BRYAN – After a tight opening half, Wauseon came out and played strong basketball to win at Bryan Friday 60-38 in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball.
“They have some very nice offensive pieces,” Wauseon coach Chad Burt said of the Golden Bears. “They are starting to mix in some of the young kids with length.”
Up 24-18 at the half, the Indians distanced themselves from the Bears thanks to an 8-0 run to start the half. Brooks Gype, who it was thought wouldn’t see the floor after missing practice with a medical condition; hit a pair of triples to key the run.
“It was definitely an interesting week for us,” Burt said of the week, thinking he’d be without Gype. “It was some pretty tough news, especially with how close these guys are. He (Gype) has great support with his teammates and great support with his family.
“I think it was good for him to get back on the court,” Burt said, talking of the senior who was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. “I think everyone was very happy for him. It was nice to see him smiling.”
The Indians also went inside to Austin Rotroff. After having six points in the first half, Rotroff ended with 17 points and seven rebounds. After Bryan picked up back-to-back baskets, the Indians closed the third period with an 11-4 run to lead 43-26 heading into the final period.
“I thought the key to the game was our third quarter start,” admitted Burt. “We played solid in the second half.”
Wauseon pulled away to finish off the 60-38 victory.
The opening half was a different story. Wauseon had early trouble guarding Bryan’s Zhane Cupp, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the opening frame. His banked in trey as the horn sounded tied the game at 14 to end the period.
“If he plays Wauseon every game, he’d be an All-American,” Burt stated of the Bryan guard. “He had 27 on us last year and it sure felt like we couldn’t stop him tonight.”
In the second period, Wauseon switched to a 1-3-1 zone. That may have helped the Bears slow down the pace in the period, which ended with the Indians up 24-18.
“It might not have been a stopper, but it got them out of their rhythm,” the Wauseon coach said of switching to the zone in the second period. “In the first quarter they were in a very good offensive rhythm.”
Wauseon had another hot-shooting night, finishing 22 of 36 from the floor for 61 percent. The Indians also committed just six turnovers and finished with a 24-16 edge in rebounds.
Trent Armstrong added 10 points in the win. Gype and CJ Moser, who filled in for Gype in the starting line-up, each added nine points.
“He hit some early 3’s and that’s what he does,” Burt mentioned of Moser. “He’s a senior and he’s paid his dues. He’s always ready when we put him in.”
On Saturday, Wauseon moved to 16-0 with a 57-29 win at Rossford. Much like the game the night before, the Tribe won with a dominate effort in the second half. Leading by two, Wauseon outscored the Bulldogs 33-7 in the second half for the win.
Armstrong led the Indians with 13 points in the Saturday win. Levi Seiler and Rotroff each added 11 points.
Wauseon (16-0) plays a single game this week, hosting Liberty Center Friday.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org