DeCock, Rogotzke lead Falcons over Lakers

MARSHALL – Red Rock Central’s Jeff DeCock and Henry Rogotzke took the floor at Southwest Minnesota State University’s R/A Facility Saturday and proved why they’re one of the most dynamic duos in southwest Minnesota boys’ basketball.

DeCock, an ultra-athletic 6-foot-2 point guard, and Rogotzke, a skilled 6-5 center, filled up the stat sheet as they helped their Falcons roll to a 56-46 win over the Lakeview Lakers in a non-conference contest.

Battling a shoulder injury, DeCock poured in a game-high 22 points to go with seven rebounds and seven assists. Rogotzke scored 17 points, pulled down 10 rebounds, had five steals and blocked three shots to give the Falcons their 10th win of the season.

“I’ve said all year long, if those two can score 40 to 45 and the rest can score 15 to 25, that’s been the formula to getting us to 10 wins,” RRC head coach Brian Walker said.

The Lakers’ combated Rogotzke’s size with a pair of big men of their own in 6-7 sophomore Jonah Dovre and 6-4 senior Spencer Larsen. Dovre ended the night with 13 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks, while Larsen went for nine points and 12 boards.

Lakeview head coach Dan Hoffman said his team’s offense has been improving as the players learn to play off the big men.

“Even from last year, we’ve come a long way so far. We’ve made a lot of progress in terms of using our posts better,” Hoffman said. “On any given night we could have five to six or seven different guys who can score double digits or more, not all at one time, but it could be these two or these two or those two, so it makes it more challenging for other teams to defend us when we have that many guys who can score.”

Dovre and Larsen took turns scoring down low for the Lakers in the first half and helped lead their team to an early lead, but the Falcons grabbed all the momentum for themselves at the half by finishing on an 8-0 run.

DeCock, who struggled to finish around the rim in the first half along with some of his teammates, hit a free-throw line jumper to start the run, then scored on a fastbreak layup off a Lakeview turnover with 48 seconds left. Sam Halter then got a steal and a layup with 22 seconds remaining before DeCock came up with a steal and pushed a pass up to Rogotzke for a layup just before time expired in the half.

The game took a turn about eight minutes into the second half when DeCock dislocated his shoulder for the second night in a row. He was leaning over while walking up the court with his arm dangling, and Walker immediately knew what was wrong. He walked right up to DeCock and popped the shoulder back in place, drawing a groan of disgust by the crowd. After the timeout, DeCock was right back on the court to finish the game.

“He’s had some definite problems with that and is playing through some pain,” Walker said. “He has a pretty loose shoulder joint there and if he gets hit a certain way or goes up a certain way, it’ll slip. I’ve been able to get it back in all the time, so I guess I could be a doctor.”

Lakeview gathered itself during the stoppage and the Lakers cut an eight-point RRC lead down to one after a 3 by Derek Larsen, a pair of free throws by Dovre and a layup by Damien Wallin. With 6:35 left, RRC led 42-41.

Playing with no fear, DeCock continued slashing to the basket to create for himself and for teammates. He drove to the basket and dumped off a pass to Rogotzke for an easy layup, scored on a fastreak layup and later hit a difficult shot while double pumping on another drive to the hoop to build the lead back up to 49-41 with 3:27 left.

Lakeview wasn’t quite finished, as Dovre threw down a dunk off an assist from Derek Larsen and Tyler Lange knocked down a 3 from the left wing with with 56 seconds remaining. But DeCock and Rogotzke each hit a pair of free throws to bump the lead back up to seven and seal game with under 40 seconds left.

Derek Larsen joined Dovre in double figures for the Lakers, connecting on three 3-pointers for 11 points. His Lakeview team struggled from the free throw line during the game, going just 10-for-19.

“The boys fought hard, I can’t complain about that,” Hoffman said of the Lakers. “We just missed too many free throw opportunities and had a few costly turnovers that cost us in that first half.”

The Lakers, who have dropped five of seven, look to get back on track Tuesday against Renville County West in Renville. RRC plays Southwest United Thursday in Okabena.