WAVERLY – The Waverly Tigers advanced to the Championship Game of the Pike County Holiday Classic with a, 73-61, win over the Piketon Redstreaks Thursday evening in Waverly.
The win improves the Tigers’ record to 6-1 on the year. The loss drops the Streaks’ mark on the season to 2-6.
Waverly had three players in double figures. Easton Wolf led the Tigers with 19 points. Clayton Howell and Cade Marquez added 17 apiece in the winning effort. Piketon also had a trio of players reach double figures in the point column. Casey Moore finished with a game-high 22 points. Travis Veach added 13 points to the Piketon cause and Steven Zimmerman chipped in with 11 points.
In the first quarter the Tigers fell behind and trailed by five, 4-9, half way through the first stanza, but managed to weather the storm and had the lead trimmed to two by the end of the quarter. In the second period, the Tigers pulled even and then started to pull away. The fast-paced tempo of the Tigers gave Piketon some trouble in transition and led to some easy baskets for Waverly. Waverly took a seven point advantage into the locker room.
“I think our defense, became our offense,” Waverly head coach Travis Robertson said. “For not shooting well, we still scored 70 points.”
In the third quarter the Tigers turned up the tempo and took off and has their lead to 13 at one point. “That seems to be our story this year,” Piketon head coach Evan Legg said. “We came out in the third and allowed too big of a run.” Waverly led after three quarters of play by 10, 51-41.
Piketon was not going away without a fight. The Redstreaks came out and with aggressive defense, and with the help of some timely long range shooting, went on a 7-0 run to open up the final quarter and had the Waverly lead to three, 51-48, with just more than five minutes left in the contest. Then it was Waverly’s turn to go a run. The Tigers strung together eight consecutive points, in less than two minutes, to regain a double digit lead with 3:51 remaining
“We got down double digits,” Legg said. “We fight our way back, but when we get back in the game we’re running out of energy.”
Piketon will play Eastern in the Consolation Game Friday at 6 p.m. and Waverly will face off with Western in the Championship Game at approximately 7:45pm.