SYLVANIA -Wauseon added another win to its already impressive resume`, defeating Sylvania Southview 48-43 Saturday night in a battle of unbeaten boys basketball teams.
“For three quarters I thought we played pretty well. Built a pretty good lead,” said Indian head coach Chad Burt. “Fourth quarter, some free throws and turnovers bit us. But, defensively I thought we played very solid for four quarters. And rebounded pretty well for four quarters. I thought that’s what won us the game.”
A turning point came in the second quarter when the Indians outscored the Cougars 19-11.
Wauseon held a 12-11 lead after the first quarter and Southview managed to tie it at 16 at the 5:48 mark of the second. The Indians then got a slam dunk and two free throws from Austin Rotroff, plus a floater which found the bottom of the net by Trent Armstrong to push the margin to six.
Rotroff finished with 20 points for the game.
“Every night, it’s no secret we are gonna try to pound the post,” said Burt. “And I thought we did a good job of that, especially early. They did some things and made some adjustments, but for us, I thought some other guys stepped up and made some plays for us. It was a complete team win for us so that’s a good thing.”
Southview’s Zech Miller answered with a bucket but missed the and-one opportunity, Rotroff scored inside, then Tehree Horn of Southview nailed a three-pointer. Although that hoop made it 24-21, CJ Moser converted a drive to the basket for Wauseon, Levi Seiler a three-point play on the next possession and Brooks Gype a floater, making the difference 10 at the half.
Coach Burt felt his team’s defensive effort was the difference in the game.
“I think with the way they drive the ball, that was one of our big things, was it was great for our 1-on-1 defense,” he said. “Obviously they have (Christian) Wagenhauser inside who is a very good post player. They are a well-rounded offensive team. So I was very happy with our defensive effort.”
That margin remained the same into the fourth quarter as a jumper from Horn got the Cougars within 42-32 1:50 into the frame.
The Indians bumped it back to 16 on Armstrong’s drive to the hoop, Rotroff’s basket inside and a pair from the line for Seiler.
However, they went scoreless over the final three minutes – including missing a total of five from the charity stripe. The Cougars’ Jason Johnson hit a pair of shots around a bucket from Miller to make it 48-38 with 1:16 remaining.
Then, after the Indians missed the front-end of a 1-and-1, Johnson drilled a three which got them within seven with 39 seconds left. Southview would make it 48-43 on a steal and score for Tyson King 23 ticks later.
Wauseon missed three more free throws down the stretch, however, the Cougars failed to capitalize.
With the way it ended, the Indians now know of some areas they need to clean up.
“You play teams like this, they kind of expose your weaknesses. They give you some film to look at,” stated Burt. “(A reason to) evaluate yourselves in practice. So that’s why we play teams like this for sure.”
Wauseon (10-0) is back in action Thursday when they open Northwest Ohio Athletic League competition at home against Delta. Southview dropped to 9-1 after the loss.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010