PERRY TOWNSHIP – Wapakoneta coach Doug Davis had seen enough of his man-to-man defense.
So early in the third quarter, he scrapped the man for the 2-3 zone.
That move slowed Perry down and Wapak pulled away with a 50-42 boys basketball victory over Perry Saturday afternoon at Volbert Gymnasium.
Perry stands 6-3. Wapak is 3-4.
Perry led 37-33 with 6:25 to play.
But the Wapak 2-3 was cinching in and cramping Perry’s full-throttle style.
The Redskins outscored Perry 17-5 to the final horn to post the 50-42 victory.
“That (the 2-3) was the big thing,” Wapak coach Doug Davis said. “We wanted to change the pace a little bit and we wanted them to prove their outside shot. We were giving up a lot of penetration points.’’
Reed Merricle’s long-range 3-pointer gave Wapak the lead to stay 40-37 with 4:32 to go.
Wapak hit 6 of 8 from the field in the final quarter, including 3-pointers by Merricle, Trey Ware and Garrett Siefring.
“(Down the stretch) on offense, we ran one thing, the curl (which Merricle and Siefring were rolling off screens for threes),” Davis said.
Siefring paced Wapak with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three 3-pointers.
Merricle added 14 points with three 3-pointers.
“Coming out and getting this win will help us with our next game,” Merricle said. “Hustling and defense helped us out tonight.’’
Noah Ambos had 11 points for Wapak.
For Perry, Will Knight had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brayden Knight had 12 points.
Jeffrey Simpson had 10 rebounds and one point.
Perry’s third player with at least 10 rebounds was Chazz Jackson, who had 11 rebounds and seven points.
Perry played without its inside player, 6-foot-3 sophomore Ryan Yingst, who is expected to be out until February with a knee injury.
Perry led 25-17 at the half and had controlled most of the half with its up-tempo style.
The Redskins started the third quarter on an 8-0 and suddenly the game was tied at 25 with 4:53 left in the third.
That’s when Wapak flipped the switch from man-to-man to the 2-3 zone.
“We haven’t played it (the 2-3) this year,” Merricle said. “We practice it, but we haven’t run it in a game. It really helped stop their penetration.’’
Perry coach Matt Tabler said his team had been preparing for the zone in practice because many teams have used it against Perry.
“That’s all we practiced this week,” Tabler said. “We didn’t think they would man us. I just thought our guys were stagnate and watching everybody else try to make a play instead of moving the basketball like we did in our regular man offense. We just didn’t move the ball as well against the zone.’’
Perry led after three quarters 34-31.
Perry won the boards 39-29.
But the Commodores struggled from the field, shooting 28 percent.
They hit 3 of 12 on 3-pointers.
“You can’t win games shooting 15 of 50 (53 actually) from the floor,” Tabler said.
Wapak shot 41 percent from the field and was 7 of 17 on 3-pointers.
Wapak had 15 turnovers, but none in the final quarter.
Perry had 15 turnovers.
“Defensively, we did not play a bad game,” Tabler said. “Yea, we did lose a couple of shooters, but it was because they were getting to the basket a little bit more, then when we started to sink down on them, they got a couple of openings and knocked them down.’’
Perry led 9-8 after the first quarter.
Perry’s pressure man-to-man press and halfcourt man forced Wapak into 11 first-half turnovers.
That helped crank up the Perry running game.
Perry was rebounding and running when it could and the Commodores took an 18-15 lead on a three-point play (drive and foul shot) by Will Knight.
The Commodores closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 25-17 lead at the break.
“They’re tough to play against, with their speed and athleticism,” Davis said. “We had to settle down and not play to their speed.’’