BY J. PATRICK EAKEN | MIRROR SPORTS — It is one game and done for the Anthony Wayne boys basketball team, but the Generals made the best of it.
At Jerry Sigler Court in Sylvania, the Generals lost their season opener to Northern Lakes League foe Northview, 69-62.
Now, because of a Lucas County Health Department order, they will not play again until January 11, unless the health department rescinds that part of the order suspending high school sports.
For AW, 6-foot-3 senior guard Garrett Pike led the way with 25 points and six rebounds, and 6-1 senior guard Evan Anderson had 12 points and six caroms.
“Garrett does everything. He was absolutely phenomenal,” AW coach Josh Arthur said. “He’s going to be phenomenal for us this entire year.
“This is not going to be his best game – I guarantee that. He’s going to work at it and he’s going to become one of the better players. He already is one of the better players in Northwest Ohio.”
Northview had five players get into double figures, led by 5-8 senior point guard Brendon Sharp, who scored 19, including three goals from behind the 3-point arc.
The Wildcats’ 6-6 junior forward Sean Craig had 13 points and 12 rebounds, 6-4 senior power forward Justin Noe had 11 points and five boards, and 6-4 shooting guard Kasey Hunt had 10 points and four rebounds.
Arthur was pleased with the way the Generals defense handled Craig and Hunt but was impressed by Sharp’s play.
“We executed and did everything that we asked. I thought they made a few more shots than we did at a critical time and that is a credit to them,” Arthur said.
“We did a great job on Craig, holding him to 13 points, and we did a great job with Hunt. Sharp played a heck of a game – one of the best games I have ever seen him play. Give him a lot of credit for that.”
While it was AW’s only game before the ordered shutdown begins, Northview improved to 3-0, defeating Clay 70-57 and Central Catholic 64-54 in non-league action before playing AW.
However, AW did not back off, taking a 28-26 halftime lead on a turnaround 15-foot jump shot by Pike with 40 seconds remaining in the half.
Seconds later, Pike was whistled for his third foul, and AW 6-5 senior forward Evan Ruhe was whistled for his third with 2:17 remaining in the first half.
Northview point guard Kenny Biggs scored in the final seconds of the third quarter to put the Wildcats back up 42-40 entering the fourth.
Pike, fouled while shooting after getting a potential assist from 6-0 senior guard Dominic Debo, hit two free throws with 6:31 remaining to put AW back up 45-44, but it would be the Generals’ last lead.
Northview hit four consecutive free throws to take its biggest lead, 63-54, with 1:52 remaining and then took advantage of the charity stripe to salt the game away.
In the fourth quarter, Northview was a perfect 10 for 10 from the free-throw line and the ’Cats finished the game 19 for 21 (90.5 percent).
Plus, they were able to take advantage of AW starters who missed playing time because of continued foul trouble.
Ruhe was called for his fourth personal with five minutes remaining in the third, and the Generals lost 6-0 junior guard Jacob Copley with 1:52 remaining in the game after his fifth personal.
As a result, Ruhe saw limited playing time and was unable to score from the field, although he was 1-2 from the free-throw line and had one rebound.
T.J. Winston, a 6-5 senior forward, stepped in and finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
“T.J. was absolutely fantastic coming in. I feel bad for Ruhe – he’s just put so much time into it and now he has to wait until January 11 to come back, but he’ll be ready,” Arthur said.
“He’s (physically) strong, he’s mentally strong and he’s going to be ready to play for us when we get back.”
Copley, AW’s only junior starter, made the best of his playing time. He only scored three points on a third-quarter trey but had five rebounds and a team-high eight assists.
“He is amazing. He is going to do that all year,” Arthur said. “He’s going to get better as the year progresses and we’re going to see him getting a couple double-doubles later in the year of assists and points.”
Debo finished with eight points, including two fourth-quarter treys, 6-4 senior forward Luke Trost scored three points, 6-3 senior guard Spencer Reid scored two and 6-0 sophomore guard Parker Schofield added one point.
For the Wildcats, 6-2 starting shooting guard Grant Kopan had 10 points and six rebounds, shooting guard Gavin DeWood scored three and point guard Kenny Biggs scored two points.
Northview outrebounded AW, 42-30, and the Wildcats made 21 of 57 field goals (36.8 percent).
AW was 21-for-54 (38.9 percent) from the field and 12-for-19 from the line (63.2 percent). Each team committed eight turnovers.
Arthur said his players have a workout plan in place to follow during the athletics shutdown.
“I love these guys. They are absolutely fantastic. I love their effort and I love what they gave,” Arthur said.
“But we’re going to get better. We have a month, and we know we have a shutdown,” Arthur continued.
“We really stressed the fact in that locker room that we are going to work to get better and it is all about coming together as a team and not being lazy when we are at home.
“It’s about doing work and we have guys, and I truly believe this, who are going to work really, really hard and they are going to improve and get better every single day, whether it’s on the floor together or individually by themselves.”