In a contest that many of the fans in attendance figured to be a blowout, the Wauseon Indians stood tall for 29 of the game’s 32 minutes. But in the end Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary gave them what they came for, turning the Division II into a 45 – 30 rout.
By Stan Wilker
Columbus – While Buckeye baseball was in the midst of beginning their 2017 Big 10 season at Bill Davis Stadium, The OHSAA is concluding its 2016-17 Boys Basketball season at the Schottenstein Center.
Akron SVSM came in seeking a seventh state title and accomplished the task in convincing fashion against a determined, battle tested Wauseon squad in game one. The Indians see their 26 game win streak end on Ohio basketball’s biggest stage.
After a first quarter that was evenly played the Indians held a slim 12 – 10 lead.
The one down side was Wauseon big man Austin Rotroff picked up his second foul and spent significant time on the bench.
Head Coach Chad Burt felt this was significant as it was a factor in the Irish outscoring the Indians 14 – 4 in the second stanza. Despite this deficit Coach Burt felt they were in a good place as the third quarter unfolded holding the Irish to 11 while they tallied 10.
The final 8 minutes saw some shifts in momentum both ways, and ultimately the game came down to the final 3 minutes; which according to Coach Burt is right where we wanted to be.
With the score standing at 35 – 30 the Indians had a 3 point shot rim in and out, a beginning to the end. From there the Irish closed out the scoring with a 10 – 0 run highlighted with steals and rim racking dunks.
Coach Dru had nothing but praise for the Indians as a well coached, hard fighting group. He further elaborated on the game saying as we approached this game we felt our 11 were better than their 7.
Indeed they were as the Irish forced 23 Indian turnovers. Wauseon compounded their problems by converting only 4 of 13 free throws.
The relatively low scoring game saw only two double scorers, Austin Rotroff for Wauseon led the way with 18 points, 9 rebounds and two assists. For the Irish Jayvon Graves was everything, and more, scoring 25 points, 6 rebounds and 7 steals.