HUBER HEIGHTS – Wayne (20-1, 11-1) completed its regular season with a 52-49 win over the Centerville Elks (12-10, 7-5) and finished as GWOC East Division Champions.
“All year long those guys [seniors] really made it happen, from the leadership standpoint. I want to thank my coaches”, said Wayne coach Nathan Martindale after the game, “because without their leadership this wouldn’t be possible because it is a grind. It’s a long season and you have to have guys to show them how to get better, and I think that’s what we had this year.”
The Warriors came out a little flat, turning the ball over a few times on offense and giving up back-to-back three-pointers from senior guard Donnie Shelton and junior guard Ryan Marchal, giving Centerville the early 6-0 lead. Wayne was able to collect itself and work its way back to within 10-9 by the end of the first period.
Wayne got its offense going in the second period, as Darius Quisenberry scored 7 points and L’Christian Smith added 5 more to pace Wayne’s 19 point outburst. Quisenberry had 10 of Wayne’s 28 points, 9 of them from behind the arc. One of the biggest shots of the first half was a three he banked in as time expired to extend Wayne’s lead to 28-22.
Centerville’s senior forward Jevon Henderson scored his first points of the game in the third, 6 of the Elks’ 13 in the period to be exact. The Elks were able to slow the Wayne offense down and held the Warriors to 10 points in the third period. Two players scored for the Warriors in the third, Quisenberry had two for three-pointers and Deshon Parker added the other 4 points. The Elks were able to scratch their way back to a one-possession game, 38-35.
Both teams were able to put a lot of points on the board, but they did it in different ways. Centerville scored most of its points from the free-throw line and Wayne scored many of its points in the paint, off of rebounds.
Junior forward Bobby Cole played his biggest period of basketball of the year to close out this game. He was active on the boards and made huge plays down the stretch. Cole scored 8 of Wayne’s 14 points in the fourth period; his putback, while being fouled and his ensuing free-throw put Wayne up by 4 with just over a minute left was huge. From that point on Centerville would get no closer than 3 points.
In the last 14 seconds, both teams traded missed free throws, twice. The last Centerville missed free-throw was with 4.6 seconds left, which was rebounded by the Elks and kicked out to their best shooter Ryan Marchal. Marchal had a good look but his desperate attempt to send the game into overtime fell harmlessly into the hands of L’Christian Smith as time expired.
Coach Martindale had good things to say about the Elks.
“[Centerville] is well-coached. Coach Cup does a great job. I’ve always said that. He’s one of the best coaches in the area. So anytime you play them you’re going to have to bring you’re ‘A’ game. We have a lot of respect for Centerville.”
Wayne opens tournament play next Friday against the Stebbins Indians at 7:30 p.m. at Butler High School. Centerville has a bye in the first round and will play February 27th at Bulter High School against the winner of Northmont and Fairborn.
CEN 10 22 35 49– 49
WAY 9 28 38 52– 52
Centerville: Donnie Shelton 11, Alec Grandin 4, Jason Sneed 4, Ryan Marchal 17, Davis Mumaw 3, Jevon Henderson 10. Totals: 19-7-49.
Wayne: Deshon Parker 9, Darius Quisenberry 19, L’Christian Smith 10, Ronnie Hampton 4, Rashad McKee 2, Bobby Cole 8. Totals: 19-5-52.
Three-point goals: Centerville 4 (Marchal 3, Shelton); Wayne 8 (Quisenberry 6, Smith, Cole).
Records: Centerville 12-10 (7-5), Wayne 20-1 (11-1) .
Reach Robert Williamson II at: RobertWilliamsonII@hotmail.com