BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — After playing arguably its best game of the season in a 59-56 loss to Anthony Wayne on December 21, Maumee’s boys basketball team returned from the holiday break with another strong performance during a 59-37 victory at Lake on December 27.
Senior forward Andy Burkhardt scored six quick points and pulled down three rebounds while leading the Panthers to a 15-7 lead over sophomore Tyler Saffran and the Flyers.
Saffran and junior Hadden Rodgers next combined to score four of the first five shots of the second quarter, but 16-11 is as close as Lake got.
After pushing the score to 24-16 with 1:12 remaining in the game’s opening half, Maumee launched a 15-point unanswered run that saw senior guard Jared Jensen and classmate and forward Sam LaChapelle net the final four points before halftime.
LaChapelle, senior guard Luke Metzger and junior center Garret White tacked on the first nine points of the third frame – giving the Panthers a commanding 39-16 lead at the 2:45 mark.
Burkett, Jensen, LaChapelle, Metzger, senior forward Justin Matcham and junior guard David Walker all helped Maumee keep its 23-point lead until a quartet of Walker free throws pushed the score to 57-31 with only 2:16 left in the contest.
The Flyers went on to net six of the game’s final eight points as the clock wound down, but it only brought them back within 22 by the final buzzer.
The Panthers shined in nearly all aspects of the game in the lopsided win, as they committed 11 fewer turnovers than Lake at 11, converted an impressive 88 percent of their 16 foul shots, made 36 percent of their shots from the field and outrebounded the Flyers 29-26.
Burkhardt led all scorers on the night with 15 points and also recorded six boards and two steals off the Maumee bench.
LaChapelle added 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, Jensen posted 10 points and two steals, Metzger totaled nine points, five boards, four assists and four steals and Walker finished with eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Matcham and White joined forces with senior forward Eli Augustyniak in scoring two more Panthers points and the trio combined with senior forward Robert East to rack up a final five Maumee rebounds and one last assist.
The Panthers improved to 3-4 with the win.
Saffran paced Lake with 12 points, Rodgers scored six more, senior Aaron McKee racked up four points, six boards and two steals and the Flyers’ senior duo of Christian Huntermark and Joe Muetze netted three points each.
Senior Matt Pindoley (four rebounds and two steals), junior Nick Perry (three rebounds) and freshman Cam Hoffman scored two more points apiece for Lake and senior Jeremiah Glander tacked on another, despite the loss.