The Wauseon boys basketball team had a pair of double digit scorers in Carter Bzovi and Austin Rotroff who together led them to a 54-41 home victory over Sylvania Southview Thursday.
Rotroff, who was making his first start of the season while battling a knee injury, hit a pair of free throws and also added a basket in the paint to give the Indians a 4-0 lead in the first minute.
“He gives us some cheap baskets,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt of his junior center. “Sometimes, you really have to work and you really have to execute, and do everything right. But, every once in awhile we can just throw it into Austin and he gets a cheap one for us. Where you don’t quite have to be so perfect.
“Slowly but surely he is getting back to health. He still isn’t back to 100 percent. Some of it’s conditioning and some of it is just general soreness. And our trainer is doing a great job of working with him and keeping us updated.”
Will Wooddall got Southview on the board with a three, then Zech Miller’s bucket gave them a one-point lead at the 6:11 mark of the first quarter. Bzovi answered with a three of his own to give the Indians a 7-5 lead, Rotroff added a hook shot, but Southview’s Nate Kalniz scored on a drive to the hoop to make it 9-7 with 3:32 left.
Wauseon would go on to score the final six points of the first. First Bzovi got a layup, then Owen Newlove scored inside on a pass from Brooks Gype, and Gype also converted a drive to the hoop to put them up 15-7 after one.
“I thought our start was critical,” said Burt. “Early on (Southview) had a couple good looks that didn’t go down and it maybe could have changed the complexion of the game. Their press and their ability to really get after you is really scary when you watch them get going. But fortunately for us, some of those shots didn’t go down and they weren’t able to get into their pressure.
“It was a quality team win.”
Wauseon led by as many as 14 in the second quarter, but threes by Wooddall and Alex Thal in the final 1:06 allowed the Cougars to get within 29-20 at the break.
The Indians struck first in the third on Bzovi’s deuce that was countered by Wooddall’s triple for the Cougars. A Rotroff slam dunk ignited the crowd to give the Indians a 10-point lead, then Gype’s triple and a Bzovi floater extended the margin to 15 with 5:27 left in the third.
Wauseon maintained their significant advantage as Rotroff and Gype each had buckets to counter another Wooddall three for Southview. Ryan Fries of Southview and Bzovi would exchange baskets, while a layup for the Cougars’ Tehree Horn, and Bzovi’s three-point play made it 47-30 at the 2:37 mark of the third.
Bzovi then tacked on a bucket in the paint with 1:28 to go, while Thal responded with a pair of free throws which put the difference at 49-32 heading into the fourth.
Despite the Cougars scoring seven straight to begin the final period to cut the Wauseon lead to 10, the Indians would allow just two points in the final five minutes to put it away. Rotroff recorded another dunk, and Brendan Britsch went 3 of 4 from the foul line to close out the Indians’ scoring on the night.
Bzovi’s 22 points and Rotroff’s 17 led the Indians (5-1) in scoring. Gype added 9 points to the effort.
Wooddall finished with 12 for the Cougars (1-3) on four made threes. Thal was next with 10.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010