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Southview tops Anthony Wayne 60-48 to widen NLL lead

Southview used an early power surge to strengthen its grip on first place in the Northern Lakes League with a 60-48 road win over Anthony Wayne on Friday night.

The Cougars (16-1) remained undefeated in the NLL (9-0) by jumping out to a 19-8 lead after one quarter. Southview built a 25-10 cushion 2:32 into the second quarter and increased the edge to 31-12 with 3:53 left in the first half.

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Jason Johnson, shown in a game earlier this season, was one of four Southview players to score in double figures in Friday's Northern Lakes League win over Anthony Wayne.

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The Cougars went 0-of-4 from the field to start the game. But Southview then knocked down nine consecutive shots, including three from 3-point range. Tehree Horn and Jason Johnson drilled back-to-back treys to open the second quarter, capping the key run as the Cougars took an insurmountable 15-point lead.

Johnson, who also had a team-high six rebounds, scored seven consecutive, unanswered points to turn a 10-6 lead into a 17-6 cushion. He drove to the hoop for two buckets in the paint and then knocked down a 3 pointer with 51 seconds left in the first quarter.

“We had a good burst there and built that lead up,” Johnson said. “It's all because of my teammates. They found me open and passed it to me. I had open looks.”

Senior Ryan Fries paced Southview with 13 points, while Horn, a junior, added 11. Johnson, a senior, and Zech Miller each tallied 10 points. Senior center Christian Wagenhauser added nine.

VIDEO: Southview-Anthony Wayne

All 10 of Johnson's points came in the pivotal stretch. Southview coach Stan Joplin said the early spurt was huge, especially on the road,.

“We shared the basketball there,” Joplin said. “We turned down some good shots for better shots. Our offense picked up. We hit some open jump shots and got it going.”

Joplin said his team was settling for jump shots in the early stages and not attacking the basket.

“All of the sudden we put Jason Johnson in the game and he picked up the defensive pressure and he started attacking the basket,” Joplin said. “We started making some easy plays then.”

Senior guard Andrew Murphy paced AW with a game-high 18 points. Junior Max Denman chipped in with eight points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds. The Generals made 11 of 12 free throws and forced 10 turnovers.

Tyson King's 3 pointer with 4:21 left in the third quarter gave the Cougars their biggest lead (44-23).

AW chipped away, however, with a 10-2 run to finish the third and pulled within 13 points at 46-33.

“They fought back,” Johnson said. “We had a big lead. So we just kept playing as hard as we could.”

Murphy completed a three-point play and Nick Smith then scored in transition as the Generals were within 10 points with 3:30 left. However, Wagenhauser drove hard to the basket, elevated, and finished with a two-handed dunk. Wagenhauser, who is 6-foot-7, also was fouled on the play. He knocked down the free throw to put the Cougars up 53-40 with 3:16 left.

The Generals cut the lead to single digits (53-44) with 2:17 remaining with a jumper from Smith and two free throws from Josh Boyer. But Southview then hit six of seven free throws to seal it.

Joplin said his team began to turn the ball over too much in the second half (seven turnovers).

“We have to keep it simple,” he said. “And we weren't sharing the basketball. We forced some things. And Anthony Wayne came back and exploited us.”

The Cougars had topped AW 69-52 at home on Dec. 15.

Southview finished with a 28-23 edge on the boards. The Cougars also forced 15 AW turnovers.

With five NLL games remaining, the Cougars are two games in front of rival Northview (15-2, 7-2). The Sylvania foes meet in the regular-season finale on Feb. 23.

“I'm happy for the players,” Joplin said. “Now we just have to worry about ourselves.”

Southview plays at Perrysburg (8-8, 5-4) on Tuesday.

“It's a big win,” Johnson said. “We have a little separation in the NLL now. We just have to keep playing as hard as we can over the next couple of weeks.”

Contact Mark Monroe at mmonroe@theblade.com419-724-6354, or on Twitter @MonroeBlade.

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