ST. MARYS, OH – A strong second half by Wapak led them past host St. Marys 52-46 on Friday night to wrap up the regular season for both teams.
Trailing 34-33 early in the final period the Redskins Jace Copeland sliced his way through the lane and connected on a basket to push his team into the lead for the first time since early in the fourth quarter at 35-34. Despite Copeland missing the free throw that accompanied a St. Marys foul the visitors would keep control of the scoreboard the rest of the contest.
Wapak’s first lead of the game came just moments into the first period on a Gage Schenk three pointer. An Adam Scott basket made the advantage 5-3 Wapak but would represent the last basket of the opening eight minutes as their team finished 2/13 from the field while the Roughriders nailed down a 5/12 performance led by Braeden Dunlap with a five point quarter and a 12-6 lead after one stanza.
For nearly a five minute span between the first and second quarter the Redskins were unable to put anything inside the Memorial High School baskets and watched as the Riders lead grew to 16-6. Adam Scott’s connection on 1/2 free throws with 5:13 to go in the opening two periods pulled his team to within 16-7 before leading a run that pulled the lead down to 24-17 at the break.
Perhaps the biggest play of the first half almost didn’t happen for St. Marys as Ethan Mielke’s tip in of an air ball from a teammates three point try just beat the buzzer to keep the Riders in the lead by 7.
In the opening moments of the third quarter the Wapak duo of Adam Scott and Aaron Good both hit a three point goal and pushed their teams offense into overdrive as they accounted for 14 of their squads 16 markers in the quarter. Austin Wilker’s two deep threes for St. Marys kept the Roughriders in the lead at 34-33 with the game headed to the final period.
St. Marys who came into the contest seeking their first winning record in the Western Buckeye League since finishing 5-4 in the 2014/15 season saw their conference record finish with a 4-5 mark once the final buzzer rang.
Austin Wilker led all scorers in the game with 22 points and a trio of three pointers. St. Marys (7-15, 4-5) will begin their tournament run on Tuesday night at 7pm against Grand Lake rival Celina at Findlay High School.
Wapak (14-8, 6-3) was led by Adam Scott’s 16 points and will travel to Lima Senior High School on Wednesday night for an 8pm battle with Napoleon.
Gage Schenk 14
Nick Schoonover 2
Brady Erb 4
Aaron Good 12
Jace Copeland 4
Adam Scott 16
St. Marys (46):
Braeden Dunlap 5
Austin Wilker 22
Ethan Mielke 7
Drew Jacobs 5
Colin Clements 5
Ethan Steger 2
JV: Wapak 49-38