SYRACUSE – Wawasee shot itself into the championship of its own boys basketball invitational. A morning showcase over Garrett afforded a chance to play Hanover Central in Friday night’s final. Central decided, however, it’s two-plus hour drive back to Cedar Lake would be a celebratory one after taking down Wawasee in the night’s championship.
Bonus Buckets For The Hardware
In a game that saw 11 lead changes and the largest lead at 14-8 in favor of Wawasee, it was fitting that the Warriors and Hanover Central would play into overtime. Wawasee was 11-26 from three-point range in the game, but made just 2-4 free throw attempts. On the other side, Hanover made just five treys but sank 13-19 from the stripe. A 37-34 Wildcat lead after three was leveled to 48-48 at the end of regulation.
Dominic Lucido was unconscious for Hanover in the game, and into overtime, nine points in the bonus period and 30 points for the game. Lucido was 4-4 from the stripe in the fifth period and the Wildcats were 8-11 from there in overtime.
Wawasee (3-7) had Bennett Hoffert and Aaron Evans both finish with 17 points in the loss, Hoffert also drawing up four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Josh Slabaugh and Ethan Hardy both had five rebounds for the Warriors.
It was the first loss for Wawasee this season when scoring 50 or more points, dropping to 3-1 in those contests.
In the consolation game, Garrett held off Lakewood Park 59-56. Paxton Hefty had 15 points, Jarrett Bailey had 14 points and Kobe Lucarelli added 11 points in the win. P. Miller led the Panthers with 15 points.
Warriors Hit The Mark, Wildcats Bring Running Shoes
Wawasee hit its magic number in the morning session against Garrett in a 63-51 win. The Warriors won its third where they scored at least 50 points, and did it in familiar fashion.
Wawasee nailed 10-19 three-pointers, led by Austin Miller’s five and a total of 25 points. Evans hit three from deep and finished with 17 points.
The Warriors led by double digits through most of the second half until the Railroaders chipped away and cut the lead to seven with less than four minutes to go. Wawasee would spring the lead back up to 12 to keep Garrett at arm’s length.
“A hall of fame coach once told me that at a certain point of the season you can’t rely on excuses of who you want to be,” said Wawasee head coach Jon Everingham. “We feel much more comfortable in our offense on knowing when to shoot the ball and when not to shoot the ball. You’re seeing a comfort level that’s equaling a better shooting percentage.”
Lucarelli was the consistent force for Garrett, scoring 23 points and adding four steals and two assists.
Central and Lakewood got into an old-fashioned shoot-out once the rust fell off, and Central just kept going in a big 92-69 win in game two.
Joey Glidewell scored 12 of his 26 points in the first quarter as the Wildcats jumped out to a 19-9 lead. Both teams combined for 54 points in the second quarter, but Central built a 47-33 lead at the break. Luke Barach added 26 points and Lucido tossed in 16 points for the Wildcats.
Blake Miller led the Panthers with 16 points and Caedmon Bontrager had 14 points.