BOURBON — A second-half defensive change fueled a pair of offensive runs as Class 1A No. 10-ranked Triton topped Rochester 55-43 Tuesday, Feb. 15 in non-conference boys basketball at the Trojan Trench.

“We went to a box-and-1,” said Triton coach Jason Groves of the switch against the Zebras coming out of halftime. “To be honest, we were having a hard time guarding in our (man-to-man). They spread you out. They’ve been playing well offensively and scoring a lot of points.

“They’re hard to guard. They get to the basket. They understand the offense. They make the pass and we weren’t rotating very well.”

Groves thought by going to the box-and-1 his team could neutralize junior Paul Leasure from the perimeter and also contain penetration.

“We wanted to test the other guys’ shooting and that’s just what we did,” said Groves, who saw his team open the third quarter on a 9-0 run for a 40-29 lead and go on a 12-0 run that ended in the fourth quarter and put the Trojans up 52-32.

For the game, Triton outscored Rochester 22-6 in points off turnovers. Led by senior Ashton Oviedo (5) and senior Bruce Johnson (3), the Trojans made 13 steals and forced the Zebras into 19 turnovers (Triton had eight).

“That’s where our guys thrive,” said Groves. “We’ve got some guys that can finish in transition.

“One thing we focus on in practice is getting deflections and trying get out and go the other way.”

Rochester coach Rob Malchow came away impressed by the Trojans.

“They’ve got six seniors,” said Malchow “They’re very athletic and very high-I.Q. players.”

Triton was ahead 31-21 — the first half’s biggest differential — only to see the Zebras close out the second period on an 8-0 run.

“We made that run by using our 2-3 zone and got the gap close at halftime,” said Malchow. “They countered in the third quarter and our counter didn’t come back.”

Leading by as many as nine points at 16-7 in the first quarter, Triton took a 21-15 advantage into the second quarter.

Senior Tyson Yates (14 points — seven in the third quarter), senior Caden Graham (8 — all in the first quarter), senior Cole Shively (8 — five in the first half), Ovideo (5) and Johnson (5) led the Trojan attack. Graham sank two 3-pointers and Yates one.

Triton (14-5) made 19-of-47 shots from the floor and collected 28 rebounds, led by Shively (7) and Johnson (5).

Rochester (9-9) was paced offensively by sophomore Robert Bozzo (9 points — six in the first quarter), Leasure (7 — all in the first half) and junior Luke Hunting (6). Bozzo (3), Leasure (1) and junior Ethan Medina (1) accounted for the Zebras’ 3-pointers.

Rochester went 15-of-42 from the floor and 8-of-8 at the foul stripe. The visitors grabbed 31 rebounds — five each for Hunting, Brock Bowers, junior Tarick McGlothin and freshman Xavier Vance.

The Trojans ran their win streak to three and are now 5-1 against Class 2A teams and 8-2 on their home floor.

The Zebras fell to 2-5 on the road and 4-4 against 1A competition.

In the junior varsity game, Rochester edged Triton 42-40. Hunter Campell (16 points), Bryce Baugher (5), Dylan Hook (5) and Owen Prater (5) led scoring for the JV Zebras. Pacing the JV Trojans (14-5) were Wayne Reichert (15), Jacob Pitney (11), Evan Briles (8) and Dante Workman (6).

Argos visits Triton Thursday, Feb. 17 and Caston goes to Rochester Friday, Feb. 18.