Wapakoneta Redskins junior Keaton Metz (23) looks for a hole in the defense Tuesday during a non-league varsity boys basketball game in Lima against the Lima Senior Spartans. (Staff photo/Brad Frank)
LIMA — On top of dealing with the tenacious defensive pressure they faced Tuesday, the Wapakoneta Redskins also witnessed the Lima Senior Spartans hit outside shots consistently to keep distance on the scoreboard.
The Redskins went with a zone defense as long as they could Tuesday against a quick, athletic Spartans team, which had as much ease getting to the basket as it did finding open perimeter looks.
Lima Senior defeated Wapakoneta, 57-41, in a non-league varsity boys basketball contest in the Lima Senior High School gymnasium.
The Spartans’ first game of the season was on Tuesday.
Wapakoneta fell to 0-3 with the loss.
“We’re doing a lot of new things this year, being my first year,” Wapak varsity coach Doug Selvey said. “We’re fine. I have no issues right now. Obviously, I want to win. You’d rather be 3-0 than 0-3, but I don’t think we’re far off.”
The Redskins survived a 8-0 deficit after Lima Senior hit two 3-pointers to trail just 15-13 after the first period.
A breakaway dunk by Rico Stafford during the second period gave the Spartans a boost emotionally but it did not necessarily put the nail in the Redskins’ coffin for the rest of the game.
Off of the Redskins’ bench, junior Sam Hinegardner scored all six of Wapak’s points in the second period at a time when Lima Senior was burying the Redskins with defensive pressure.
“Sam is definitely a spark plug off the bench,” Selvey said. “He can run multiple positions. He has that scoring mentality. He has that mentality of get to the basket.
“We’re trying to instill that in our other kids,” he said.
Wapakoneta held its own the rest of the second period, cutting its deficit to eight, 26-18, inside two minutes.
The Spartans managed a 29-18 halftime lead.
Wapak withstood a pair of 3-pointers by Brady Allen early in the third period.
Despite an and-one conversion by Tray Guinn to put the Spartans ahead by 16, the Redskins answered with a 3 by Adam Henderson.
Lima Senior led 44-29 after the third period.
The Spartans were able to push their lead to 23 points briefly in the fourth period before the final score settled at 57-41.
“I was impressed with their ability to set the tone early by hitting outside jumpers,” Selvey said. “When you hit shots against that zone, credit their coach with their ability to hit shots, because that’s a tough thing to do, especially in your first game.”
Lima Senior quickly learned it would have success throughout the night applying full-court pressure against the Redskins.
The pressure caused many of Wapakoneta’s 17 turnovers Tuesday.
“Hats off to them with their defensive pressure,” Selvey said. “We have a long ways to go before we’re able to anticipate something like that. I truly believe by the end of the season we’ll be able to handle something like that.
“We’ve got a lot of new kids playing varsity basketball, trying to catch up to the game,” he said. “All of the sudden you bring an increased presence like that, and it makes it that much more difficult.”
Keaton Metz led Wapak with nine points Tuesday.
Kodi Morgan added eight, while Henderson had seven.
Jay Thomas and Allen paced Lima Senior with 13 points apiece. Allen had four 3-pointers.
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