After relinquishing the lead in the first half, it seemed as if Wauseon was going to have a hard time coming back on a night when Sylvania Southview’s offense was on point. The Indians, however, outscored the Cougars 12-0 over the final four and a half minutes to earn a 57-49 home win in non-league boys basketball Tuesday.
“First of all, they started missing some shots,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt on the difference in the fourth quarter. “Boy the first half, it felt like everything they threw up went in. And some of it I thought we guarded pretty well. They are just so offensively talented that they are gonna make plays and make shots.
“I thought we did a pretty good job down the stretch converting at the rim. We got a couple and-1’s late that I thought were really big. Them missing some shots and us finishing at the rim let us go on a little bit of a run.”
The third quarter was back and forth, and in the fourth, Southview extended their lead to 49-45 on Tyson King’s jumper with 4:32 remaining. But that was all for the Cougars.
Wauseon senior Trent Armstrong converted a drive to the hoop, then cashed in a fastbreak opportunity to knot the score. A three-point play from Levi Seiler put the Indians in front for good, giving them a 52-49 lead at the 2:04 mark.
Armstrong was again key on the next Wauseon possession, dishing to Sean Brock who scored inside to make it a five-point difference. In the scoring column, Armstrong tied for the game high with 19 points.
“He made plays for us at both ends,” said Burt of Armstrong’s impact. “He’s our emotional leader and guys follow him.”
The teams traded missed free throws in the final minute plus before Noah Tester knocked down a pair and Armstrong went 1 for 2 to equal the final tally.
Wauseon led Southview 12-6 in the opening quarter, but in a stretch near the end of the quarter and start of the second, the Cougars went on a 16-4 run.
Southview’s Tehree Horn notched 16 first half points, including a pair of second quarter three-balls, to get them to a 33-27 lead by halftime. However, he was limited to just three points after the break.
“I think we were a little more aware of not helping off of him,” said Burt on his defense’s approach to guarding Horn in the second half. “He is one of the better scorers that we’ll see all year. Maybe we wore him down a little bit. I thought his legs didn’t look quite as strong (in the second half).”
The Indians also employed some zone defense in the second half, and that seemed to have an effect in containing the Cougars offense.
“I think the first half they got in a very, very good rhythm offensively,” explained Burt. “I thought the zone slowed them down a little bit. And then we were able to go back to our man. I don’t think they had quite the same rhythm that they had in the first half. We don’t play a lot of zone, but I thought we played it pretty effectively tonight at times.”
After Armstrong, Seiler finished with 13 points and Brock added 10. Horn led the Cougars (2-2) with 19, while Eric Hollar and King each tallied 9.
Wauseon (4-1) is off until next Thursday when they will be at Defiance College for the Vision Chrysler Holiday Classic. The Indians open up against Tinora.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010