HUBER HEIGHTS — Wayne won its home opener over Fairmont for first year Varsity head coach Nathan Martindale in front of packed house 73-54. Wayne had its way for much of the game but Fairmont would not go away easily.
“Lot’s of fans came out tonight, great fan base”, Coach Martindale said. “We are so appreciative of all of the fans that came out to support Wayne basketball. It was great, we did a lot of good things out there, but we have a few things we need to clean up. Early in the year that’s going to happen sometimes.”
Wayne guards Deshon Parker, Darius Quisenberry and Ronnie Hampton dropped 19 first quarter points for the Warriors, which was good enough to put Wayne up 19-14.
Quisenberry paced the Warriors in the second quarter with nine of Wayne’s 21 points. He was strong in transition and put a lot of pressure on the Fairmont defense. The Firebirds were forced to adjust, which opened scoring opportunities for the Warriors. Wayne’s defense was also able to hold the Firebirds to eight points in the second quarter to close the first half with a 40-22 lead.
“One of our senior guards had an excellent game,” Martindale said. “I just thought from a leadership standpoint he really controlled our pace, controlled kinda what we did. He did a great job of being unselfish. That’s something we preach a lot of.”
To start the second half Fairmont’s changes on defense got the Wayne offense out of rhythm and the Firebirds were able to get within nine points midway through the third quarter, as Firebird guards Kellan Bachenek and Ryan Hall caught fire for a combined 11 points. The Firebirds would get no closer however, as the Warriors collected themselves and put on a run of their own to close out the third quarter up 54-39.
The Warriors outscored the scrappy Firebirds in the fourth quarter 18-17 to finish out the game and seal the win. The score is not indicative of the type of game this was. Wayne thought it was about to put the Firebirds away and Fairmont would storm back.
Coach Martindale agreed, “I was proud of our guys’ effort. I thought in the first half we played really well. Second half we sort of had a mental lapse in the third quarter. We allowed Fairmont to get back in the game. But Fairmont is extremely well coached. They do a great job with their sets and the have a whole bunch of tough kids over there.”
Wayne travels to Beavercreek Tuesday, December 12 to take on the Beavercreek Beavers and the Fairmont Firebirds play the Centerville Elks at home on December 12.
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