BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Maumee’s boys basketball team found itself within seven points of Ohio’s seventh-ranked Division II team with 2:52 remaining in a January 15 game against Wauseon, but the Indians held the Panthers off for an eventual 64-55 victory.
Wauseon actually took a commanding 54-35 lead over Maumee on an old-fashioned three-point play by senior Levi Seiler just nine seconds into the fourth quarter, but the Panthers refused to quit.
Instead, senior guard Luke Metzger followed a basket by junior center Garret White with a tandem of 3-pointers before following a pair of Seiler free throws with another.
Now trailing 56-46 with 3:19 to go, junior guard David Walker sank another trey to bring Maumee all the way back within seven.
The Indians, who converted an impressive 11-of-14 fourth-quarter foul shots and went 19-for-27 for the night, calmly extended their lead back to 11 on four straight free throws from Seiler and senior Trent Armstrong.
Walker and Metzger again brought the Panthers back to within seven by wrapping yet another pair of triples around two more Seiler foul shots, but Wauseon refused to budge any further, and Seiler went on to close things out with two more free throws.
Though the Indians led for all but 1:26, the contest was really either team’s to win through the first 10:30.
Armstrong scored five quick points for Wauseon, but the rebounding of Walker and senior forwards Sam LaChapelle and Eli Augustyniak kept Maumee within three points after an initial quarter of play.
Walker kept the Panthers within reach over the first 2:30 of the second stanza, but Seiler exploded for 13 points over the 8:00 span and senior Trevor Rodriguez added five more to help the Indians to a 32-18 halftime lead.
Wauseon then came out of the locker room to post a turnover-free third frame.
During the same stretch, Rodriguez and junior Sean Brock combined for 10 more points before Rodriguez beat the buzzer with an offensive putback that gave the Indians a 51-35 lead to start the fourth.
In addition to its strong foul shooting, Wauseon also converted 40 percent of its shots from the field and committed just six turnovers.
Seiler led all scorers on the night with 28 points and added four assists and two rebounds as well.
Armstrong next posed 13 points, two assists and two boards, Rodriguez totaled 12 points, four rebounds and two assists and Brock finished with nine points, seven boards, four assists and two steals.
Maumee actually converted 41 percent of its shots from the field, went 5-for-5 from the line and only committed 13 turnovers, despite the loss.
Metzger paced the Panthers with a quartet of fourth-quarter treys, 22 points, three rebounds and two assists, Walker added 11 points and six boards and White contributed eight points and four rebounds.
Senior guard Jared Jensen scored another four points, Augustyniak and senior guard Jared Jensen netted three more apiece, LaChapelle recorded two points and eight boards, and senior forward Andy Burk-hardt tacked on two additional points.
The Indians improved to 8-3 with the win and Maumee dropped to 3-9 with the loss.
Wauseon’s JV team defeated the Panthers, 55-37.
Sophomore Easton Del-gado led the way with 11 points and classmate Layton Willson added nine more.
Maumee sophomore Reed Geiger led all players with 20 points despite the loss and junior Zach Freeman and sophomore Noah Fowls both added six more points.
Three nights earlier, the Panthers fell to Central Catholic, 63-48.
This time around, sophomore Tae Hernandez paced Maumee with 16 points and Freeman added 10 more.
Geiger and Fowls both netted another six and sophomore Dylan Hamilton scored five.
Napoleon had previously edged the Panthers 48-46 on January 11.
Sophomore Isaac Fraker led the Wildcats that night with 24 points and classmate Justin Aldrich added 12 more.
Freeman paced Maumee with 13 points, Hernandez contributed 11 more and Geiger and junior Alex Hampton-Bey each chipped in nine.
The Panthers began their latest stretch of games with a 48-41 victory over Southview on January 8.
Three Maumee players scored in double digits on the night, as Freeman scored 17 points, Fowls added 13 more and Geiger netted 10.