WHITEHOUSE – After a first quarter which saw multiple lead changes, and Wauseon’s switch to their 1-3-1 defense, the Indians rolled to a 61-40 victory over Maumee at Anthony Wayne Friday to claim a boys basketball sectional title in Division II.
“I thought we passed the ball very well,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt on his team’s performance. “I thought our ball movement was crisp. We’ve been very unselfish all year, so that’s nothing new for us. I thought we did a nice job of making the extra pass. (We) got great looks against their zone.”
The switch to the 1-3-1 came when the Indians called timeout after gaining a 12-10 lead on a Brendan Britsch three-pointer at the 1:55 mark of the opening quarter. Brooks Gype then tacked on a three of his own, and he also drilled a deuce at the buzzer to make it 17-10 after one.
Maumee’s Luis Perez started off the second with a steal and score, but Levi Seiler responded for Wauseon with a basket inside, Dawson Rupp split a pair of free throws and Gype scored on an assist from Seiler to push the Indian lead to 10.
Carter Bzovi added a steal and score with aid from the 1-3-1, putting the Indians up 24-12 with 1:37 left in the half.
“Our guys are pretty long in that zone and pretty active,” said Burt on the effectiveness of the 1-3-1. “They enjoy playing it. I thought we did a nice job of getting to their shooters in the zone and I thought we rebounded well out of it. Sometimes we don’t always rebound well out of our zone. But I thought we rebounded well and that was great to see.”
Wauseon’s Austin Rotroff would knock down a pair of free throws, Ben Pacer hit a jumper for Maumee, but Gype converted again at the end of a quarter, giving Wauseon a 14 point cushion at the half.
The Indians went on a 10-0 run to begin the third as Owen Newlove scored inside, and both Bzovi and Rotroff each scored twice before Maumee’s Connor Graetz buried a triple to stop the bleeding. Gype then scored underneath the basket, Seiler scored inside, and Newlove had a three-point play around a Perez jumper to make it 45-19 with 1:34 remaining in the third.
James Braithwaite hit 1 of 2 from the foul line for the Panthers, Rupp responded with a basket for the Indians, then a Gype basket in between two Jacob Curtis triples for Maumee made it 49-26 through three.
The Panthers did outscore Wauseon 14-12 in the final period, however, it mostly came against the Indians’ bench.
Wauseon had four players in double figures as Gype led the way with 15 points, both Newlove and Rotroff added 11, while Bzovi finished with 10. Pacer finished with 13 for Maumee.
The Indians will now take on Napoleon Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. in the district semifinal at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University. They defeated the Wildcats 68-64 in a regular season match-up back on Dec. 17.
“Obviously, Brett Lauf I think is probably the best player in the area,” explained Burt on the challenge of facing Napoleon. “The thing I’ve noticed about them is, I think he (Lauf) is making everyone around him better. They are playing with a lot of confidence.
“They are a very scary squad, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. They are gonna bring a good crowd Wednesday night. We are gonna bring a good crowd (to) Bowling Green. It should be a great atmosphere and a fun game.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010