Troy Christian’s Penrod hits scoring milestone; Rupnik has career night in win over Riverside


TROY — It was a milestone night for Troy Christian senior guard Parker Penrod.

But, not a typical night by any means for the Eagles four-year starter.

Which came as no surprise to Eagles coach Ray Zawadzki Jr. in 66-38 win over Riverside that improved Troy Christian to 3-0 overall and 3-0 in the TRC heading into a big stretch of games.

Penrod came into the game needing five points to reach the 1,000-point mark.

And while it was not a typical shooting performance in a seven-point effort, he did hit the impressive milestone.

“I think it was just nerves,” Penrod said, laughing about an unusual shooting night from the floor at the Eagles nest in which he made just two field goals.

Zawadzki was not surprised.

“I have been coaching for 31 years and seen this six times (1,000-point scorers),” he said. “And it happened every single time. You watch these guys fill up the bucked every single night, but then you put a number in front of them and it always happens. Needless to say, with the games we have coming up, I am excited to have the 1,000 points out of the way.”

And when Penrod went to the free throw line with 7.1 seconds remaining in the opening half, he needed to hit both free throws to reach 1,000 points and let the Troy Christian crowd explode in celebration.

“I figured I had kept them waiting long enough,” Penrod said with a smile about hitting both free throws to set off a celebration. “All the credit goes to the Lord. I have had great teammates throughout my four years who have pushed me to be better. I couldn’t have done it without all them.”

Those free throws gave the Eagles a 25-18 lead at the break, but Riverside wasn’t going away.

Troy Christian was still leading just 29-23 early in the third quarter.

“We only shot 31 percent the first half,” Zawadzki said. “But, we were playing really solid defense. When you do that (defense), that can create things at the offensive end. I told the kids just to relax.”

Things changed very quickly.

Six-foot seven post Frank Rupnik continued a career night with a basket and Riston Taylor had a 3-point play and Christian Brusman hit a 3-pointer.

Two more baskets by Rupnik completed a 12-0 run to make it 41-23.

“When Big Frank (Rupnik) is playing like that, I don’t think there is much people can do,” Penrod said.

Later in the quarter, Rupnik beat an attempted box out to put a missed free throw in and he would hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter for good measure as he scored 25 points on 12 of 1 8 shooting from the floor, to go with six rebounds, three assists and four blocked shots.

“It feels good,” Rupnik said. “I have put a lot of hard work in and a lot of hours in the gym over the years. It is nice to see that pay off.”

Brusman had 14 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Taylor had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Alex Free filled out the stat sheet with seven points, 11 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocked shots.

And Penrod had four assists and three steals to go with his seven points.

Gavin Orsborne led Riverside with 15 points and eight rebounds.

Nate Copas had five points and five rebounds, Dominik Stotler had five points and Jaxon Woods had five points and three assists.

Troy Christian was 27 of 61 from the floor for 44 percent, including four of 24 from 3-point range for 17 percent. The Eagles converted eight of 13 free throws for 62 percent.

Riverside was 16 of 52 from the floor for 31 percent and two of 12 from long range for 17 percent. The Pirates made four of six from the line for 67 percent.

Troy Christian won the battled of the boards 38-24 and committed just nine turnovers, while forcing Riverside into 13 turnovers.

Now, the Eagles face back-to-back road games against two of the top teams in the conference in Miami East and Northridge before a regional re-match with Russia in the opening round of the WPTW Classic at Piqua.

After a milestone night where there was plenty to celebrate.

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]

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