Wauseon used a big height advantage, a hunger for the boards, and precision on the offensive end to romp over Delta 62-22 on the opening night of the NWOAL basketball season Thursday at Delta.
“We’ve been very unselfish this year,” Indian coach Chad Burt said regarding his balanced attack. “Obviously having a 6’9” guy (Austin Rotroff) in the post that passes well and we’ve doing a great job running our offense through him. He distributes well and can finish very well also.”
After Rotroff knocked in a third try offensive rebound and Brooks Gype scored a fastbreak hoop and a triple, the 6’9” junior showed that finishing ability with back-to-back slams that helped the Indians chalk up a 13-0 first quarter lead.
The Panthers went 0 of 10 in that opening stanza and Wauseon also held an 11-4 rebounding edge.
Gabe Freeman’s three-pointer finally put the Panthers on the board with 7:27 left in the half, but Wauseon responded with Carter Bzovi’s six straight points to take a 27-11 lead into halftime.
The Indians used a 22-2 third quarter surge to blow the game wide open.
Gype started and finished the run with putbacks off the offensive glass as the Indians attacked the boards like a pack of big dogs going after a single steak.
In between, Gype scored a third rebound hoop among his 12 third quarter points, Bzovi hit two late three-balls and Rotroff hit yet another rebound hoop and a shot inside.
“I think in the third quarter we came out and had better energy defensively and offensively. We hit shots in the third and we played better on the other end as well. Sometimes that affects your defense when you don’t hit the shots you get,” explained Burt. “But in the third the ball started going through the hoop and the energy picked up at the other end.
“As far as on the glass, our practices are very competitive. We get very physical at practice because in the long haul for us to achieve our goals we will have to play that way. We beat on each (other) pretty hard but we have great chemistry and I think you can see that on the court too, these guys really like to play together, they root for each other on the bench, our enthusiasm is very good. As a coach you can preach that but with these guys it’s real.
“It’s nice to have a 6’9” guy that takes up attention but we have a number of athletic, strong and physical guys that really go get it on the boards.”
Wauseon carried a 44-23 advantage on the glass and turned the ball over just seven times.
The Indians shot 44 percent from the field but just 10 for 21 from the foul stripe.
Delta shot a frigid 10 for 44 from the floor and committed 15 turnovers.
Gype led all scorers with 19, while Bzovi and Rotroff each had 12. No Delta Panther hit double figures.
Wauseon (10-1, 1-0 NWOAL) then added a 60-44 win on the road at Defiance Saturday. They will be at Maumee Tuesday for a non-league contest.
Delta (1-10, 0-1) is off until Friday when they are at Patrick Henry.
Reach Joe Blystone at [email protected]