MAUMEE – Starting on an 18-0 run, Wauseon had the room to withstand a barrage of treys from Maumee’s Ben Pacer in the second half of a 51-35 win Tuesday by the Tribe as they prepare for Archbold Friday night in boys basketball.
It wasn’t a pretty first half, but the Indians made 12 of 14 free throws and held Maumee to just 2 of 15 shooting in the half to lead 18-6 at the break.
Wauseon wasn’t much better, making just 3 of 15 shots in the first half.
“I think we got off to a good start,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt after the game. “I don’t think we played real bad. I think offensively, we got a little sloppy. Give credit to them. They changed their defenses and gave us some different looks.”
Wauseon opened the game with a 3-0 lead as Carter Bzovi tallied a three-point play. Brooks Gype added a free throw, Austin Rotroff chipped in two, Gype scored off a turnover and Brendan Britsch sank a pair of free throws to help the Indians take a 10-0 lead after one period.
Bzovi started the second period with two free tosses, then scored off an offensive rebound as Wauseon crashed the boards hard. Rotroff added two more tosses and Trent Armstrong went 2 for 2 at the line as the Tribe led 18-0 with 4:48 left in the half.
“At times I thought we did a pretty good job of attacking and getting to the rim,” Burt said of the first half. “I think our shot selection was good in the first half, I don’t think we settled, we just missed shots.”
Wauseon went scoreless the rest of the way, but still led by double digits at the break. Maumee took its time on every possession, and finally Jacob Curtis got the Panthers on the board with a triple at the 3:08 mark. One minute later, Pacer hit the first of his eight treys in the game to make the score 18-6 at the half.
Pacer got hot in the second half, hitting seven shots from long range. He bombed in three in a row in the fourth period, which pulled the Panthers to within single digits at 42-33 with 4:32 left to play.
“Man did Pacer get hot,” admitted Burt. “He hit some shots and brought energy to them. They fed off that and it changed the tide of the game. I’ll be honest, I thought some were pretty well guarded.”
After a trade of baskets, Wauseon ended the game on a 7-0 run. Bzovi cut hard to the basket and scored, and Gype ended the game with a triple from the top of the key and two free throws to make the final 51-35.
The Indians finished 15 of 35 from the floor and committed 13 turnovers. Maumee was 12 of 34 from the floor, with nine of the shots made coming from behind the arc.
Gype led Wauseon with 15 points. Bzovi added 11. Rotroff had nine points and made his presence felt other ways. He had 11 rebounds as the Indians won the rebounding battle 31-12 and had five blocked shots.
“I thought Austin was long at the rim and bothered them (Maumee shooters),” added Burt. “It’s good to make him defend like that. It’s only going to make him better.”
Pacer led all scorers with 24 points on eight 3s.
Wauseon (11-1) will host Archbold Friday night in NWOAL action.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com