BY ANDY ROWER | MIRROR SPORTS — Anthony Wayne shined from both behind the arc and at the line as it improved to 11-7 (7-3 in Northern Lakes League play) with a 66-52 victory at Maumee on February 4.
The Panthers did battle back to trim an 18-point deficit down to just 10 with 3:28 remaining in the contest, but the Generals refused to bend any further.
On top 56-46, AW cushioned its lead with a foul shot by junior forward Evan Ruhe and a follow-up trey from senior guard Ben Wyrick – the Generals’ seventh 3-pointer of the night.
Anthony Wayne then followed a drive by Maumee junior guard Reed Geiger with eight straight points from senior forward Bryce Boyer and senior guards Bobby Miller and Zac Szul.
The Panthers finished things off with back-to-back buckets by senior guard David Walker, but it only brought them back to within 14 by the final buzzer.
The Generals never trailed on the night and jumped out to a 14-8 advantage after hot starts by Szul and Boyer.
Maumee’s post duo of senior center Garret White and junior forward Mike Pacer combined for a dozen second-quarter points, but AW still built a sizeable lead by countering with 26 more points from the balanced combination of Miller, Ruhe, Szul, Wyrick, senior guard Kyle Ray, classmate and forward Nick Huffman, junior guard Dominic Debo and sophomore guard Jacob Copley.
Now trailing 40-22 to start the second half, the Panthers set about chipping away at the sizeable Generals lead.
Led by David Walker’s 11 points, Maumee actually outscored Anthony Wayne 17-10 in the stanza.
Pacer next followed a Szul drive with an offensive putback that pushed the score to 52-41, but that’s as close as things got.
The Generals ended up outrebounding the Panthers 32-22. They also committed just five total turnovers and went 9-of-10 from the foul line.
Szul (six rebounds) and Miller (four rebounds) paced AW with 13 points apiece and Wyrick (six rebounds) and Debo (two rebounds) scored another eight points each.
Boyer (seven rebounds) and Ray (five assists) both netted six points, Ruhe totaled five points and three boards, Huffman posted four points, Copley had three points and three assists and junior guard Garret Pike contributed three assists and two boards.
Maumee converted an impressive 47 percent of its shots from the field, despite the loss.
David Walker led all scorers with 20 points and also pulled down two rebounds, White added 13 points and five boards and Pacer recorded nine points and seven rebounds.
Additionally, Geiger (four rebounds) and senior forward Zach Freeman scored four points apiece, freshman guard Jaden Walker netted two points and senior forward Dylan Hamilton, junior forward Noah Fowls and freshman center Jayvon Hutchinson combined for a final three boards.
Springfield 68, MHS 61
Three nights later, the Panthers dropped to 3-15 (1-10) with a 68-61 loss to visiting Springfield (11-8, 8-4).
The Blue Devils triled Maumee 39-35 at halftime, but launched a 14-3 third-quarter run to propel them to victory.
David Walker again paced the Panthers with 19 points, five assists and five rebounds; White added 14 points and 12 boards and two blocks.
Freeman next scored nine points, Geiger totaled seven points and five rebounds and Pacer posted six points and five rebounds.
In addition, sophomore guard Cole Graetz contributed four points and three boards and Jaden Walker pulled down four more rebounds.