The unscheduled day off may have helped. Playing a game on Monday after snow forced the postponement of the game Saturday, Wauseon was able to jump ahead of Pettisville twice, claiming a 64-56 non-league boys basketball win over the Blackbirds.
“It just felt off,” Wauseon coach Chad Burt said of the game getting pushed to Monday. “The day felt off. The weekend felt off with the cancellation on Saturday. At the same time, I told everybody ‘when you step on the court, it’s going to feel like a Friday.’ I thought our kids played well in stretches.”
Ahead by the smallest of margins at the half, Wauseon managed to pull away from Pettisville for a second time. Continuing to use the three-point shot, the Blackbirds hung around for a while until their shooting cooled off.
“Some of them were deep,” Burt said of the Pettisville three-point shooting. “And it was a variety of guys. I think what sets that up for them is Detric Yoder is so good out front for them.”
Wauseon took advantage, and pulled ahead 51-43 by the end of the period.
Free throw shooting helped out the Tribe. Wauseon went 7 of 8 at the line in the third period, and also went 7 of 8 in the final period when Pettisville put the Indians on the line.
Pettisville scored to close the gap to 57-50, but Wauseon had an answer as Trent Armstrong slashed to the basket and scored.
“Second half, I thought we did better job attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line,” stated Burt.
Armstrong (25 points) and Levi Seiler (20) did a bulk of the damage for the Indians.
“The physical play was definitely a factor in the game,” noted Pettisville coach Brian Leppelmeier. “We allowed 12 offensive rebounds that led to 13 second chance points. We needed to do a better job of blocking out a very athletic Wauseon team.”
Wauseon jumped out to a 22-13 lead by the end of the opening period, but Pettisville battled back. The Blackbirds knocked down seven treys in the first half, with the final one coming from Mitchell Avina to put Pettisville in front 29-28.
“We thought that we would get some open looks since Wauseon was sending help on our post feeds,” said Leppelmeier on his team’s ability to hit from long range.
The lead was short-lived, as Armstrong scored with six seconds left in the half to give Wauseon the 30-29 halftime advantage.
Logan Rufenacht led a balanced Pettisville attack with 13 points. Detric Yoder added 12 while Canidate Vickery and Graeme Jacoby each added 11 points.
Wauseon (10-3) plays Friday at Liberty Center in Northwest Ohio Athletic League play and they host Rossford Saturday. Pettisville (10-4) hosts Hilltop Friday in Buckeye Border Conference play and travels to Liberty Center Saturday.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org