FINDLAY – It all felt a little different for the Wauseon boys basketball team. A new opponent, and new site, a new way to take in the national anthem and even a new ending with the running clock couldn’t stop Wauseon. The one thing that was the same was the way the Indians clamped down on defense as Wauseon opened the Division II boys basketball tournament with a 51-19 sectional win over Celina Friday at Findlay High School.
“I thought we came out with a lot of energy,” mentioned Wauseon coach Chad Burt about the tournament starter. “We didn’t necessarily shoot the ball real well early, but I felt we made plays.”
Brooks Gype hit a couple early treys, and from there it was all Wauseon. The Indians took an early 6-2 lead, upped it to 10-2 by the end of the opening frame and led 31-2 at the half.
“They missed some shots,” Burt said of the first half run his team went on. “I thought they sped up offensively. Some of their kids who can make shots were a little rushed. I thought our kids played our 1-3-1 very well.”
Included in the run were a couple of dunks by Austin Rotroff, with one late in the half putting him over 1,000 career points. He had a defender on his back the way up and turned the dunk into a three-point play.
“That certainly is memorable,” Burt stated of the way his senior went over 1,000 career points. “I think it was very fitting. It was an energy play and he ran the floor very well.”
On defense, the Indians’ 1-3-1 zone gave Celina a lot of trouble. At the top of the zone was Trent Armstrong, who turned three steals into points.
“Trent Armstrong was a catalyst for us at the top of the zone,” said Burt.
With the lead at more than 35, the new mercy running clock also went into effect.
“That was a first for me,” added Burt. “I was aware of it. It’s an interesting rule.”
The Indians again had a balanced attack on offense. Rotroff led the Tribe with 14 points, Owen Newlove added 10, Armstrong finished with 9 and Gype added 8.
Wauseon (23-0) moves on to the district at Ohio Northern. The Indians will take on Van Wert Wednesday night at 8 p.m.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org
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