Putting a premium on defense in the second half, Wauseon came out and outscored visiting Springfield 19-10 in the third period to pull away for a 69-47 win against the Blue Devils in a non-league boys basketball game Saturday night.
“That’s the best five-win team in our area if not the state,” Wauseon coach Chad Burt said of the Blue Devils. “Boy, are they athletic out in front. They are shot makers, we knew that coming in.”
With the new class of the Wauseon Athletic Hall of Fame in attendance, the Indians put together a solid defensive effort to pull away. Wauseon was able to take a 29-23 lead at the half, then with a run, pushed the lead to 48-33 by the end of the period. Austin Rotroff got everybody excited with a dunk, plus Trent Armstrong stepped up on offense and had a nice pair of drives to the rim for scores.
“I think our zone kicked up a few turnovers,” Burt said of playing both a 1-3-1 and 2-3 against Springfield. “We got a couple transition baskets and our shot selection was good in the third quarter.
“Austin Rotroff was very assertive and Trent Armstong was just outstanding in the second half,” added Burt. “He (Armstrong) got into some foul trouble early in the first quarter and we tried to steal some minutes and not have him pick up his third (foul) in the second quarter.”
Wauseon continued to extend its lead until the final of 69-47.
The Indians took a 14-7 lead by the end of the opening frame, however, Springfield battled back. The Blue Devils used a pair of Wauseon turnovers to score on layups and tied the game at 16. From that point on, the Indians used a 13-7 run to take a 29-23 halftime lead.
Wauseon continued to shoot the ball well. The Tribe finished 27 of 49 from the floor for 55 percent. Springfield was 17 of 37 for 46 percent. The Indians also controlled the boards, finishing with a 27-21 edge. Included in that number was 12 offensive rebounds.
The Indians also committed just 10 turnovers and finished 11 of 19 from the free throw line.
Rotroff led all scorers with 24 points. Armstrong added 17 points and Owen Newlove chipped in with 10 points.
The night before, the Indians hosted Liberty Center where they bested the Tigers 71-43. Wauseon (18-0, 4-0 NWOAL) next travels to Swanton Friday night in Northwest Ohio Athletic League action.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org