Following the format from the night before, Wauseon outscored visiting Pettisville 20-5 in the second period to pull away for a 65-43 boys basketball non-league win Saturday night.
Despite committing five early turnovers, Wauseon took an 18-9 lead with 2:47 left in the opening frame after Owen Newlove converted a three-point play. Pettisville did end the opening frame with baskets by Detric Yoder and Graeme Jacoby, but offense would be tough to come by for the Blackbirds the rest of the night.
Finding room against the Pettisville defense, Austin Rotroff went through a double team, Brooke Gype went under his defender and Brendan Britsch drove to the basket to all score for the Indians early in the second period.
“It was a good second quarter for us,” Wauseon coach Chad Burt said of the win. “We got in transition a little bit and made some perimeter shots. I thought they did a good job of being physical defensively in the post and sending guys to the post opened up some outside shots.”
Even after a Blackbird timeout, Britsch scored high off the glass to start a three-point play as the Indians built a 27-13 lead with 5:51 left before the half.
Jacoby added a couple free throws to get Pettisville going, but it didn’t help on the other end. Gype drilled a pair of shots from long range and added a bucket off a rebound in a quick 8-0 run to push the lead to 35-15.
“They got to the rim,” explained Pettisville coach Brian Leppelmeier. “Our number one goal coming into tonight was that we needed to keep the basketball out of the lane. We just didn’t have a match for them tonight.”
The 20-point Wauseon lead grew in the third period, even after Justin Rupp and Yoder made three-pointers for Pettisville. Rotroff threw down an easy dunk, plus Carter Bzovi and Trent Armstrong scored as the lead was 55-30 heading into the final period.
“It never felt like we had a big lead,” mentioned Burt. “I thought of it as an evenly-played game and give them a lot of credit.”
The two teams played an even final period as Wauseon finished off a 65-43 victory.
“We were pleased with how we executed, but we have to finish,” Leppelmeier said of the Blackbird offense. “You can get the matchup you want, and the shot that you want, but if you don’t finish it, meh.”
Gype led the Indians with 20 points. Bzovi added 16 and Rotroff added 11 as Wauseon was 24 of 39 from the floor. Yoder and Jacoby each had 12 for Pettisville, who was 15 of 37.
“I thought Brooks got (to) the rim a few times and made some plays,” the Wauseon coach said of his leading scorer. “I thought Carter got to the rim and made plays a few times.”
The Indians also enjoyed a 28-12 edge in rebounds.
“We did a good (job) on the boards as a whole,” added Burt. “They really tested our post defense. They did a good job of throwing it to the post and they’ve got guys who can score.”
Wauseon had a 15-minute stretch of clean basketball and finished with nine turnovers in the contest after having five in the opening period.
Wauseon (20-1) will go for its first outright Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball championship since 2000 Friday when the Indians host Patrick Henry. Pettisville (11-10) finishes Buckeye Border Conference play with a game at North Central the same night.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org