With Archbold playing shorthanded as four of their top players were out, Wauseon took advantage of a size advantage inside with center Matt Shaw, and the Indians defeated the Blue Streaks 43-21 at home in non-league boys basketball Thursday night.
“It wasn’t a lack of effort, we competed well,” said Archbold Coach Joe Frank after the game. “The ball didn’t go through the basket. Give them credit, they exploited us where they could and Shaw had his way in there (the paint). That’s a good win for them. We just talked about it in the locker room, we got to turn the page — you got to move on. We’ve got to come back tomorrow and get a little bit better.”
With the victory, Wauseon was able to bounce back from an ugly 36-point loss to Perrysburg two days prior. But, as head coach Chad Burt pointed out after the game, it will likely be a very different matchup when the two teams meet in Northwest Ohio Athletic League play on Feb. 22.
“I thought tonight our start was very, very critical. But typical Archbold, they’re gonna play their tails off. We talked at halftime and again in the game, a lot of their low scoring output was that they missed shots. And at times I don’t know that we contested extremely well, I just think they missed shots. And obviously here in two months — or whatever that is, a month in a half — things might look a little bit different in the Archbold lineup. But you know what, I thought our kids did some nice things,” said Burt.
The Indians built up a 9-0 lead in the first three minutes behind five points from Jonas Tester plus two each from Krue Powers and Shaw. Gavin Bailey converted a pair of hoops for Archbold around a Shaw basket inside as the margin sat at 11-4 after the first quarter.
The second quarter began with Wauseon’s Carson Burt and Jayden Seiler of Archbold exchanging 3-pointers in the first 1:50.
Wauseon then got a nice contribution off the bench. Tyson Rodriguez scored four straight to increase their lead at 18-7 with just under four minutes left in the second.
Tyler Hurst of Archbold went 1 of 2 from the foul line with 3:33 to go for the final points of the half. The Streaks made only one shot in the quarter.
“That just because you play hard doesn’t guarantee you anything. You’ve still got to be able to put the ball in the basket — no matter how hard you play,” said Frank on his biggest takeaway from the game. “It wasn’t our night tonight, but again, we’ve got a lot to look forward too. Everything that we set for goals at the (beginning) of the season is still in front of us.”
Wauseon did a nice job of working the ball around the perimeter and eventually inside to their big guys — namely Shaw — in the second half.
First Shaw converted a pass inside by Jude Armstrong 11 seconds into the third period, but that was answered by the Streaks’ Brady Johns who hit a three. Tester sliced through the middle of the Archbold defense for a layup, then Hurst knocked one down from long range to keep Archbold within eight, 22-14.
However, the Indians bumped the difference back to 10 when Powers found Shaw down low for a basket at the 1:34 mark of the third.
“I thought he (Shaw) was the recipient of some pretty solid perimeter action,” said Coach Burt. “I thought at times we got away from that a little bit. I thought we had some rushed possessions — especially in the third quarter that we weren’t too happy about. That’s just not really our mentality, or our personality. And I thought we got away from that in the third quarter to some extent. But we got back at it, I think we found him (Shaw), and I thought we started to attack the rim as a whole pretty well.”
A Powers bucket inside made it 26-14 early in the fourth and the Indians kept building from there. With just north of three minutes remaining, they got a hoop in the paint by Shaw plus a Tester layup, doubling up Archbold at 36-18.
Shaw finished with nine second half points and 13 for the game to lead all scorers. Tester added 12 for the Indians.
“It’s no secret he’s a big boy,” said Burt of the 6’4” Shaw. “Him and Landon Hines battle every day in practice and make each other better. Matt’s making some strides. He had a sickness early in the year, and he’s really just trying to get himself back in shape to some extent. So his minutes have been pretty limited. But I thought he played some pretty big minutes and was effective at both ends.”
Also hurting Archbold was not being able to hit from three-point range down the stretch in the fourth quarter. They had some open looks but just could not knock them down.
“I’m proud of the effort they gave,” said Frank of his team. “Obviously, our execution wasn’t the greatest. And they made a lot more plays than we did. So give Wauseon and Coach Burt all the credit in the world. We’ll go back to the drawing board and keep working at it.”
Bailey paced the Streaks with eight points.
Wauseon (5-3) finishes up the year at the holiday tournament in Paulding this Monday and Tuesday. Archbold (4-3) closes 2021 by welcoming Pettisville (5-2) Tuesday night.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.