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A case of size versus quickness took place when Anthony Wayne met Toledo Christian in a season-opener on Friday night.
Mark Donnal, the Generals' 6-foot-9 junior, provided AW with a noticeable size advantage against a smaller, but quicker, Eagles lineup.
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Anthony Wayne ultimately outlasted Toledo Christian to score a 47-36 victory in a home game for the Eagles held at Bowsher.
Donnal made his presence felt near the basket, particularly down the stretch. He finished with 11 rebounds and nine points, including eight points in the second half. An offensive rebound by Donnal and putback — two-had dunk style — early in the fourth quarter gave AW a nine-point advantage, which represented its largest lead up to that point in the game.
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Donnal's time on the court helped create shots for Matt Fox, who paced the Generals by pumping in a team-high 15 points, including three 3-pointers. Grant Fiock added 14 points, including a 3-pointer.
"Guys stepped up tonight," AW coach Brian Borcherdt said. "I thought every one of our players stepped up."
The Generals increased their lead to as many as 16 points during the fourth quarter when they outscored the Eagles 15-8.
Dominique Pittman led TC with 15 points, while Josh Winzeler provided 10 points.
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"Anthony Wayne came to play, and their zone gave us fits," Toledo Christian coach Dave McWhinnie said. "I thought we did a nice job on Donnal early and then he made some big baskets during that stretch.
"We fought hard, but we didn't execute like I expected us to do, and that was the difference in the game."
The Generals struggled to pull away from the Eagles during the first half and went into halftime with only an 18-13 lead.
However, both teams picked it up offensively in the third quarter with TC outscoring AW 15-14 during the period. Fox scored six of his points during the quarter, while TC's Daniel Burkett pumped in seven of his nine points during the period to keep the Eagles close.
AW took a 32-28 advantage into the fourth quarter and then gradually pulled away during the final period.
"Toledo Christian is a great team," Borcherdt said. "They're a fundamental team, and their kids are just good basketball players. They take care of the ball and shoot well. We kind of got them off their rhythm tonight."
It looked good for TC early when Pittman hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the opening quarter to give the Eagles a 9-7 advantage after one quarter.
Donnal spent most of the first quarter on the bench after picking up an early foul. Donnal went scoreless in the opening quarter and didn't score a point until he made 1-of-2 free throws to give AW a 12-9 lead with 3:12 remaining in the second quarter.
The Generals opened the second quarter with an 8-0 spurt and led 15-9 when Fox drained his second 3-pointer of the game with 2:20 left in the first half. Pittman halted AW's run when he sank a 15-footer to make it 15-11 with 2:02 left in the half.
Fox went into the break with eight points to lead the Generals, while Pittman matched him with eight points for the Eagles.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @demmonsblade.