LIMA — That wasn’t how the Redskins planned to end the season.
Granted, anything short of a State Title is considered a let down when it comes to ending a season.
The Redskins fell at the hands of the Celina Bulldogs in the first round of the Sectional Tournament Wednesday night, 62-40.
“They did a tremendous job defensively,” said Matt Bradley, Wapakoneta varsity coach. “After the first quarter they held us to zero points for what seemed like an hour. They did a great job defensively. They kept it out of the paint.”
Wapakoneta held a 14-9 lead after the end of the first quarter, but went cold from the floor in the second quarter.
The only points the Redskins scored in the second period was on an Alex Greve 3-pointer toward the end of the quarter.
Celina connected for 17 points in the second quarter for a 14-point swing, and took a halftime lead of 26-17 into the locker room.
Chris Bihn, Celina varsity coach, said the difference in the second quarter was the pressure they applied to Greve at the point.
“We wanted to try and put some pressure on Alex Greve and keep working on him and keep working at his legs,” Bihn said.
Bradley said Celina found success in pressuring Wapakoneta during the fourth quarter of the teams’ first meeting, and decided to pressure the entire night Wednesday.
“They had some success pressuring us late in the game the first time, and they started pressuring us right away tonight,” Bradley said. I thought we had some good looks in the second quarter. Basketball is a funny game, sometimes shots don’t fall.”
Greve finished the game with 19 points for the Redskins.
“They were well prepared and better coached tonight,” Bradley said.
Jake Buzzard finished the game with 12 points for the Redskins. Buzzard had trouble getting it going offensively because of the Celina paint presence.
“We talked about being physical and driving people out of the lane. We talked about grabbing boards. That helped us out quite a bit,” Bihn said.
Wapakoneta struggled front the field, and Celina seemed like they couldn’t miss.
“They had a great shooting night tonight, we had a poor shooting night,” Bradley said.
Bradley said his team was outplayed Wednesday night.
“They were the aggressors, they were better prepared than they were,” Bradley said. “It seemed like we played tight for whatever reason. Losing tonight sucks. It’s not what we expected and not what we wanted. We’ve done a lot of things this year that we haven’t done in a long time.”
This was the last game for the six seniors on the Wapakoneta team, and Bradley said they should be proud of everything they have done for the program.
“I hope our six seniors realize what they’ve done for this program,” Bradley said. “I think everybody knows how strong our league is. We are very proud. We won 13 games this year, the most by far in a long time.”
Bradley said losing in the first game of the playoffs is tough, but he said it shouldn’t be a reflection on the great season they had.
“Tonight wasn’t our best showing, which is frustrating in a tournament game,” Bradley said. “I’m going to miss going into the gym with these guys, because it’s been a pleasure this year.”