Voegele leads Ross to OT win at Monroe

MONROE — Ross High School boys basketball coach David Lane called Tuesday night’s road trip against Monroe a step forward.

It took every bit of 32 minutes — and then some — for the Rams to come out on top.

Ben Voegele knocked down 9 of 10 free throws down the stretch and scored a team-high 17 points to help boost Ross past Monroe for a 62-57 victory in overtime.

“I said it since day one — our kids just compete,” Lane said. “Our kids compete extremely hard. We’re very young, and this is our first road experience with some of our varsity guys. But the big thing is that we continued to preach for our guys to compete, compete, compete.

“This was a really good experience for us as a group,” Lane added. “To go on the road and win against a well-coached team.”

Ross (2-1) never led by more than five points, when Voegele connected on two of his free throws that gave the Rams a 53-48 lead with 1:44 left in regulation.

“I say to myself when I’m up there at the free throw line, ‘I’m the best shooter in the gym,’” said Voegele, a sophomore. “I have to get some of that confidence in me.”

Monroe (1-2) scored the next five points — a bucket by Noah Fults, a free throw by Tate Fetrow and two more free throws by Jason Evans following a Ross technical foul — to send it to overtime. The Rams outscored the Hornets 9-4 in the extra period.

“We talked to the team early in the preseason about really good teams do it for 32 minutes,” Monroe coach Aaron Horne said. “A lot of teams can do it for a quarter or a half. But to be a really good basketball team, you’ve got to be able to do it for a full 32 minutes. We just haven’t done that yet.”

Monroe senior guard Drew Taylor scored 19 of his game-high 23 points in the first half. The Hornets went on a 10-3 run to close out the second quarter and take a 29-26 lead into the break.

“We knew it was going to be a tough, physical game,” Taylor said. “We knew it was going to be a dogfight. If we had a lead, we knew we had to keep it. Those guys are good. They hold leads, and that’s what they do — they close ballgames.

“At the end, we had the chance to win it and not turn it over,” added Taylor, who fouled out when Ross was up 56-53 with 3:10 left in OT. “Then in overtime, they showed us what they had. We showed all of our cards in regulation, so they got the best of us.”

Seniors Kellen Reid and Luke Fulmer each scored 12 points and junior Riley Caldwell had eight for Ross. Fults finished with 15 points and Fetrow had seven for Monroe.


Both teams shot a combined 80.7% from the charity stripe Tuesday.

Lane said free throws haven’t been a top priority at practice for Ross, until recently. The Rams finished 25 for 32 from the line.

“That’s what we like to see. We like to see them dots filled in (on the scoresheet),” Lane said. “We don’t like to see them open.

“We’ve started to give the kids some friendly competition at practice with free throws,” Lane added. “Coach (Dave) Meiner has done a great job of getting the kids prepared for situations like this.”

Monroe shot 17 for 20 from the free throw line, including Taylor’s 8-for-8 performance.


Ross has won four in a row against Monroe. Monroe last beat Ross back on Feb. 19, 2019, when the Hornets outscored the Rams 17-9 in the fourth quarter to take it.

Monroe defeated Ross in the junior varsity contest 47-41 on Tuesday night. Monroe downed Ross in the freshman game 31-25.


Both teams get back to action on Friday. Monroe hosts Brookville at 7:15 p.m., while Ross travels to Mount Healthy at 7:30 p.m.

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