Wayne holds off Ponitz’s upset bid

Wayne freshman guard Lawrent Rice
Ponitz senior guard DeVon Perdue
Wayne junior guard Malcolm Curry
Ponitz senior guard Malik Simmons
Ponitz freshman guard Dayjaun Anderson

Huber Heights, OH — It was a busy night at Wayne high school on Monday night. A lot of former alumni were in the building. Akron senior Xeyrius Williams, Wisconsin senior D’Mitrik Tice, Ashland junior Rodrick Caldwell, Kentucky senior Ahmad Wagner and others were all in attendance. Along with Green Bay freshman and former Trotwood-Madison star Amari Davis. The game itself was very odd. With a little more than two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the scoreboard clock stopped working which led to a 10-minute break where the Wayne athletic staff tried to find a replacement scoreboard. A couple of minutes later, a Ponitz player checked into the game that wasn’t in the book which led to a technical foul assessed to the Panthers. The game itself was exciting in the first quarter. DeVon Perdue could not miss as he hit multiple threes that kept Ponitz competitive in the first half. Malcolm Curry hit a big three at the end of the half to give the Warriors a five-point lead heading into the locker room. DeVon Perdue got the second half started with a putback off of his own missed shot. That cut the Wayne lead to just two, as the score was now 36-34. Dayjaun Anderson continued to turn up the defensive intensity as he swatted Malcolm Curry’s shot attempt. The very next play another player swatted Lawrent Rice this time and it went right into the hands of DeVon Perdue who threw it ahead to Malik Simmons for the easy layup. That cut Wayne’s lead to two points once again. Lawrent Rice than stole the ball and made a nice move to make the defender miss the steal and that led to an easy layup. Malcolm Curry than got an offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback which went in. This and-one started to put Pontiz away as Wayne grabbed the momentum with these two plays. Ponitz freshman Dayjaun Anderson made a three from way downtown which Ponitz within 4 and right back in the game. Jalen Orwig ended the quarter with a steal and transition layup at the buzzer to add on to Wayne’s lead as the score at the end of the 3rd was 45-39 in advantage of the Warriors. Lawrent Rice and Elijah Brown both added on two points to Wayne’s lead as they now led 49-40. Then the nail in the coffin to put Wayne up 51-40 was a nasty Lawrent Rice euro step which sent the defender in the other direction. From there it was pretty back and forth as Wayne maintained a steady lead and ending up winning 64-51. Wayne was led offensively by Lawrent Rice who finished with 15 points, Cam Fancher had 11, and Malcolm Curry had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Panthers were led by DeVon Perdue with 15 points. They also had strong performances from Malik Simmons and Dayjaun Anderson. Wayne’s next game will be at the Lima Holiday Tournament this weekend, while Ponitz has a tough stretch of games upcoming. They play Reynoldsburg, Thomas Worthington, Medina, and Dublin Coffman who are all strong D-I programs that will give the Ponitz Panthers a major test this upcoming week and a half.

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