Basketball

Big run to start third quarter zips Golden Bears by Knights 71-64

Shane Jones of West Holmes and Waynedale's Adam Mullet battle hard

The Waynedale Golden Bears only won a single, solitary quarter when they hosted the West Holmes Knights Tuesday, January 31 in a backyard brawl in area hoops action.

But oh, what a quarter it was for the Golden Bears.

Waynedale blew open a tight contest and then hung on down the stretch to claim a 71-64 victory over a West Holmes team that for much of the game did not appear to be a one-win basketball team.

Trailing 34-32 at the break, the Golden Bears came out in the third quarter and took advantage of several early Knights turnovers and fashioned a 25-13 quarter that gave Waynedale the victory.

Outside of that, the game was about as even as possible throughout.

“Same-old, same-old,” said West Holmes coach Keith Troyer following the game. “We talked about it at half-time, that we need to have a good third quarter, and they outplayed us, and that was the game.”

The third quarter has been an Achilles heel for the Knights all season long, as they seem to come out and struggle mightily following the break.

“We wanted to be more organized,” said Waynedale coach Kevin Stacy. “We were turning the ball over a bunch, and we were rewarding ourselves on defense by making them shoot it once and rebounding, but then we would go turn it over. We wanted to make sure we got good looks. We were a little more patient and took care of the ball.”

The first half was hugely entertaining as both teams zeroed in from long range and traded the lead back and forth.

Threes from Chance Wells and Blaine Hager put West Holmes up 6-2, but Waynedale responded with a 10-0 run led by Stephen Spidell and Derek Reber, who drained a three and scored inside.

Manny Camacho hit a jumper for the Bears before Wells got hot and hit two straight triples to give the Knights a 16-14 lead, and the two teams played to a draw at 18 through one.

Wells hit his fourth trey of the game and Trenton Bridenthal added another, and West Holmes went up 26-23 before the Golden Bears responded, and took a 30-28 edge on Reber’s three-ball and a free throw.

However, West Holmes reeled off six straight, getting another triple from Hager, a free throws from Bridenthal and a score inside from Shane Jones. Reber’s two free throws near the end of the half left West Holmes leading by two at 34-32.

Then came a rush of points to begin the third period for Waynedale that left West Holmes reeling, and it happened in a fast-paced 21-4 run.

Colten Purdy kicked it off with a 3-pointer, Adam Mullet split two defenders for a score inside and Spidell scored in the paint. Josh Goudy finally got the Knights on track with a score inside, but Spidell struck again in close, then scored on a stick-back, and Mullet scored inside to give the Golden Bears a 45-36 advantage.

Chase Wells canned a pair of free throws to trim the West Holmes deficit to 45-38, but Waynedale went right back to work. Purdy dropped in a trey, Reber scored on an and-one, and just like that Waynedale led 53-38.

Much like it has all season, West Holmes fell behind by 15 points, then seemed to turn it up a notch, and began fighting back the rest of the way.

Jones ignited a small run to end the third quarter with West Holmes having trimmed its deficit to 10 points at 57-47.

That was when Chase Wells simply took over the game for West Holmes. The slick guard scored 11 fourth-quarter points to give his team a fighting chance. After Reber scored off a nice Spidell steal and feed, Goudy scored and Chase Wells scored on a pair of drives to make it 68-62 with 2:39 to play. West Holmes then got consecutive stops, but couldn’t convert on the other end, and Mullet scored off a long inbounds play that sealed up Waynedale victory.

Waynedale got some nice scoring across the board, with Mullet and Purdy scoring 13 and Spidell adding 10, but it was Reber who was the instigator of doom for West Holmes. The sophomore poured in a game-high 25 points and added five rebounds and a pair of steals while canning three treys.

“He has been fantastic,” Stacy said of Reber. “He is an effort guy and a stat sheet killer. We really count on him to do a lot for us.”

“He is a good athlete and he can handle the ball, he is a smart player and he is lanky and is a tough match-up for our guards,” Troyer said of Reber.

Meanwhile, after a quiet first half, Chase Wells came to life in the second half, scoring 18 of his team-high 20 points, adding three assists and three steals. Chance Wells added 14 points, while Hager pitched in with 12 and Jones added eight.

“Troyer said his team simply can’t seem to shake the third quarter blahs, and he said they continue to get solid effort, but winning has not come easily.

“They know how to win, they are having a good year,” Troyer said of Waynedale. “We are still learning how to win. It comes down to taking better care of the ball, rebounding and doing the things we are supposed to do on the floor. We can’t have t he careless turnovers like we had in the third quarter, or this is going to be the end result.”

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