WAUSEON 1/10/2014—On an important night in the NWOAL, Wauseon was able to fend off a late rally by the Tigers of Liberty Center. With their rival Archbold Bluestreaks losing their first league game of the season to the Swanton Bulldogs the same night, the Indians had a chance to take control of the NWOAL boys basketball standings, if they could get past the Tigers. After being behind by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, Liberty Center would come charging back, even taking a lead in the final minutes of the game. The Tribe was able to regain their composure, lead by a 30 point performance by senior Corry Byers, and grab a 53-49 win, remaining undefeated in league play.
Byers high scoring night started off in the opening quarter, hitting a three to spark the Indians early on. Liberty Center’s size gave the Tribe some trouble, as the Indian’s would only be leading 11-8 as the first quarter was coming to and end, that is until Kris Boysel was able to nab an offensive rebound with less than two seconds left on the clock, and put the ball in to the basket just as the buzzer sounder, giving Wauseon a 13-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, it would again be Byers leading the way, scoring nine of the Indian’s 11 points in the period. Wauseon’s lead would remain at five going in to halftime, with the Indian’s leading 24-19.
Wauseon started off the third quarter hot, jumping out to as large as a 14 point lead midway through the third quarter. Liberty Center would find their groove again though late in the quarter, closing back in on the Indians. After three quarters of action, the Tribe was clinging to a 37-31 lead.
The Tigers were not going to let the Indians off easy. After it seemed as if Wauseon was going to come away with an easy victory, Liberty Center found a spark from their 6’7 center Chestnut. The Tribe defense had trouble defending his post presence, and were caught off-guard as the big man launched and drained a three pointer, cutting in to the Indian lead. The Tigers were even able to take a 47-46 lead with 3:30 left in the contest. The Indians were given a technical foul, and it seemed as if the game was slipping away from them, but then Byers started taking over again for the Tribe, scoring 12 points in the final quarter, which also opened up the post game for Noah Castle, who was able to draw a 5th foul against Liberty Center’s Chestnut in the final minutes, causing the 6’7 Tiger to have to sit on the bench for the remainder of the game. Byers and Castle were the only Indian’s to score in the final quarter of action, but that is all the Tribe would need, capturing the win by a score of 53-49.
Byers lead all scorers on the night with 30 points, Castle was next with 11, Jacob Newlove scored 7, and Kris Boysel rounded out the scoring for the Tribe with 5 points.
With the win, the Indian’s move to 9-2 on the season, and lead the NWOAL with 3 league wins and 0 league losses.
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