A second half surge from Wauseon junior Brooks Gype who had 26 points for the game allowed the Indians to defeat Archbold, 52-50, on their home floor in non-league boys basketball Saturday night.
“Gype was pretty good. Didn’t have an answer (for him),” said Archbold coach Doug Krauss after the game. “It wasn’t real good coaching on our part, on my part anyway, that we didn’t try some zone. Because he was just shredding us. Just a tough match-up.”
Although it was a non-league victory, the win was a good sign for the Indians as last season they dropped the NWOAL game at Archbold by a final of 50-42.
“We had a lot of guys step up and make plays for us,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt. “Classic Wauseon-Archbold. You know it’s gonna come down to the wire. You know that both teams are gonna play hard and make plays. These kids know each other so well. They play against each other in the summer. They hang out together. So, that just kind of adds fuel to the rivalry. And boy was it physical.”
Wauseon led just 22-21 at the half, but scored nine straight points at the end of the third quarter to take command. Owen Newlove split a pair of free throws to tie it at 33, then Levi Seiler scored in the post on an assist from Newlove, and Dawson Rupp drilled a jump shot to make it 37-33 with 1:10 left in the third.
Gype closed it out with a one-handed floater, then he went coast-to-coast for a layup at the horn to put them up by eight heading into the fourth.
“He is a tough match-up. He can go inside (and) outside,” said Burt of Gype. “And I thought he kind of got in the zone and started feeling it. And I think our kids started recognizing that and started giving him the ball.”
However, the Blue Streaks got five points from Eli Miller, three from Caleb Wooley and two from Bryce Williams to counter a bucket by Newlove and four from Gype to cut it to 48-45 at the 2:32 mark of the fourth.
Gype then scored on a drive to the hoop and converted 1 of 2 free throws around 1 of 2 from the line for Wooley, putting it at 51-46. The Streaks responded as Miller layed one in and Williams split a pair from the line to cut their deficit to two with just 27 seconds remaining.
They were then forced to foul as Carter Bzovi split a pair for the Indians which put them back up by three with seven ticks to go. Kaiden Bedsole was sent to the free throw line for Archbold with five seconds remaining where he hit the first attempt and intentionally missed the second. However, Wooley’s putback try was thwarted by the Wauseon defense to end it.
Regardless of the outcome, neither coach can come away from this game feeling bad about their team’s performance.
“It is a game where we are trying to find out who can do what for us,” said Krauss. “It is a non-leaugue loss that you don’t like to lose, but I thought our kids battled. They had it up to eight or so at one time and we got it right back and we had an opportunity (at the end).”
Both teams came out strong in the first quarter. Archbold took an 11-5 lead at the 2:44 mark after threes from Williams and Bedsole, as well as two-point baskets from Wooley and Miller.
The Indians battled back, however, as Gype cashed in on four straight attempts from the foul line and Bzovi added two more from the charity stripe, knotting the score at 11 after one.
Three of four from the foul line for Gype and Dawson Rupp in the beginning of the second gave the Indians the edge, but Williams responded with a triple. Miller then cashed in on a drive to the goal, and also added a pair of free throws to put the Streaks in front 18-14 with 2:37 left in the first half.
Wauseon’s Brendan Britsch responded with 1 of 2 from the line, however, Gype’s putback on Britsch’s miss of the second attempt got the Indians within one with 2:07 remaining. Gype later scored on a spin to the goal and Britsch’s three-point play made it 22-18 in favor of Wauseon.
The Indians held the lead at the half, but only by a point as Toby Walker drilled a long range bomb for Archbold in the final minute.
The win was even more satisfying for the Indians as they achieved it without the help of junior big man Austin Rotroff who was out with a knee injury.
“It is a week to week thing,” said Burt of Rotroff. “But you know, our guys are taking that challenge and I thought tonight, again, they did a great job stepping up.”
He suffered the injury in Wauseon’s final scrimmage against Edgerton, and although the initial prognosis was that it was an ACL injury, the MRI showed no structural damage, according to coach Burt.
Gype paced the Indians with 26 points that included 17 in the second half, while Bzovi finished with 13. Miller had 18 for Archbold, Wooley added 13 and Williams 10.
Wauseon stays on the road Tuesday when they take on Genoa. Archbold travels to Edgerton Thursday and Kalida on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010