BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Junior guard David Walker scored 22 points and senior guard Luke Metzger added 20 more as Maumee’s boys basketball team defeated visiting Rossford, 59-39, on February 19.
“It was fun early on in the season because the competition with them was fierce,” said Maumee coach Dr. Ryan Osier. “And now, they have matured and we have something special here. Although they still compete against each other every practice, you can see that the two of them know they make each other better.”
The Bulldogs actually jumped out to a quick seven-point lead on first-quarter baskets by junior forward Ethan DeWese, sophomore guard CamRon Gaston and classmate and forward Nick Walker, and still held an 11-7 advantage heading into the second stanza.
Metzger, Walker and senior forwards Andy Burkhardt and Sam LaChapelle next combined to score the quarter’s first nine points, however, giving the Panthers a lead they would never relinquish.
Maumee increased its advantage to 13 on additional buckets by Metzger and Walker before Rossford’s DeWese managed a successful drive to end the first half.
DeWese posted an offensive putback to bring the Bulldogs back to within nine points to start the third and later connected on a 3-pointer that pushed the score to 28-22 with 4:41 still remaining in the frame.
Burkhardt and Metzger responded with seven straight Panthers points, however, setting up a final 11:00 that was largely dominated by Maumee.
Walker went on to score six of the final 10 points of the quarter before Metzger and LaChapelle netted the first four points of the fourth.
Now on top 45-26, the Panthers only needed to stick with Rossford through the final 8:00 to secure the victory.
The Bulldogs got strong finishes from junior forwards Nick Perry and Hayden Sabovik, but Maumee senior guard John Nowowiejski joined LaChapelle, Metzger and Walker in outscoring Rossford 14-13 through the remainder of the contest.
“Johnny might be our hardest working kid, so to see him have his moment was nice,” Osier said. “He definitely shows what he can do when he is on the court.”
Maumee ended up sinking eight treys while converting an impressive 40 percent of its shots from the field, outrebounded the Bulldogs 32-28 and committed three fewer turnovers.
In addition to their point totals, Walker totaled six rebounds and four assists and Metzger recorded three boards and three steals.
LaChapelle contributed another seven points, six rebounds and two assists, Nowowiejski netted six points and Burkhardt tacked on four points and six boards.
Senior forwards Eli Augustyniak and Justin Matcham each pulled down four more Panthers rebounds and senior guard Jared Jensen, classmate and forward Justen Behnfeldt and sophomore center Garret White combined for a final three assists, two boards and a steal.
DeWese paced Rossford with 13 points and four rebounds and Gaston totaled six points, four boards and two assists.
The Bulldogs trio of Perry, Sabovik and freshman guard Ben Morrison (four rebounds) scored another four points each and Walker finished with three points and three boards, despite the loss.
Maumee improved to 5-16 with the win, while Rossford dropped to 7-14.
“It was nice to put a full four quarters together tonight,” Osier said. “Getting a fifth win matches last year.”