 2 3-pointers and eight points in the quarter as DeRuyter opened up a 26-20 advantage.
“Gavin got us started with a three from the corner,” Coach Barnes said. “Benjamin hit one from top of the key and then things loosened up. Frank (Glisson) controlled things as he usually does. He had some amazing passes tonight. Tristan (Worlock) had some timely blocks and controlled the ball after them. Once we got running, the game kind of came to us.”
That running game led to 24 points in the third quarter and the defense limited Groton to 13 points to open a comfortable 50-33 cushion. It was a team effort in the third quarter scoring. Riley Glisson had seven points, Benjamin Barnes netted six points and Worlock added five points.
It was just a matter of maintaining a comfortable advantage in the fourth quarter, DeRuyter did that with a 17-15 scoring edge and the winning streak reached 12 games.
“That is one very strong defensive team,” Coach Barnes said. “We are fortunate to come away with a win.”
DeRuyter will play back-to-back Central Counties League games to close out the week. The Rockets will host Brook eld Thursday before a trip to Otselic Valley Friday. Both games start at 6 p.m.
Groton will return to Interscholastic Athletic Conference action. The Indians will host Tioga Friday in a 7 p.m. crossover game.
In the JV game, DeRuyter took a 23-13 lead in the first quarter and rolled to a 73-58 victory over Groton.
Justin Foster fueled the Junior Rockets with 24 points. Ryder Forrest delivered 16 points and Camren Daley netted 11 points.
Kolin Manning led Groton with 14 points. Tom Pinkowski added 13 points to the Indians’ attack.