ADA — The Wapakoneta Redskins boys basketball team won a key bounce-back game in convincing fashion Friday night, defeating the Ada Bulldogs, 74-26.
After a six-point loss to Lima Senior Tuesday night, Wapakoneta varsity coach Matt Bradley said this win was important, and he credited the road win to the offensive and defensive mentalities.
“We were able to get the ball inside, whether it was on the drive or the pass. We were able to get a lot of high percentage shots,” Bradley said.
Bradley said the defense was much more active Friday night against Ada than it was against Lima Senior.
“We were really disappointed with how we defended Tuesday night,” Bradley said. “And we made a point in practice this week to not let the ball get into the paint.”
Bradley also said the size advantage on Friday played a key role in the victory.
“We had a decent size advantage,” Bradley said. We wanted to close on their perimeter players and not let them get the ball into the paint on the drive. I thought we were very active defensively tonight.”
Offensively, senior Travis Bertram and senior Alex Greve gave the Redskins 19 points each, propelling their team to victory.
Greve and Bertram combined to shoot 13-of-15 from the charity stripe.
“We missed 18 free throws over the last two games, so the fact that we were able to perform so well tonight is a really good thing,” Bradley said.
The team shot a combined 21-26 from the free-throw line.
“Tuesday we shot about 50 percent from the line, and we knew we had to improve on that. We’ve been working on our free throws all week, and it showed tonight,” Greve said.
Defensively, the Redskins really limited how much the Bulldogs were able to get into the paint. The Redskins held the Bulldogs to four points in the first quarter, 13 in the second, four in the third, and five in the fourth.
“Very proud of how we defended the ball tonight,” Bradley said. “I thought we closed out very well tonight.”
Bradley said the leadership and consistency from Bertram and Greve are going to be a theme this year.
“Travis (Bertram) is a three-year starter and Alex (Greve) is four-year starter,” Bradley said. “We expect great things from them this year. The did a good job of attacking the rim and were able to get most of their points on the attack.”
Bertram said he was able to find success tonight on mismatches.
“We just look for mismatches,” Bertram said. “If I have a taller guy on me, I’m going to look for some outside shots, and if there is a mismatch, I’m going to drive and get some points in the paint.”
With the sizable lead in the fourth quarter, the Redskins were able to put in everybody off their bench. John Huffman scored his first varsity point on a free throw.
“Nights like tonight are great because we can get guys like John (Huffman) in the game,” Bradley said. “Those are guys that put a lot of work in at practice, and they get to enjoy nights like tonight.”
The starters on the bench were cheering louder than anyone in the arena when Huffman netted his basket.
“It was a great bounce-back victory. It was a total team victory, and we have a lot of guys that do the dirty work and they don’t get enough credit. It was a great team win,” Greve said. “This game really felt good, because it shows that our hard work really pays off. We work basically year round and it’s nice when it pays off. But we know we still have to improve.”