DEFIANCE – The Wauseon boys basketball team overcame a two-point first quarter to defeat Tinora, 38-26, and claim the Vision Chrysler Holiday Classic at Defiance College Tuesday.
They reached the championship with a 72-23 win over North Central on Monday.
“I thought it was good for us to play that kind of a game,” said Wauseon coach Chad Burt on the win over Tinora. “Coach (Paul) Wayne’s always gonna have his team well prepared, and play very good defense, be well coached, and do things right. It was a good game for us to play against that (kind of team). I thought as a whole our kids responded pretty well.”
Wauseon’s Brooks Gype scored on a drive to the basket just 27 seconds in, but that would be their only points of the frame. Ryan Mohr buried a three for Tinora as the seconds ticked down to give the Rams a 3-2 lead after one.
“Early on I thought we got some good shots. They just didn’t fall,” said Burt of his team’s slow start.
“I think they had a lot to do with it defensively. It was kind of inevitable. We’ve been shooting the ball really well up until this game, and we were due for maybe a game where we didn’t shoot it quite as well. Not a big surprise, but again, I think you’ve got to give them a lot of credit defensively.”
The Indians would take back the lead in the early minutes of the second period with the help of four points from Austin Rotroff, then Tyler Giesige hit a three to pull the Rams within a point at 7-6 at the 5:20 mark.
Wauseon responded as Gype nailed a jump shot, Owen Newlove went off glass, and Carter Bzovi scored four straight to make it 15-6 at the half.
“I thought we settled a little bit for some three point shots. That maybe we could have got to the rim a few more times,” said Burt on the Indians’ offensive effort. “As a team, not just throwing the ball inside, but I thought we started attacking off the dribble. Shots finally started to fall.”
They extended that difference by three points in the third to go up 28-16 heading into the final period.
Both teams traded three point baskets to begin the fourth, then a triple from Giesige got the Rams within nine with 5:40 left. Rotroff split a pair of free throws for the Indians, but a bucket by Tinora’s Connor Gilbert made it 32-24 with 4:31 left.
The Indians put it away on a hook shot from Rotroff and Gype’s three point play to once again make the lead double digits, and that is where it would stay.
Gype led the Indians with 13 points, while Bzovi tacked on 10. Mohr finished with 11 points for Tinora.
Wauseon (7-1) is now off until Saturday, Jan. 7 when they host Anthony Wayne.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010