BOYS BASKETBALL: Vercruysse eclipses milestone in Russell-Tyler-Ruthton victory

MARSHALL – For Rusell-Tyler-Ruthton, individual achievements are translating into team success. Knights’ senior Brett Vercruysse joined the 1,000-point club on Saturday, scoring 27 points in a 71-45 victory over Fulda.

“Brett Vercruysee has been a blue collar kid,” RTR coach Ted Kern said. “He’s just a hard worker on the inside at the varsity level for four years now and I’m extremely proud of him and happy for him that he was able to reach the 1,000 points.”

The Knights already saw Brett Peterson become the school’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season.

Much like that accomplishment, Vercruysse knows that it wasn’t just pure talent that got him into the 1,000-point club.

“I attribute that to my teammates,” Vercruysse said. “They have gotten me the ball and I’ve put in a lot of hard work and dedication.”

The Raiders stuck right with the Knights in the first half as RTR led by just four (32-28) heading into the halftime break before outscoring Fulda 39-20 in the second half.

Kern felt like his team got outhustled in the first half, but increased their work on the boards in the second half.

“They outplayed us in the first half,” Kern said. “They came out with energy and we failed to match that. Our rebounding improved dramatically in the second half. We were able to get out in transition a little bit because we weren’t allowing second opportunities. That’s big for us.”

Another key difference was the chances at the free-throw line as the Knights were able to wear down the Raiders with physical play inside.

The Knights converted on 15 of 22 free-throw attempts while Fulda shot 9 of 12.

Brett Peterson chipped in 23 points for RTR, while Isaiah DeRuyter finished with seven more.

Josh Ramerth carried the Raiders in a losing effort, scoring 33 of Fulda’s 48 points while Bennett Appel had 10. The Raiders ended up battling RTR pretty close on the boards, losing that fight just 27-21.

“We executed our game plan pretty well in the first half as far as the way we wanted to play defense on Peterson and Vercruysse,” Fulda coach Colby Pack said. “We made the rest of their guys make some shots. The start of the second half was pretty good. Then, we got tired and they were able to get out on the break and get some free-throw opportunities.”


FULDA (2-22 OVERALL): Cole Dierks 1 0-0 3, Josh Ramerth 12 7-10 33, Brandon Everett 0 0-0 0, Matt Funk 0 0-0 0, Matt Kunerth 0 2-2 2, Brian Fenske 0 0-0 0, Justin Dierks 0 0-0 0, Brett Cuperus 0 0-0 0, Bennett Appel 5 0-0 10, John Gunderman . TOTALS: 18 9-13 (69%) 48.

RUSSELL-TYLER-RUTHTON (13-8 OVERALL): Dain LaRock 0 2-2 2, Brett Knudsen 2 1-3 6, Jerry Wichern 0 0-0 0, Brett Peterson 8 4-6 23, Hunter Burns 0 0-0 0, Jesse Jasper 0 0-0 0, Frankie Gecevic 1 0-0 2, Isaiah DeRuyter 2 3-7 7, Christian Johnson 2 0-0 4, Brett Vercruysse 11 5-5 27. TOTALS: 22 15-22 (68%) 71.

HALFTIME: RTR 32, Fulda 28. 3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 4 (Peterson 3); Fulda 3 (Ramerth 2). REBOUNDS: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 27 (Peterson 7); Fulda 21 (Appel 7). TOTAL FOULS (FOULED OUT): Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (not reported); Fulda 16 (None). TECHNICAL FOULS: None. ASSISTS: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 9 (Peterson 2, Gecevic 2); Fulda 15 (Dierks 4). STEALS: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 6 (Vercruysse 1, Peterson 1, Knudsen 1, Gecevic 1, DeRuyter 1, Wichern 1); Fulda 4 (Fenske 2). BLOCKED SHOTS: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 1 (Vercruysse); Fulda 1 (Dierks). TURNOVERS: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 5; Fulda 12.