Anthony Wayne proved it is more than the Mark Donnal show Friday night, as Generals won to capture an outright Northern Lakes League boys basketball championship.
Hunter Debo and Matt Fox helped lift AW to a 58-52 victory over host Maumee to seal the deal.
Debo and Fox, the starting backcourt, combined for 38 points, which included nine 3-pointers. Debo connected for a career-best six 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 20 points.
Anthony Wayne’s long-range shooting was the difference as Maumee’s defensive scheme intended to contain the 6-foot-10 Donnal.
Fox nailed three 3-pointers and scored 18 points to help AW rally in the final quarter before a lively crowd. The Generals’ student body rushed the court and celebrated the league title as soon as time expired.
“Once I hit the first one [3-pointer], the rest felt like they were going in,” Debo said of his sharpshooting from the 3-point arc. “We knew we had to come in here and win.
“It was their senior night, so we knew we had to bring it.”
Donnal, who was double-teamed most of the night, finished with nine points and eight rebounds. Ose Omofoma also scored nine points for the Generals (17-4, 11-3 NLL).
AW coach Bryan Borcherdt commended his team for coming together and pulling out a regular-season ending win
“Tonight we found a way to win,” said Borcherdt, whose team outscored the Panthers 16-8 in the fourth quarter trailing 44-42 to start the final period. “What can you say, it’s been someone every night to step up when we had to.”
Maumee coach Derek Sheridan thought the Generals executed well against the Panthers’ defense, which focused on Donnal with a collapsing zone that was committed to limiting his touches near the basket.
“It was pick your poison,” Sheridan said. “They’ve got Debo and Donnal and Fox. They’re going to hit some 3s, and we knew that coming in.”
Dominique King paced the Panthers (14-8, 6-8) with a team-high 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Jason Wanamaker dropped in 14 points, including a pair of 3s, and Sean McGovern finished with 11 points for a Maumee team that held the lead for more than half the game.
However, the Panthers were limited to three baskets in the final quarter.
“I thought we dictated the tempo of the game, and we controlled the momentum for 3½ quarters,” Sheridan said. “We missed a couple of threes that we normally hit. I think if we hit a couple of those 3s it’s a different ballgame.”
McGovern scored all of his 11 points in the first half to help Maumee lead 32-27 at halftime.
The Panthers limited Donnal to a few touches during the first half and only four points.
The Generals hadn’t won a league championship since 1998. And for Donnal, the only four-year varsity player on AW’s roster, winning a championship was high on his list of things.
“We worked in the offseason very hard, and it paid off for us tonight,” Donnal said. “Hunter Debo was our MVP tonight.”
Contact Donald Emmons at: email@example.com, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.