2018-12-05 / Sports

AHS Boys Hold Off Wauseon Comeback


Elijah Zimmerman drives the baseline against the defensive pressure of Wauseon’s Noah Tester.– photo by Mario Gomez Elijah Zimmerman drives the baseline against the defensive pressure of Wauseon’s Noah Tester.– photo by Mario Gomez It was the beginning of a new era in Archbold boys basketball, Saturday, Dec. 1, in the Thunderdome.

Joe Frank roamed the sidelines as the new AHS head coach in the season opener against Wauseon.

The Streaks started fast and took an 18-point lead, and then held off a fierce comeback attempt to win the non-league contest 56-50 and snap a four-game losing streak to the Indians.

“We’ve had a little bit of a tough spell here the last two years,” said Frank.

“Four straight (games) to them and, by the way, there’s no shame in that. They were really good both those years.

“But the rivalry, what it is, makes it very special.”

From A Near-Blowout To A Close Game

Archbold jumped out to a 15-8 first-quarter lead behind 11 points from Austin Wiemken and Rigo Ramos.

The Streaks opened the second with a 9-2 run to open up a 24-10 advantage, forcing a Wauseon time-out.

The Indians stayed close the remainder of the quarter but were outscored 10-8 to go into the half trailing 34-18.

“Archbold was fired up from the get-go,” said Chad Burt, Wauseon head coach. “I thought they got off to a very good start.

“We didn’t make any huge adjustments; we just thought we had to play tougher.”

Elijah Zimmerman and Ramos scored Archbold’s only four points of the third to build a 38-20 lead.

With 5:52 left in the third, Wauseon started its comeback. Levi Seiler scored seven of the Indians’ 17 thirdquarter points to cut the difference to three, 38-35, with eight minutes left.

Sean Brock pulled Wauseon within a point with a bucket to start the fourth, and Trent Armstrong gave the Indians their first lead with a pair of layups to go up 41-38 with 6:50 left.

AJ Mahnke ended the seven-plus minute drought, draining a huge three-pointer to tie the game at 41 with 6:28 remaining.

Wiemken gave AHS the lead on a put-back, but Wauseon scored the next three points for a 44-43 advantage.

Andrew Hogrefe stepped into the spotlight and dropped a trey for a 46-44 lead.

After Seiler tied the game on a bucket, Zimmerman drained Archbold’s ninth trey of the game.

Trevor Rodriguez pulled the Indians within a point. Wiemken answered with a jumper.

Rodriguez scored Wauseon’s final points, and the Indians were forced to send the Streaks to the charity stripe.

Jeron Williams, Ramos and Zimmerman drained five-of-seven free throws for the 56-50 final.

“I just give our kids a lot of credit,” said Frank.

“When you have that big of a lead and it disappears on you and you actually fall behind, it takes some intestinal fortitude to find a way to come back and get the win.”

Ramos led all scorers with 17 points, including four treys. Zimmerman and Wiemken contributed 10 each.

Seiler scored 15 for WHS. Armstrong and Brock added 13 and 10, respectively.

Rivalry

The Archbold-Wauseon basketball rivalry stands out as one of the best in the area.

Both coaches recognize the importance of the battle, but also the respect that each team has for the other.

“This is the Michigan-Ohio State of our area,” said Burt. “It’s a huge rivalry, and I think both teams respect the rivalry.

“In the heat of the moment things are said and done, but off the court both teams have very good kids, competitors, and tremendous respect for each other.”

“Neither team likes to lose to the other,” said Frank. “That sometimes causes emotions to get heated to the point where it’s not always so good.

“I guess I’d call them friendly rivals from the standpoint that we may not like each other when we’re competing, but afterwards these guys have played a lot of ball against each other and respect each other.”

BOX SCORE
ARCHBOLD (56) - Mahnke 3,
Hogrefe 6, Williams 8, Wiemken 10,
Ramos 17, Zimmerman 10, Hagans
2. Totals 19-9-56.
WAUSEON (50) - Seiler 15, Armstrong 13, Tester 4, Penrod 2, Brock 10,
Rodriguez 6. Totals 19-10-50.
AHS 15 19 4 18 - 56
WHS 8 10 17 15 - 50
JV: Archbold won 42-30.

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