PORTSMOUTH – As the regular season slowly winds toward an end, the Notre Dame Titans are still improving, and winning. The last part of that statement came true on Saturday in a home win over the Rose Hill (Ky.) Royals 59-46 as the Titans picked up their second win of the season.
“We put together a nice couple of runs tonight,” said Titans head coach Matt Mader following the Notre Dame win on Saturday. “Kevin (Colley) said that we went on a 22-1 run over the latter part of the second quarter and the beginning of the third to open up and eighteen point lead. I thought we shared the ball really well and got everyone involved.”
Notre Dame did in fact move the ball incredibly well. While the Royals attempted to run a 2-3 zone defense for the majority of the game, it was the Titans who were patient on the offensive end and relied on good decision making and even better passing to get the open looks necessary to win.
And even when the Titans happened to miss the open looks they were taking advantage of, they were right there underneath to grab offensive rebounds to generate more chances to get points on the board.
“Ethan Kammer had his best game of the year offensively with 11 points and six rebounds,” said Mader. “He is undersized every night but is fundamentally sound and keeps getting better and better. Caleb Nichols has also stepped up and has led us on the glass all year. He had 13 rebounds last night and 13 rebounds again tonight, continues to be very active and is gaining confidence everyday as a sophomore.”
The Titans two leading scorers for the season, sophomore Jackson Clark and senior Ben Mader, continued the pace they’ve been on since the season began again on Saturday by scoring a combined 35 of the Titans 59 points. If it doesn’t say enough about Mader’s ability to hit outside shots, 12 of the senior’s 21 points came from behind the arc, contributing four of his teams six made three’s for the game.
“Jackson Clark is really distributing the ball as of late and is doing a great job of getting these other guys involved, and he really did a nice job late in the game of getting to the rim and finishing,” said Mader of his talented sophomore who finished with a team high seven assists. “Ben continues to put up solid numbers, we look to him to do the bulk of the scoring. But it definitely releases some pressure when other guys are knocking down shots as well.”
Going into the final week of regular season play, things don’t get any easier for a Notre Dame team in a loaded SOC I conference. To finish the season, Notre Dame will travel to Green to face the Bobcats on their senior night Tuesday before hosting New Boston Friday night to honor seniors Ben Mader and Cole Harrell.
“Two huge challenges ahead as we battle two of the better two Division IV teams in our area this year,” said Mader when speaking of how he hopes for a strong finish from his club. “We are anxious to see how we match up the second time around. I think for us, it continues to be on the defensive end, we need to continue to get better defensively and on the glass. We are undersized every night and we must compete by blocking out and playing better defense on a more consistent basis.”
ND: 14-15-18-12 – 59
RH:14-8-10-14 – 46
ND: 22 FG, 6 3PT (Mader 4), 9/14 FT. Scoring: Mader 21, Clark 14, Kammer 11, Nichols 8, Harrell 5
RH: 16 FG, 7 3PT, 9/15 FT.
Reach Jacob Smith at at (740) 353-3101 ext., by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT