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ARCHBOLD - Archbold thrived in a tournament-like environment to produce a 65-53 victory over Wauseon last night before a sold-out crowd estimated at 2,300.
Mike Pratt led the way with a game-high 19 points as four players scored in double figures for Archbold, which improved to 13-2 overall and 6-0 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. Dan Borcherdt pumped in 15 points while D.J. Selgo and Joel Ruffer added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Ruffer, a 6-5 senior, also grabbed 13 rebounds and recorded two blocks in a game the Blue Streaks led by as many as 20 points in the second half after taking a 35-24 lead into halftime.
“We were motivated by the crowd right off the bat,” Ruffer said. “We got the crowd into it early and I think we had to because we couldn t let them get the momentum.”
Only one other game played in the 14-year history of Archbold s gymnasium, known as the Thunderdome, had sold out.
Archbold coach Doug Krauss thought his team stepped up to the challenge of playing in front of a raucous crowd against a team that has been on as good a roll as any this season.
“We got off to a good start and got a nice little cushion at halftime,” Krauss said. “I like how aggressive we were at both ends of the court.”
Wauseon, which opened the season with a nonleague win over Archbold, stands at 12-1 overall and 4-1 in the league after suffering its first loss.
Kyle Storrer and Brock Gibson paced the Indians with 12 apiece while league-leading scorer Jake Reckner was limited to 10 points while playing at less than full strength. Ben Gunn, the Indians 6-8 senior, ripped down a game-high 15 rebounds to go along with nine points and five blocks.
“It was a game of spurts, obviously,” Wauseon coach Ken Burgei said. “They would go on a run and then we went on a run. They probably made one longer run than us and probably one more than us.”
Reckner, who entered the game averaging 21 points, injured his right knee two weeks ago and still hasn t fully recovered. He limped noticeably throughout the game.
“It affects his mobility,” said Burgei. “Defensively, he had a real hard time getting around.
“We d like to have him get a lot of touches in the post, but they did a great job of defending him.”
When the Blue Streaks weren t in a zone Selgo was asked to shadow Reckner around the basket. Reckner was limited to only two points after halftime. The 6-2 junior got free in the lane for the first basket of the fourth quarter to cut Archbold s lead down to 44-38, which was the closest Wauseon had come to tying the score since early in the first quarter.
“D.J. pretty much took care of him and he did a real nice job on him,” Krauss said.
Ruffer played a major role in the Blue Streaks taking control of the game early by establishing a presence around the basket in the first half. He scored all of his points by halftime, including eight in the opening quarter to help Archbold take an 18-13 lead into the second quarter.
In the second half, Pratt and Borcherdt took over to help hold off the Indians, scoring 10 points each with Brocherdt s all coming in the fourth quarter.41.5223 -84.30632