TOLEDO 3/8/14—The tone was set from the very first possession in the Division II Boys District Final matchup between the Wauseon Indians and the Defiance Bulldogs. Bulldog senior Will Batt drilled a three with less than 30 seconds off the clock, and that would be the story of the night. The Indian defense would be unable to slow down the three point barrage by Defiance, and would be defeated by a score of 56-42.
Although they fell to an early 3-0 deficit, the Tribe was able to regain their composure, and battle with the Bulldogs for the early part of the contest. Wauseon was able to come within a 5-4 margin, but then Batt his second three point shot of the opening quarter, putting Defiance back up by four. But the Indians would answer right back, as Jacob Newlove launched a tre of his own that landed, making it 8-7 in favor of the Bulldogs with 3:55 left in the opening period. Trey Guilliam then hit two consecutive three’s of his own, the second of which gave Defiance a 14-9 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter of action. Wauseon’s defense was able to hold off anymore scoring from Defiance for the rest of the first quarter, and the Indian’s capitalize, scoring the last four points of the half as Corry Byers and Newlove each respectively put down layups to make it 14-13 at the end of the first quarter, with Defiance in the lead.
The Tribe took their first lead of the contest at the 7:43 mark of the second stanza, as Corry Byers would hit, you guessed it, a three pointer, putting Wauseon in control 16-14. Defiance sunk a pair of free throws to tie the game up, and it would remain tied until the 4:36 remaining in the half when Byers converted two free throws, and it was Wauseon with an 18-16 lead midway through the second quarter. It wasn’t long, however, until the Bulldog shooters would again come alive, making four straight three pointers to give them eight total threes in the first half, and a 28-18 lead. The Tribe was able to end the half on a high note however, when Newlove hit his second triple of the contest to cut the Bulldog lead to seven, 28-21 which would remain the score in to the intermission.
The Tribe hoped to slow down the three point attack of the Bulldogs in the second half of action, but Defiance had other plans as they would yet again put down two more shots from behind the arc, one at the 7:30 mark, and the other at the 5:05 mark. At this point, the Bulldogs had made seven straight three pointers rom the 4:03 mark of the second quarter through the 5:05 mark of the third, outscoring Wauseon 21-3 in that span, and increasing their lead to 34-21 over the red and white. At the end of the third quarter, Defiance held a 43-32 lead over Wauseon.
The fourth and final quarter of play, and of the season for the Tribe, would go without a score until Noah Castle drove to the basket, while getting fouled, and converting an old fashioned three point play to draw Wauseon within eight, 43-35, but that would be the closest the Indian’s would be able to get. Defiance slowed the game down, deflating both the basketball and the Indian’s chances of a comeback. Any score that the Tribe made, the Bulldogs were able to answer, and as the final buzzer rang on the Indian’s 2013-2014 campaign, the scoreboard read 56-42 in favor of the Defiance Bulldogs.
The Indians finished the season with a 19-7 record, and the Wauseon High School trophy case will be home to a district runner-up trophy. On the season, Wauseon averaged 54.6 points per game, while giving up an average of only 43 points per game. Wauseon will lose seniors Kris Boysel, Corry Byers, and Alec Lillich to graduation, but return three starters (Noah Castle, Zac Robinson, and Jacob Newlove) along with Zach Johnson who saw considerable playing time throughout the year.
In the contest with the Bulldogs, Castle and Byers both set the pace with 12 points a piece. Newlove contributed eight to the Indian cause, Johnson had six, and Mason Creager finished with two.
Congrats to the Indians on a great season, and congratulations also go out to their seniors on fine careers.
SCORING BY QUARTER:
Wauseon: 13, 8, 11, 10 for 42
Defiance: 14, 14, 15, 13 for 56