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BASKETBALL: Wapak rallies to shoot down Flyers

December 31, 2011

For three quarters, the Wapakoneta Redskins varsity boys basketball team had no pulse.

Then senior Andy Faller hit a jumper from the left wing.

Ba-bump.

And freshman Adam Henderson ventured into a forest of blue and gold trees, grabbed an offensive rebound and stuck it back in the basket.

Ba-bump, ba-bump.

Then Faller drained a 3-pointer.

Ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump.

Those three baskets ignited a 19-point fourth quarter as Wapak erased a nine-point deficit and pulled out a 39-35 win over the Marion Local Flyers on Friday at Wapakoneta High School.

After scoring just 20 points through the first three quarters — 13 of those in the first — the Redskins finally came alive when it mattered.

“I said that to them during one timeout in the fourth quarter — maybe the blood is flowing,” Redskins varsity coach Matt Bradley said. “Faller hit that two-pointer at the start of the quarter and you could almost hear the collective sense of relief.

“We just kind of took off from there.”

With the win, Wapak improved to 3-5. Marion Local is 3-2.

Up 13-11 after the first eight minutes of play, the Redskins struggled to find any kind of offensive flow through the middle two quarters, connecting on just one field goal in each quarter, and trailed 29-20 entering the fourth.

But Wapak opened the fourth quarter with nine unanswered points, tying the game at 29-29 on junior Travis Bertram’s first basket of the game with 5:00 left in the contest.

Marion Local answered with back-to-back putbacks from Adam Bertke and Lee Pierron to retake a 33-29 lead with 3:18 left.

But Wapak held fast and rallied to close out the game with a 10-2 run.

“We took some quick shots and that led into their breaks,” Marion Local coach Kurt Goettemoeller said. “You’ve got to give the Faller kid some credit because for the first three quarters he wasn’t even looking to shoot.

“Our scouting report said that’s the guy we can help off of. And in the fourth quarter he hit some big shots.”

It was a much-needed shot in the arm after the Redskins fell apart in a 62-45 loss the night before at LCC.

“We’re still trying to figure out what buttons to push with these guys,” Bradley said. “As coaches, that’s our job. But I told them going into the fourth quarter that we’ve got to push a little bit. We’ve got some guys who can play in the open floor.

“I thought Adam Henderson did a really good job coming in as a freshman.”

Junior Jake Buzzard scored 14 points to lead Wapak. After hitting on 3 of 4 three-point attempts in the first quarter, Buzzard missed his next eight shots before hitting a stickback and an 18-foot jumper in the final run.

“I was excited to see Buzz hit three in the first quarter because I know he’s been struggling and frustrated,” Bradley said. “He’s been putting a lot of time in, so I was glad to see that.”

Buzzard also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Faller finished with nine points, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

Brandon Miller, who started in place of the injure Kaleb Vondenhuevel scored a season-high six points and grabbed four boards. Miller hit both ends of a key one-and-one situation with 23.5 second to play to ice the win.

In the junior varsity contest, freshman Kodi Morgan broke free on an inbounds play for an easy layup at the other end with 15 seconds left in the game to seal a 30-27 win for the Redskins.

Morgan finished with 10 points to lead Wapak. Henderson added nine, followed by Joel Hegemier with six and Brandon Erb with five.

Wapak will be back in action next Friday in a game against the Bath Wildcats at Wapakoneta High School.

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