After dropping their first Wayne County Athletic League contest of the season Tuesday night at Smithville, Norwayne (15-3) roared back with a commanding 64-21 win over Rittman (1-18). It was Senior Night at Larry Acker Gymnasium and the senior duo of Ethan Hann and Justin Rupp led the way for the Bobcats. Hann finished with a game-high 24 points and four steals while Rupp finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds. The duo also combined for a whopping nine steals in the contest.
Norwayne Starts FAST
In the blink of an eye, the Bobcats raced out to a 13-0 lead due in large part to their high intensity full-court pressure which forced ten first quarter turnovers. At the end of one, Norwayne held a massive 30-2 lead.
Rittman was able to find more success in the second quarter as they outscored the Bobcats 11-9. Bradyn Raber led the way for the Indians as the junior chipped in seven points in the quarter. Jonah Carr added four of his own but, at the half, Norwayne led 39-13.
Big 3rd Ices Game
Much like they did to start the game, the Bobcats came out of the locker room hot. The pressure continued to get to the Tribe and Norwayne made them pay by converting on their mistakes. Ethan Hann had a big quarter, going 3-3 from the field for six points. Heading into the fourth, the Bobcats led 57-15.
The two teams battled back and forth a bit in the final frame but the Bobcats were just too much for the young Indians squad. Norwayne walks away with a 64-21 win and still hold a one-game lead over Dalton and Smithville for the WCAL crown. The Bobcats and Bulldogs square off in two weeks at Dalton, likely with the league title on the line.
Keys to the Game
If you’ve watched any of the Bobcat teams during Head Coach Brian West’s tenure, you know they thrive on their defensive pressure, and Friday night was no different. Norwayne forced the Indians into 23 turnovers and came away with nine steals. The turnovers turned into easy transition baskets that allowed the Bobcats to storm out to an early lead.
The Bobcats won’t have much time to celebrate their victory as they play host to Firelands (5-11) Saturday night. The Indians are back in action next Friday night when they hit the road to take on Waynedale (8-10).
Bradyn Raber: 11 points 2 rebounds 1 steal
Jonah Carr: 8 points 3 rebounds 1 block
Ethan Hann: 24 points 5 assists 4 rebounds 4 steals
Justin Rupp: 13 points 11 rebounds 5 steals 1 block
Follow me on Twitter @devinlowe123 for more high school sports coverage!
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