Adding the game to the schedule a few years ago with the postseason in mind, Wauseon was happy to play a game like the Indians did Saturday, defeating Anthony Wayne 69-61 in a boys basketball non-league tilt.
“I think they are a very good basketball team,” Wauseon coach Chad Burt said of the Generals. “They have quality offensive players all over the floor.
“The idea was, when we go to the sectional draw, teams are aware of Anthony Wayne and I believe we play very, very good basketball out this way,” added Burt.
The Indians – who at times led by as many as 18 points – held off a couple late rallies by the Generals to improve to 7-1 on the season.
Wauseon jumped out to a 20-11 lead by the end of the first quarter, and somehow shot the ball better in the second period. Making 8 of 9 shots – with the only miss coming on a halfcourt heave at the horn – the Tribe were able to take a 39-23 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
“I thought that was huge,” quipped Burt of the start of the game. “I thought we shot the ball – first half specifically – as well as we have all season. Anytime you shoot the ball well, everything looks good.”
The Generals did put a scare into the Indians in the second half. Wauseon answered a run to take a 55-39 lead into the final period. In the fourth quarter, Wauseon was okay, until the free throws started to miss.
Using that opportunity, Anthony Wayne went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 57-47 with 6:30 left to play. Wauseon did get back to making enough free throws, as Noah Tester split a pair for a 69-61 game – the eventual final – with 23.1 seconds to go.
“We knew they’d have a run at us,” added Burt on the Anthony Wayne rally. “For the most part, we withstood that run. Our free throw shooting wasn’t pretty down the stretch, but we made enough.
Trent Armstrong had another outstanding offensive game, pouring in a game-high 27 points. Levi Seiler and Sean Brock each added 13 points.
Wauseon finished 23 of 47 from the floor and they also committed 17 turnovers.
Wauseon will open NWOAL play Thursday by hosting 9-0 Archbold.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org