By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
EDGERTON — Ethan Linder scored 15 points and T.J. Blackmore added 11 points and seven rebounds to lift the Wayne Trace Raiders to a 50-37 victory at Edgerton Friday night in Green Meadows Conference boys basketball action.
With the win, Wayne Trace clinches at least a share of its 25th GMC title in school history by moving to 6-0 in league play and 15-3 overall. The Raiders will try to win an outright conference championship on Monday when they host Hicksville in a make-up contest.
Raider head coach Jim Linder was pleased with the effort of his squad.
“This is a tough place to play, and I thought we came in and got a big road win over a quality opponent,” noted the Raider coach. “We got good play by T.J. inside and that was a key for us.”
The Raiders led 9-7 after one quarter behind a pair of baskets by David Sinn and a trey from Corbin Linder.
Consecutive treys by Corbin Linder and Ethan Linder to open the second quarter quickly pushed the Raider advantage to 15-7.
Edgerton, though, rallied to slice the deficit to 17-15 after a basket by Nolan Wright and a three-point play from Duane Miller.
“Matt always has his team ready to play, and they play hard for 32 minutes,” noted the Raider head coach of the Bulldogs. “They continued to battle us and they don’t give up.”
Wayne Trace got two late free throws from Blackmore and a bucket by Colby Speice just before the intermission to post a 23-19 halftime advantage.
The Raiders then opened the game up in the third quarter.
The red-white-and-blue put together an 11-4 run to start the period, pushing the margin to 34-23 on a Blackmore bucket.
“It was a big run for us,” added the elder Linder. “It gave us a little bit of a comfort zone, and I think it forced them to try to do some things offensively that they weren’t comfortable doing.”
Wayne Trace went on to post a 37-27 advantage at the end of three quarters after two Ethan Linder foul shots.
Edgerton made one final run, closing to within 38-32 on an Alex Michael basket before a trey by Wayne Trace’s Ethan Linder pushed the margin back to 42-33.
Two Max Nihart charity tosses briefly sliced the Bulldog deficit to 42-35, but the Raiders would put the game away from there.
A basket by Ethan Linder, two Speice foul shots and a bucket by Blackmore extended the lead to 48-35 and Wayne Trace would cruise from there to the win.
“I challenged T.J. a little bit today and he stepped up and played well tonight,” said Jim Linder. “We knew we had to have somebody step up and rebound and he did that for us.”
The Raiders played without the services of senior forward Devin Wenzlick, who missed the contest due to an injury sustained in Tuesday’s loss at Lincolnview. Wenzlick averages six points and six rebounds a game for the Raiders.
Corbin Linder chipped in ten points for the Raiders while grabbing four rebounds and dishing out three assists. Speice also had three assists, five rebounds and two steals to go along with seven points.
Wayne Trace finished the night out-rebounding the Bulldogs 29-25 and had fewer turnovers, 14-16. The Raiders were 18-of-40 from the field (45 percent) compared to Edgerton’s 10-of-38 (26 percent).
In the junior varsity contest, the Raiders also claimed at least a share of the league championship with a 43-34 victory over the Bulldogs.
Wayne Trace is now 15-3 overall and 6-0 in the conference while Edgerton falls to 10-9 and 3-4.
Gabe Wobler was 13-of-14 at the free throw line to finish with 13 points and lead the way for the Raiders. Nick Glass added seven points and four rebounds while Luke Miller and Rylen Asher chipped in six points apiece. Cole Shepherd recorded eight boards for the Raiders and Justin Speice picked up five.
The Raiders return to non-league action on Saturday with a road trip to Ada. Wayne Trace hosts Hicksville in Green Meadows Conference play on Monday.
Score by quarters
Edgerton 7 12 8 10- 37
Wayne Trace 9 14 14 13- 50
Nihart 7, Cercone 0, Wright 11, Brady 4, Miller 9, Michael 1, McClellan 0
Wayne Trace (50)
Miller 0, E. Linder 15, Speice 7, Arend 3, C. Linder 10, Sinn 4, Blackmore 11