Maumee Boys Show Progress In First Week Of Games

Maumee sophomore Will Kubicz flies to the basket during a game against Rossford. MIRROR PHOTO BY JOE NEGRICH

BY JEREMY SCHNEIDER | MIRROR SPORTS — The first two games of the season were only separated by a few days, but the difference between game one and game two for the Maumee boys basketball team was quite noticeable.

The Panthers struggled in their season opener, falling 66-22 at Eastwood last Tuesday. A couple days of practice later, Maumee performed much better in a 70-59 home loss to Rossford.

“It’s really about these kids just growing up, learning this game,” said Maumee coach Ryan Osier. “We’re there. We’re going to help them get through these growing pains.

“Eastwood put it to us. They pressed us the whole night and they didn’t stop, and we didn’t have an answer. Rossford pressed us because Eastwood did, and they quickly got out of it. That was a victory. We learned how to fight through that adversity.

“Our kids fought (against Rossford). They showed passion and heart. Our bottom line is, we didn’t make shots.”

The Panthers made just 36 percent of their field goals, while the Bulldogs shot 49 percent from the floor, including 63 percent on 2-pointers.

When talking about Rossford before the season, Osier noted its two standout freshmen, John Fox and Parker Theobalds. The dynamic duo showed just why people across the area are already talking about them, with Fox going for 25 points against Maumee and Theobalds adding 20 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point distance.

“We had been to enough middle school games to know those kids could play,” Osier said. “We had done enough scouting on them to know what they were capable of doing, but, honestly, they were better than advertised.

“We had no answers and we played better than decent defense; they just could create, they could get to the rim.”

The Panthers came out strong in their home opener, holding a 24-16 lead after one quarter. The Bulldogs flipped the game in the second and third quarters, out-scoring Maumee 33-16 to take a 49-40 lead into the final quarter.

Sophomore twins Ben and Will Kubicz led the Panthers with 14 points each. Ben added nine rebounds and four assists, while Will nailed four 3-pointers.

Max Biernacki had eight points and seven boards, and Carter Koepfler had six points, seven rebounds and six assists. Freshman Eli Dodson had seven points and four rebounds.

Michael Kiss, a 6-foot-7 junior, had six points, seven boards and three assists.

“All of our kids have progressed,” Osier said. “We are relentless on what we need to do to become a better team and better individuals. We let them know what they’re capable of, and we don’t settle for anything less.”

In the season opener at Eastwood, the Panthers fell behind early, trailing 22-4 after one quarter and 40-16 at halftime.

Will Kubicz had eight points to lead the way. Koepfler and Biernacki each had four points, and Ben Kubicz had two points and eight rebounds.

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