VANDALIA — The Wayne Warriors jumped out to a four-point lead early in the first quarter then coasted the rest of the way to a 76-59 first-round playoff win over the Stebbins Indians. The Indians came into the game with a 9-13 record, but they were not intimidated by the Warriors’ 20-1 record.
Coach Martindale, after the game, said, “After watching film on them all week, the one thing I told Stebbins coach Coleman before we came out here, I said they play extremely hard. That’s something they always do. No matter if they are winning or losing games. You can see a lot about how a team plays; how hard they work. I give coach Coleman a lot of credit. They played harder than we did tonight, bottom line”
Stebbins outhustled Wayne for most of the game, driving through the lane without much resistance and getting good looks at offensive put-backs. The only problem was Stebbins missed a lot of those wide-open shots, and Wayne’s L’Christian Smith dominated, scoring 7 of this 14 points in the first period.
The Stebbins zone challenged the Wayne offense all night. Wayne had problems executing at times, but Wayne hit six 3-point shots in the first half. Five of them came in a 27-point second period that kept the Indians at bay. Wayne led Stebbins 40-24 at half-time and the Indians got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Stebbins’ Ty Rutledge came off of the bench to lead all Stebbins players with 20 points. He averaged 6.1 points in the regular season but he was active on both ends of the court, grabbing rebounds, scoring by slashing through the lane and putting back offensive rebounds and drawing fouls.
For Wayne, Deshon Parker was 5 of 8 from outside the arc for the game; he hit three of them for 9 points in the second period. Ronnie Hampton added 9 points in the second period as well, working the glass for points in the paint and hitting a big three-pointer to help Wayne complete a 27-15 second-period run.
Stebbins is eliminated and Wayne will play Tecumseh at 7:30 p.m. at Butler High School on Tuesday, February 27. Centerville and Northmont play their game right before Wayne’s game, also at Butler. The winner of these two games will meet March 2 at 7 p.m. at Butler High School.
Coach Martindale is ready to put this game behind him and get ready for Tecumseh.
“We had a nice talk in the locker room,” Martindale added. “We are going to refocus here. No time to really look back. I mean, we won the tournament game and that was our goal, to win and advance. We have a tough Tecumseh game this Tuesday. That’s what we are going to get ready to do, prepare for them and see what we can do. You know, as far as getting better these next few days.”
WAY 13 40 52 76– 76
STEB 9 24 37 59– 59
Stebbins: Jalen Tolbert 10, Domanick Martin 5, Jonathan Mpanzu 12, Tyreese Rutledge 20, Mickael Mayo 5, Chris Davis 7. Totals: 23-12-59.
Wayne: Deshon Parker 16, Darius Quisenberry 10, Cam Fancher 3, L’Christian Smith 14, Ronnie Hampton 13, Rashad McKee 9, Josh Joye 2, Bobby Cole 2, Tallice Landers 3, Jalen Orwig 2, Brent Walker 2. Totals: 30-11-76.
Three-point goals: Wayne 7 (Parker 3, Hampton, Landers, McKee, Smith); Stebbins 1 (Mickael Mayo).
Records: 9-14, Wayne 21-1.
Reach Robert Williamson II at: RobertWilliamsonII@hotmail.com
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