BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Business Manager
BOWLING GREEN – Corbin Linder scored 32 points and Ethan Linder added 30 to lead the Wayne Trace Raiders to an 80-51 rout of Buckeye Central in the Division IV regional semifinal at Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University Tuesday evening.
The Raiders used a 9-0 run to turn a 7-5 deficit into a 14-7 advantage, and then never looked back.
“Their length in their 1-3-1 caused us a lot of problems,” noted Buckeye Central head coach Phil Loy. “It’s not something we see on a regular basis, especially one with that kind of length. It’s hard to simulate that in practice.”
Wayne Trace’s defense forced a half-dozen turnovers in the opening stanza, helping the Raiders jump out to a 22-9 advantage after eight minutes of action.
While Ethan Linder led the red-white-and-blue with ten points in the quarter, it was as much the Raider defense that ignited the Raiders as the offense.
“We challenged the guys that we had to play great defense and use that to generate offense,” stated Raider head coach Jim Linder. “I thought we did a good job of forcing turnovers and we were able to convert them into easy baskets.”
The Raiders picked up two more Ethan Linder buckets early in the second quarter to widen the margin to 26-12.
After the Bucks trimmed the deficit to 26-15, a basket by Corbin Linder along with a bucket and a free throw from Ethan Linder pushed the margin to 31-15.
The two squads played even for the rest of the first half, with Corbin Linder hitting a deep trey just before halftime to give Wayne Trace a 44-28 advantage at the intermission.
“We were able to get a couple of big shots at the end of the quarters,” continued the elder Linder. “Those are momentum shots.”
Buckeye Central made its final run in the third quarter. They scored five points in the first 46 seconds and added a Sam Robertson basket to pull within 44-35.
Following an Ethan Linder bucket, a trey by Buckeye Central’s Austin Wurm pulled the Bucks within 46-38. However, Wayne Trace would answer.
Corbin Linder picked up an old-fashioned three-point play and Ethan Linder picked up a bucket for a 51-38 advantage.
“We came out in the second half and did a better job of attacking them,” Loy continued. “I thought the first half we didn’t make good decisions at times and they made us pay for that. In the third quarter, we did a better job of taking the ball at them.”
“They were able to get some looks against us in the third quarter so we switched to more of a 2-3 zone and that seemed to cause them some confusion,” Jim Linder stated.
Buckeye Central pulled back within 53-44 after a three-point play by Seth Ollis, but the Bucks would get no closer.
Wayne Trace scored the final seven points of the stanza, getting an Ethan Linder trey at the third quarter buzzer to push the margin to 60-44.
The Raiders then sealed any doubt by scoring the first eight points of the final period before eventually settling on the 80-51 win.
“We shot the ball better tonight than we have been,” the Raider coach added. “We got some good looks early and I think it relaxed us a little bit. We got contributions from a lot of players tonight, even though sometimes it doesn’t show up in the box score. It was a good team win.”
Devin Wenzlick added seven points and five rebounds for the Raiders with Colby Speice and Corbin Linder also recording five boards. Speice posted seven assists and seven steals as well for Wayne Trace with Luke Miller dishing out four assists. Corbin Linder added three assists and five steals while Ethan Linder dished out three assists as well.
Cade Kaple led the Bucks (23-3) with 21 points, and Austin Wurm chipped in 15. Kaple also had seven rebounds for Buckeye Central followed by Wurm with six.
Wayne Trace was 29 of 50 from the field (58 percent) compared to Buckeye Central’s 17 of 48 (35 percent). The Raiders won the battle of the boards 30-29 and also committed fewer turnovers, 14-20.
The Raiders, who move to 23-3, now advance to play Crestview (26-0) in the regional championship at 7 p.m. Friday.
Score by quarters
Wayne Trace 22 22 16 20 - 80
Buckeye Central 9 19 16 7 - 51
Wayne Trace (80)
Corbin Linder 32, Ethan Linder 30, Wenzlick 7, Wobler 3, Miller 2, Glass 2, Colby Speice 2, Arend, 0, Sinn, 0, Blackmore 0, Justin Speice 0
Buckeye Central (51)
Kaple 21, Austin Wurm 15, Heydinger 2, Stone Wurm 1, Robertson 2, Loy 5, Ollis 5