WHITEHOUSE — Wauseon led by as many as eight points in the first quarter, however, Anthony Wayne slowly chipped away with the help of its 2-3 zone defense and in the end, Collin Parker hit an off-balance shot at the horn to give the Generals a 38-36 win in the boys basketball season opener for both teams Tuesday night.
“I thought we actually, at times, executed pretty well offensively,” said Wauseon Coach Chad Burt of the game. “They are long, they’re active, they’re athletic, and I thought they played very fast with some urgency. I just think it was a great high school basketball game and unfortunately at the end they had the last possession and hit a really tough shot.”
The two squads went into the half tied at 21. Anthony Wayne was able to grab a 28-26 advantage heading into the fourth by way of Jacob Copley’s three-ball and a long deuce by him.
The Generals’ stingy zone defense enabled them to keep Wauseon at bay in the third.
“First time we’ve seen the 2-3 obviously in a game. It was maybe more effective than we would have liked. We’ll get back to work, we’ll get better at it and hopefully, next time out we’ll be a little more effective,” stated Burt.
The Generals carried that momentum into the early minutes of the fourth by going on a 6-1 run in the first 1:27 of the period. Parker Schofield scored four straight points, then after Landon Hines went 1 of 2 at the foul line for Wauseon, the Generals’ Max Walton knocked down a jump shot to make it a 34-27 game.
However, Anthony Wayne went scoreless for the next 3:33 and the Indians took advantage behind the play of senior Jonas Tester.
First it was Tyson Rodriguez hitting a 3-pointer, then Tester went 1 for 2 from the line on back-to-back trips, and his putback basket with 3:27 remaining knotted the score at 34.
Evan Ray put the Generals back on top 27 seconds later with a short jumper. The score would be tied again on a Tester drive and score at the 2:43 mark, and that’s where it stayed until Anthony Wayne’s final possession.
Inbounding the ball on the left sideline with 2.4 ticks to go, they got it to Parker on the right wing and his fall away shot dropped through at the buzzer for the win.
“I thought our kids played very hard. I was very happy with how we executed offensively and defensively the game plan — being the first game. But like I said, we got to get back to work tomorrow and have a short memory,” said Burt on his biggest takeaways from the game.
Working against the AW 2-3 zone, Wauseon was able to score the game’s first nine points. Hines got a pair of hoops inside, followed by a Tester floater plus 1 of 2 from the line. Then Krue Powers scored off his own miss, forcing a timeout by the Generals at the 3:56 mark.
In response, AW got a pair of hoops from Schofield, and Parker split a pair at the line around a Hines putback for the Indians, making the margin 11-5 after one.
A Tester putback hoop in the first minute of the second quarter raised the margin to eight, but then the Generals responded. Copley split a pair at the line and 36 seconds later, Parker converted a fastbreak opportunity plus added a free throw, trimming the deficit to 13-9 with 6:30 left in the half.
The margin remained at four (21-17) after a Tester triple with 2:28 before the break. Anthony Wayne’s Noah Reiner then converted back-to-back putback hoops in the final 2:12, sending the game to half tied at 21.
Tester had 14 points to lead the Indians. Rodriguez chipped in eight, while Powers and Hines added seven each.
Schofield notched 16 points to lead all scorers.
Wauseon will remain on the road this weekend when they visit Fairview on Saturday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.