March Madness Officially Comes To Northwest Ohio

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After the Archbold Bluestreaks were victorious in their Division III Regional semifinal game, the attention turned to the Division II Regional matchup between the Wauseon Indians and Sandusky Blue Streaks.

Wauseon ended any real concern early as they streaked past Sandusky on way to a 54-33 dominating victory at Savage Arena on the campus of the University of Toledo.

The Indians had a tall order in the matchup as Sandusky came into the contest with a 21-4 record and brought with them the Division II District player of the year in Jayrese Williams. The talented senior is his school’s career points leader exceeding 1,700 points. His 23 points per game average should garner him some state honors. With all that said, the Indians heard none of it as the defensive coverage, mostly by senior Carter Bzovi, dominated Williams who finished with a grand total of seven points. Williams was raddled early by the defense and it showed. He finished 1 of 10 from beyond the arc in his final high school game. “I thought Carter Bzovi did a great job forcing Williams into tough shots,” Wauseon coach Chad Burt said. “He had a lot of help with our other guys who did a nice job of crowding the basketball and keeping them out of the paint.”

As for the tournament-running Wauseon Indians, their performance was nothing short of stellar. Wauseon finished with 36 shots from the floor and connecting on 20 of them. The Indians crashed the defensive boards as they accumulated a total of 35 rebounds and 29 of those on the defensive end.

Individually it was Brooks Gype taking center stage as the junior was three of five from three-point land and four of nine from two-point range for a total of 17 points. The other parts of Wauseon’s three headed monster, Carter Bzovi and Austin Rotroff finished with 12 points apiece.

Wauseon made their case early as they exploded during second quarter action. Up 14-8 to start the quarter, Gype hit a three, Brendan Britsch was good on two foul shots and Bzovi drained a three, Levi Seiler was fouled and made both shots, Rotroff added a layup and Bzovi drove for two to complete a 14-0 Wauseon run that lifted the lid and crushed it for a 28-8 lead. Sandusky finally broke the run with a bucket by Brent Hanson at the 2:30 mark. The 20-point lead shrunk to 28-16 on a Williams make, but Gype was on target from three-point land again for a 31-18 advantage. 30 of Wauseon’s points came in the paint. Wauseon’s 6-9 Austin Rotroff dominated the inside play evidenced by the first of three dunks to open the lead back up to 15 points at 33-18. Later in the quarter, the Streaks showed some life with two consecutive threes to again close the gap to ten at 35-25. The momentum quickly shifted back to Wauseon thanks to a thunderous dunk by Rotroff slamming the lead back to 12 at 37-25. After a Sandusky bucket, the ever charging Gype ended the quarter with a two pointer as the Indians entered the final quarter up 39-27.

After a three-pointer by Sandusky’s Cavon Croon to start the fourth quarter scoring at the 7:21 mark, the Blue Streaks felt the wrath of the Indians defense once again as they were held scoreless until :37 seconds left with a three-pointer by Keijan Newell. Meanwhile, the Indians offense exploded reminiscent of the first quarter run ripping off a 15-point run to finish the night as one of the elite eight teams in the state of Ohio.

Bill Bray may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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