In the opening game of the 2017 state tournament, favored Wauseon played according to script to oust Columbus Eastmoor from the Division II bracket.
Columbus – They were touted as having experience, size, skills, and enough shooting to be a threat to anyone. And in the tournament’s opening game, the 27-1 Wauseon Indians proved that they had all of that, beating Columbus Eastmoor, 42-35.
The 77 points scored collectively by the two marked an all-time low for a Division II Final Four tournament game. The previous mark was 85, between Purcell Marion and Campbell Memorial in 2000.
Wauseon used a patient offense and the 6’9″ presence of junior center Austin Rotroff to negate Eastmoor’s own size and athleticism in the paint. Rotroff only scored 6 points…but he had 7 key blocks of shots inside, and an undetermined amount of deflections and shot-changing influence.
Offensively, Wauseon used 50% shooting from the floor in the first half to hold a 13-10 lead at the break, and milked the clock in the second half to keep Eastmoor from accelerating the pace of the game.
The Indians finished shooting just 40%, but they never let Eastmoor run up and down. It was enough to win and move on.
Guard Brooks Gype led Wauseon with 14 points; running mate Carter Bzovi had 13. The Indians shot only 1 of 5 from three-point range, but secured the win from the free throw line, shooting 80% for the second half and 13 of 19 for the game (68%).
Eastmoor finished their season with a 22-7 mark, shot 32% from the floor, and just 57% from the foul line.
Wauseon will now move on to meet the winner of the second Division II semi-final between Trotwood and Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary’s, to be played at 2:00 pm.