BEAVERCREEK — A raucous crowd help build the intensity at Beavercreek High School on Friday.
A close game in the final minutes built up an atmosphere that rivals some collegiate environments and let the crowd tell you how intense each possession was becoming as the teams traded leads.
In the end, Wayne found just enough space to silence the home crowd and escape with a 51-50 win in GWOC play over Beavercreek.
“In the first quarter we came out and executed well,” head coach Steve Pittman said. “The way we started on offense in the game though and giving up a couple offensive rebounds, we were able to weather it out. … As they continued to miss, they were able to weather our storm. They battled and I didn’t expect anything less.”
Beavercreek lead for the first 28 minutes of the game before Wayne caught fire from deep.
The two teams ended up trading the lead seven times in the final four minutes before Juan Crawford’s fourth three-pointer of the quarter with 34 seconds remaining put Wayne up for good.
“All you can do is contest,” Pittman said. “If you look at the last three or four that they hit, we work on edge rotations and wanted to pump cutters. We got in correct position off the ball, but on the ball we didn’t recover and we didn’t add the rotations to make any of the threes that they make to be contested threes. As a rule of thumb, you want to run a team off the three and make them take contested twos because that’s the lowest percentage shot. We just didn’t do a good job of cutting that portion off.”
The Beavers got one final chance with eight seconds left to try to tie the game, but Jamir Hymes missed the front end of two free throws before knocking in the second. Beavercreek then got two attempts to either get a foul or a steal, but Wayne was able to play keep away and run out the final seconds to secure the win.
Adam Duvall lead Beavercreek with 19 points and Gabe Phillips scored 16.
“I thought Adam played well and I thought my big guy played really well,” Pittman said. “We still got work we got a bounce back and get ready for Miamisburg on Tuesday and then we got a few days to prepare to be in Nashville. We have some work to do.”
Wayne hit seven of its nine shots from beyond the arc during the second half, with Crawford’s 12 in the fourth quarter making up all but two of the Warriors’ points. Laurent Rice had 21 to lead all scorers.
Pittman praised fans and students in attendance and hopes as the season continues they create similar atmospheres.
“When you look at the last minute and a half and you see the crowd today, we haven’t had a crowd like that in a long time,” he said. “I’m hoping the way that we played will make them want to come back to do this again. It was a big deal. I have to give a shout out to my band director because they put on a show.”