Playing without two quality guards in Tyson Britsch and Jonas Tester, Wauseon dug deep and despite trailing by seven at halftime, managed to come back for a 54-43 win over Napoleon in boys basketball Saturday night.
That, coupled with Friday’s 36-26 win at Edgerton, puts the Indians at 2-0 on the young season.
Against the Wildcats at home on Saturday, the Indians ended the game on a 12-0 run.
“They’re very talented offensively. And they’re very long; they’re very athletic,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt of the game and his team’s opponent. “Really a tale of two halves. I’ll be honest, we said before the game that some of tonight’s game was gonna come down to what we couldn’t control. And it was gonna be how they shot the ball. It kind of played out that way. The first half they really I think had great rhythm and knocked a lot of shots down. I thought we did a little bit better job of getting to shooters in the second half, making it a little bit more uncomfortable. But they’re a very talented team.”
Wauseon did not garner its first lead until the 3:44 mark of the third quarter. Noah Sauber’s basket off a feed from Isaac Wilson put them ahead 31-29.
The Indians would lead 38-33 heading into the fourth, as Connar Penrod buried a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the period.
Napoleon regained a 41-40 advantage with 5:06 left in the fourth following a triple by Blake Wolf.
The Wildcats maintained that slim margin, now at 43-42, after Penrod and Napoleon’s Zack Rosebrook exchanged baskets. However, from there Wauseon closed the game on a high note.
Penrod nailed a three at the 2:53 mark which gave them the lead back, and they continued to add on. Sauber split a pair from the foul line and a cherry-pick layup by Wilson put the Indians ahead 49-43 with 2:02 left.
Easton Delgado and Penrod combined for 5 of 6 from the charity stripe in the final minute to close it out.
Leading the Indians were Penrod and Wilson. Penrod had 31 points while Wilson added in 11.
“They were kind of Bulldogs weren’t they?,” said Burt of the pair. “Everyone kind of knows who they are. They are very good athletes. I thought Connar made some very good skill plays today. Isaac just kind of plays free and easy. Isaac Wilson doesn’t have a bad day.”
Aiding Napoleon in the first half was their six made 3-pointers. They led by as many as nine (19-10) when Chase Peckinpaugh and Tanner Rubinstein opened the second quarter with triples.
Wauseon had trimmed that deficit to 21-17 later in the frame, then Rosebrook’s three extended the margin back to seven at the half.
“We said at halftime, we’re not playing a bad basketball game. Credit to them, they’re making some shots. Again, second half we gotta hope they miss a few of those and we can get some rebounds,” said Burt.
The Indians’ luck did improve in the final 16 minutes.
Wauseon has a pair of non-league games this week when they travel to Archbold (2-0) Thursday and visit Genoa on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010