Wauseon broke open a tight game against Bryan Friday night, limiting the Golden Bears to only 19 points after the first quarter for a 59-33 win at home in NWOAL boys basketball.
The victory gave them their third straight win in the league as they have started NWOAL play 3-0.
“I think they (Bryan) cooled off a little bit,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt after the game. “I think we were fortunate enough to make some shots. And it kind of snowballed on them. I think we got hot and they missed some shots.
“Our guys are playing with a lot of confidence. We are getting healthy. Hopefully we can keep it going.”
The score was knotted at 6 after Carter Bzovi’s basket for Wauseon at the 3:40 mark of the opening quarter, then both Bzovi and Bryan’s Zhane Cupp traded buckets to keep the score tied.
Cupp gave the Golded Bears the lead on a floater in the lane, Brooks Gype answered with a triple for the Indians, but two free throws for Bryan’s Jaden Valderas made it 12-11 Bears with 1:40 left in the quarter. Wauseon’s Austin Rotroff tacked on a three-point play to put his team up by a deuce after one.
Cupp was the only Golden Bear the Indians had trouble defending, as he hit a pair of jump shots in the first 1:34 of the second around buckets for Wauseon by Gype and Owen Newlove to keep them within a bucket. He finished with a game high 23 points.
“I thought he hit some contested jump shots all night long. Give him credit,” said Burt of Cupp’s performance. “But, defensively I thought as a whole, we were pretty solid tonight.”
Newlove would add another bucket inside, then Rotroff also scored, and five straight points for Bzovi in response to Valderas’ drive and score made it 27-18 with 2:35 left in the first half. Closing the half was Cupp with another jumper, then a putback for Gype and a pair from the foul line for Bzovi to make the difference 11 at the break.
The Indians extended their lead to 16 in the third before a bucket and three-pointer from Cupp put it at 37-26 at the 4:20 mark.
Gype responded with a three-point play, Valderas split a pair from the line for the Bears, Brendan Britsch’s steal and score for the Indians, a bucket inside by Rotroff, and Levi Seiler’s putback for Wauseon made it 46-27 with 43 ticks to go. Cupp then used the glass for a deuce, making the margin 17 after three.
However, following two more from Cupp to begin the fourth, the Indians went on an 11-0 run to put the Bears away. Bryan was limited to only one field goal in the final seven minutes.
Pacing the Indians was Bzovi with 19 points, Newlove with 12 and Gype, who notched 10. Valderas was Bryan’s next highest scorer with 6.
In a much similar game at home on Saturday, Wauseon outscored Rossford 30-16 in the second half for a 62-36 victory in non-league action. Bzovi again led the Indians with 19 points, Rotroff was next with 12, and Gype again had 10.
Coach Burt likes the state of his team as they are currently riding a 13 game winning streak.
“It is a group that practices very hard and competes very hard,” he said after the win over Bryan. “We are pretty deep, and kids just like to play with each other. It is a fun group to coach. All great kids. So, we hope to keep it rolling.”
Wauseon (14-1, 3-0 NWOAL) has a pair of road games coming up as they are at Liberty Center this Friday and Springfield on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010
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