Huber Heights, Ohio — When Wayne upset Centerville in early December, it was a shock to a lot of people as a Gabe Cupps missed a game-tying shot at the buzzer. Both teams have progressed a lot since that first matchup and the highly anticipated freshman versus freshamn rematch tipped-off on Friday.
With Mo Njie out with an injury, Elijah Brown used his size to body Kebba Njie as got an easy layup, then Malcolm Curry made a nice spin-move for the layup. Freshman Lawrent Rice drilled a deep three to give the Warriors an early advantage. A bucket from Kebba Njie and then a deep three from Drew Thompson kept Centerville down just 9-7 after one quarter.
Brendan Hill knocked down a three to start the quarter for Wayne, then Curry found Elijah Brown on an alley-oop to put Wayne up 14-7. Rich Rolf and Kebba Njie each contributed with a bucket each but Centerville still trailed in this low scoring affair, as they were down 17-12 at the half.
Brown and Curry got the third quarter started off with a pair of layups, but Centerville sophomore Tom House got hot as he hit three after three after three. Wayne junior Cam Fancher broke a defender before hitting a sweet floater to put Wayne up 25-21. Tre Johnson cut the deficit to 25-23 at the end of the third as he converted on a layup to end the quarter.
Wayne extended their lead to 7 as Lawrent Rice and Elijah Brown each hit mid-range jumpers. Tom House cut the lead to 4 as he drilled another three. Elijah Brown hit another massive layup but Drew Thompson cut the lead to 32-28 with 1:09 remaining. Centerville had the ball down 34-28 with 48 seconds to go. Kebba Njie got what looked to be an and-one with 34 seconds left as Ben Palma hit his arm but no foul was called. If Kebba converted on the free-throw it would’ve made it a three-point game with 30 seconds left. But with the no-call, it put the game out of reach so Brook Cupps ran out onto the court yelling at the officials. That prompted a technical and then officially put the game out of reach. Tom House nailed a three at the buzzer and Wayne survived 36-33 with another big-time GWOC win.
Gabe Cupps finished with 0 points as he was locked up the entire game. Tom House had 15 points off of 5 threes and Drew Thompson had 6 points for the Elks. Wayne was led by Elijah Brown who had 11 points and had some huge buckets down the stretch. Lawrent Rice had 7 and Malcolm Curry, Brendan Hill, and Cam Fancher all contributed with 5 points.
Centerville has two big league games coming up as they will face Fairmont and Beavercreek to end their regular season. Wayne will go and play Springboro and Springfield and then Columbus Independence to end their regular season.