By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
DEFIANCE – Coming into Friday’s game, Wayne Trace junior David Sinn was averaging 3.7 points per game for the Raiders.
With first place on the line in one of the toughest environments around the Green Meadows Conference, Sinn stepped up and kept the Raider hopes of an undefeated league season alive with 17 big points to lead the red-white-and-blue to a 67-64 overtime victory at Tinora.
Sinn scored ten pivotal points in the second quarter, bringing the Raiders back from a 31-17 deficit to help Wayne Trace get within 31-27. The junior then added a pair of baskets in the third quarter before scoring three key points in overtime to pace the winning Wayne Trace effort.
“He had an outstanding game tonight,” noted Raider head coach Jim Linder. “He is a big part of our zone out there on the top of it, and he was able to get a lot of deflections defensively.”
Wayne Trace is now the lone unbeaten in league play as the Raiders are 3-0 in the GMC while standing at 11-1 overall.
While Sinn was a huge part of the Raider win, the team also got solid efforts off the bench by sophomore Luke Miller and senior T.J. Blackmore. Miller picked up a pair of steals while adding an assist for Wayne Trace with Blackmore grabbing a pair of rebounds.
“We got quality efforts off the bench tonight,” Linder continued. “Luke came in and got a pair of steals for us and took care of the basketball. T.J. was able to get some big rebounds for us. It was a total team effort to get this win.”
Early on, it was all Tinora.
The Rams jumped in front 17-6 after one quarter, limiting Wayne Trace to 3-of-11 shooting in the stanza while forcing six Raider turnovers.
The Rams continued to expand the league in the second quarter, posting a 31-17 advantage following a Derek Drewes basket.
However, Wayne Trace worked its way back into the contest with ten straight points to slice the deficit to 31-27. Colby Speice had a pair of free throws and a bucket to ignite the run before three straight Sinn baskets.
Tinora closed the half, though, with six straight points to post a 37-27 halftime advantage.
“This is a tough place to play, and we didn’t come out and play well early,” continued the Raider mentor. “But the run there before halftime to cut the lead to four gave us a spark, and we were able to come out in the third quarter and use that momentum.”
The Raiders got early baskets from Ethan Linder, Jake Arend and Corbin Linder to start the second half, trimming the deficit to 37-33.
After single free throws by Tinora’s Kurt Kahle and Drewes, buckets by Sinn and Speice sandwiched around a Corbin Linder trey brought Wayne Trace within 43-40.
Tinora again would answer, pushing the lead to 49-42 on a Drewes basket, but the Raiders responded just before the end of the quarter.
Ethan Linder hit a trey and followed with a basket to bring Wayne Trace within 49-47 at the end of three periods.
“We had different guys stepping up and making plays at different times of the game tonight,” noted the Raider head coach. “Colby made some big plays for us late in the game, especially on the defensive end. He’s a quarterback on the floor for us and comes up big down the stretch.”
Wayne Trace took its first lead since the game’s first basket when Devin Wenzlick scored with 6:25 left, making it 50-49. Following another Wenzlick bucket, two Ethan Linder foul shots gave the Raiders a 54-49 advantage.
The Rams, though, scored seven of the final nine points in regulation, tying it at 56-56 on a Jacob Miller basket with 1:54 remaining.
From there, neither team was able to find the scoring column as the game went into an extra session.
In the overtime, a Jake Arend basket put Wayne Trace in front 58-56 at the 2:39 mark before an Ethan Linder trey put the Raiders on top by five with 2:10 left.
Single free throws by Corbin Linder and Sinn extended the lead to 63-56, as the Raiders looked to seize control.
Tinora had other ideas, however. A three-point play from Drewes made it 63-59 but a Sinn basket pushed the Raider lead to 65-59.
Following a Drewes free throw, Wayne Trace again answered with a Corbin Linder basket to make it 67-60 with 44 seconds left.
The Rams would add a Reid Renollet basket to close within 67-62 before a Drewes bucket at the 21 second mark closed Tinora within 67-64.
After two missed Wayne Trace free throws, the Rams would get one final chance. However, last second 3-point attempts by E.J. Kessel and Renollet were both off the mark, as the Raiders hung on for the win.
“This is a big win for us,” commented the Raider coach. “It’s a tough place to play and to come over here and get a road win in the league is important. We control our own destiny now but we know we have a long way to go.”
Corbin Linder chipped in 15 points for the Raiders with Ethan Linder adding 14. Jake Arend and Colby Speice posted nine and eight points, respectively.
Speice also posted three assists and six steals with Corbin Linder dishing out four assists and recording three steals. Corbin Linder also picked up six rebounds while Sinn had five.
Drewes finished the night with a game-high 31 points to pace the Rams, who fall to 11-4 overall and 3-1 in the league. Drewes also recorded nine rebounds, two assists and three steals. Jordan Miller posted 11 points and a dozen boards for the Rams.
Wayne Trace’s junior varsity moved to 11-1 as well with a 55-37 victory. Gabe Wobler had 13 points for the Raiders while Rylen Asher chipped in ten.
The Raiders return to action Saturday, weather permitting, as Wayne Trace hosts Kalida.
Score by quarters
Wayne Trace 6 21 20 9 11- 67
Tinora 17 20 12 7 8 -64
Wayne Trace (67)
Miller 0, E. Linder 14, C. Speice 8, Arend 9, C. Linder 15, Wenzlick 4, Sinn 17, Blackmore 0
Kessel 2, D. Drewes 31, N. Drewes 5, Kahle 6, Renollet 5, Miller 11, Bailey 4, Pittman 0