DEFIANCE – Getting Tinora to play the game at a quicker pace than they would like, Wauseon was able to pull away in the second half to defeat the Rams 58-41 in the opening round of the Derrow Chrysler Holiday Classic at Defiance College Thursday.
Leading 21-18 at the half, the Indians were able to total 21 points in the third period to pull away to 42-32 by the end of the frame.
“I think the difference in the second half was that we made some shots,” admitted Wauseon coach Chad Burt after the win. “They missed some shots and sometimes basketball is just that simple. We were able to stretch the lead and get a little more comfortable offensively.”
Seniors Trent Armstrong and Levi Seiler led the Indians in scoring once again. Armstrong took care of play early, then Seiler added a couple triples in the second half. The two combined for 36 of Wauseon’s 58 points.
“I thought Trent Armstrong was very effective in getting to the rim all night,” mentioned Burt. “I thought he finished very well. Levi, in the stretch where we pulled away, made some shots for us, which was big.”
Sean Brock helped out by scoring a pair of three-point plays to help the Tribe pull away.
“He’s been very consistent for us,” Burt said of his budding low-post player. “He’s very efficient. His feet are very good around the rim. He doesn’t try to do too much. He’s a true coaches player that’s very easy to coach.”
The Indians needed a run late in the opening period just to stay with the Rams. Trailing early, Wauseon tallied the final four points of the period to tie the game at 11 after one period. Connar Penrod added a late steal at midcourt and score to help Wauseon to a 21-18 advantage at the half.
“They are going to be extremely well prepared,” Burt said of facing the Rams. “They are disciplined and very well schooled. Their fundamentals are at a premium and I have so much respect for Paul Wayne and what he does.”
Wauseon (5-1) plays Bryan in Friday’s championship game.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org