HUBER HEIGHTS — The Wayne Warriors survived a late surge by the Springfield Wildcats and pulled out a 65-62 overtime win before a sold-out Wayne High School gymnasium.
It’s one thing to have a packed house. It’s another thing to have one on a Wednesday night. This game was everything it was expected to be. Springfield may be missing its leading scorer from last year, but coach Isaiah Carson of Springfield still has playmakers and they were up to the task Wednesday Night.
“It’s what the Wayne Springfield game should be like. I have a lot of respect for Isaiah Carson and Mike Wallace. I coached those guys in sixth grade and I love those guys. If we aren’t playing them I’m rooting for them,” said coach Nathan Martindale. “I give a lot of credit to my guys. Once again they found a way. They’re mentally tough. That’s something we’ve been working on being mentally tough as a group, being mentally tough as a unit.”
Both teams came out running, as the score was 8-7 Wayne after the first minute of play. Wayne outscored Springfield the rest of the quarter, closing out the first with a 14-4 run and a 22-11 lead.
Springfield’s offense woke up in the second quarter, led by junior forward Raheim Moss’s 8 points and 5 dropped in by 6’7” junior forward Sam Towns. Springfield scored 21 points in the second quarter but Wayne kept pace with 17 of its own. Springfield adjusted well on defense but Wayne doesn’t have just one or two players it depends on. When Springfield found success on defense Wayne found a way to get the ball to other playmakers. It got even contributions from 6 players in the second quarter to finish the half with a 39-32 lead.
Both teams put the clamps down on defense in the second half. Wayne only managed 9 points in the third quarter, led by Deshon Parker’s 5 points. Springfield was able to score 15 points because Leonard Taylor came off of the bench and found some success in the paint forcing Wayne to pay more attention to him, which opened up lanes for Raheim Moss and Sam Towns. The score at the end of three was Wayne 48 Springfield 47.
Wayne maintained a slim lead throughout the fourth quarter up until about the one minute mark, that’s when Springfield Senior guard Micheal Wallace drained a three-pointer from the top of the arc to give the Wildcats a 59-58 lead. Wayne ensuing possession Deshon Parker worked his way through traffic in the middle of the lane and elevated above the defense and dropped a teardrop in with 16 seconds remaining.
Springfield inbounded the ball and started up court Darius Quisenberry fouled Moss because Wayne only had 5 fouls and this would force Springfield to inbound the ball from the side and allow Wayne to set up a defense, but the official inexplicably called an intentional foul and sent Moss to the line for two and possession of the ball with 14 seconds left in the game. Moss missed the first but hit the second to tie the game. Springfield failed on its possession sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, Springfield held the ball just over the midcourt line for the first 45 seconds of overtime. Wayne stayed back and allowed the time to run down. Wayne finally stepped up to force the Wildcats to put the ball into action and forced a turnover. Wayne got the ball into a half court set and Springfield applied pressure to the ball, double-teaming the guard with the ball. Wayne was able to work the ball around the top of the key until the motion left Rashad McKee alone in the corner. The guard dribble penetrated the lane and kicked the ball out to McKee and McKee’s shot was true, 63-60 Wayne.
Springfield answered with two of its own when Senior forward Leonard Taylor put back a Raheim Moss miss on the next possession, 63-62 Wayne. The Wildcats set up a full court press, but Wayne worked the ball around and was able to get the ball across midcourt. Wayne ran some time off the clock and Quisenberry was able to get to the line on Moss’s fifth foul. Quisenberry missed the front end of the one and one. Sam Towns found some daylight and took the ball to the rim, only to be met by two Warrior defenders that redirected his shot. The rebound reflected off of Towns making it Wayne’s ball with 17 seconds left in overtime.
Springfield set up in a press defense again, but Wayne was able to get the ball to Rodney Hampton who dribbled through a double team and crossed over one of the defenders leaving him crumpled on the floor. He was able to set up a teammate in the lane but the shot fell off of the rim into the hands of L’Christian Smith who missed the putback but was fouled. L’Christian hit both free-throws to put Wayne up 65-62 with 7 seconds left. Springfield hurried the ball down court and the ball was passed to Leonard for an open three-pointer, but Springfield called timeout with 2.5 left in OT. Springfield inbounded the ball and put up a desperation three-pointer that fell harmlessly into the hands of a Wayne defender as the buzzer sounded.
Wayne stays perfect at (13-0, 7-0) and Springfield suffers its first loss and goes to (13-1, 6-1). Next up for the Warriors is a home game Friday against the Lebanon Warriors (11-4, 3-4). The Wildcats head home to host the Springboro Panthers Friday night.
WAY 22 39 48 60 65 – 65
SPRF 11 32 47 60 62 – 62
Wayne: Rashad McKee 4-1-11, Deshon Parker 4-6-15, Antwuan Johnson 2-0-4, Darius Quisenberry 5-2-13, Blue Smith 3-5-13, Ronnie Hampton 6-1-13. Totals: 24-15-65.
Springfield: Sam Towns 6-0-13, Jordan Howard 1-0-2, David Sanford 2-1-6, Raheim Moss 9-5-25, Mike Wallace 2-0-6, Leonard Taylor 5-0-10. Totals: 25-6-62.
3-point goals: Wayne 6 (Smith 2, McKee 2, Quisenberry, Parker); Springfield 6 (Moss 2, Wallace 2, Towns, Sandford).
Records: Wayne 13-0 (7-0), Springfield 13-1 (6-1).
JV Score: Wayne 61 Springfield 49.
Reach Robert Williamson II at: RobertWilliamsonII@hotmail.com