KETTERING – Wayne (0-1, 0-1) opened its 2018-2019 basketball season with a tough conference loss to Fairmont (1-0, 1-0) 66-60.
Wayne seemed to suffer from some early season jitters, but Fairmont played a tight game from the opening tip. The Firebirds executed in midseason form, never trailing after it took a 6-5 lead early in the first quarter.
“We give Fairmont all the credit; we knew they had a really good shooting team. Bochenek and obviously Ryan Hall, they’ve got obviously other guys that can play”, said Wayne coach Nathan Martindale, “They did what they needed to do to beat us. They shot the ball well, they made their free throws and they didn’t have many turnovers. I take my hat off to them.”
Fairmont senior forward Kellan Bochenek paced the Firebird offense in the first quarter, dropping three 3-pointers and scoring 11 of Fairmont’s 19-points in the quarter. Bochenek gave the Warriors fits all game, ending the game 6 of 7 from behind the arc and scoring a game-high 23 points.
Wayne fell behind early and played catch-up all game. It fell behind by 15 points with just over 4 minutes left in the game, but Wayne increased its intensity and went on a run closing to within 2-points with two minutes left. Senior guard Ronnie Hampton led the surge with 12 of his game high tying 23 points in the fourth quarter.
Wayne got no closer than 2, but Wayne had numerous opportunities to overtake Fairmont. The Warriors had some good looks at the rim, but shots were just off the mark or rimming out.
In the end, falling behind and having to work expended so much energy to comeback proved to be too much for the Warriors.
“I’m proud of my guys’ fight, down 13 or 15 with 4 minutes left and we come all the way back to within 2 points, we miss a few shots here and there. That shot goes in and obviously it’s another outcome”, added Martindale. “I’m proud of my boys. Our goal is to be the best that we can be, come March.”
Wayne will have to regroup quickly because it travels to Pickerington North to take on Upper Arlington
Fairmont travels to Centerville to take on the Elks next Friday.
WAY 13 11 16 20– 60
FAIR 19 13 14 20– 66
Wayne: Ronnie Hampton 23, Rashad McKee 9, Bobby Cole 10, Brian Hill 2, Tallice Landers 13, Jordan Long 3. Totals: 20-14-60.
Fairmont: Ryan Hall 16, Kellan Bochenek 23, Andre O’Daniel 13, Jesse Reliford 5, Anthony Johnson 1, Deshawn Brown 2, Chris Thompson 6. Totals: 23-11-66.
Three-point goals: Wayne 4 (Landers 3, Long ); Fairmont 7 (Bochenek 6, Reliford).
Records: Wayne 0-1 (0-1), Fairmont 1-0 (1-0).
JV Score: Wayne 69, Fairmont 67 (3 OT)