Waverly wins OT epic in regional


Pike County club back in Elite 8

By Paul Boggs - [email protected]



Waverly senior Trey Robertson (4) scored 24 points and fellow Tiger senior Will Futhey finished with 17 in their 50-44 overtime victory over McClain on Thursday night in a Division II Region 7 semifinal at The Convo.

Waverly senior Trey Robertson (4) scored 24 points and fellow Tiger senior Will Futhey finished with 17 in their 50-44 overtime victory over McClain on Thursday night in a Division II Region 7 semifinal at The Convo.


Courtesy of Julie Billings | Pike County News-Watchman

ATHENS — Trey Robertson missed seven three-point goals on Thursday night, missed three key free throws, and was whistled for a potential universe-altering offensive foul in regulation’s final seconds.

Still, Robertson —the two-time Southeast District Division II Player of the Year with his father Travis Robertson as the veteran Waverly head coach — refused to let his Tigers lose, and instead found a way willing them to win.

Now, the Robertson father-son tandem, brother Braylon Robertson and the remainder of their Tiger teammates are advancing to Division II’s Elite Eight —inside Ohio University’s Convocation Center, and set for a snowy Saturday afternoon.

Robertson poured in 24 points, Will Futhey finished with a mighty double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Waverly overcame an early 11-2 deficit to ultimately prevail 50-44 in overtime over McClain in a Region 7 semifinal.

“All I know fellas is that we’re coming back and we’re 32 minutes away from the state Final Four. That’s all that matters,” said Coach Robertson, quite bluntly. “I don’t care what happened or how it happened. We were not very efficient offensively, we missed a lot of stuff, a lot of easy ones we normally knock down. For whatever reason when we come here, we don’t shoot the ball well in the first game here. We don’t like to make things easy, but our kids are tough and gut things out and fight through it. If we are able to survive, usually the second one treats us better.”

Waverly — now 22-4 — did survive, does advance, and will in fact return to the regional championship game at The Convo for the first time since 1980.

The Pike Countians competed in their first regional semifinal in a full decade —as the elder Robertson was still the coach in 2012, while Trey was beginning elementary school.

It was indeed a tale, and a tangle, of two teams titled “Tigers” —tied six times on Thursday night while exchanging leads seven times, including a furious five instances in a matter of 44 seconds in the fourth quarter.

As for those ties, the contest stood deadlocked following each of the first four regulation periods —at 13-13, 21-21, 29-29 and 41-41.

But Waverly won the overtime canto —the four-minute extra session in which it outscored McClain 9-3, as the Purple and Gold got only three points in the final 46 seconds.

Trey Robertson scored Waverly’s only overtime field goal on the opening possession, as he then meshed 6-of-8 free throws —sandwiched around a Mark Stulley split of foul shots, with a minute and 27 seconds showing.

At that point, the second-half foul situation was Waverly with two and McClain with nine —as the Orange and Black’s bonus shooting started with 49.6 seconds left in regulation.

Waverly, with Robertson sinking the final four in the final 67 seconds and in the double bonus, led 49-43 and 50-44 for its largest leads of the night.

“Honestly, I wasn’t too panicked going into overtime,” said the coach. “We hadn’t played real well offensively, but I thought we were one run away from putting this thing away. Once we got the lead, I’m pretty confident in our guards out here holding onto the ball and making some free throws.”

Robertson did struggle shooting in going 8-of-19, and only 2-of-9 from three-point territory, but went 6-of-9 at the line in crunch time —and nailed the go-ahead three-pointer to give Waverly the lead for good at 41-39 with two minutes remaining.

Robertson almost hit his average of 25 points per game, wanted the basketball in his hands, and knew when to attack the basket —or reset the offense and dribble the rock out and away from McClain defenders.

He also ran the clock well and kept possession, ultimately making McClain foul him.

“Walking off the floor, Trey told me that ‘I’m not going home and going to bed. I’m staying when we get back to the gym and shooting 100 free throws before I leave,’” relayed Robertson, the father and coach, with a slight laugh. “But Trey is super-skilled and has high IQ. I didn’t even realize he had 24 (points).”

That’s because Waverly was averaging 74 points per game through its first three tournament tilts, boosted by blitzkrieging Jackson 81-50 for the district championship.

The Tigers trailed McClain 11-2 through the opening four minutes, but Braylon Robertson’s back-to-back three-balls — after Trey’s trey — highlighted Waverly’s 11-2 run over the first’s final four.

From there, it was an even and nip-and-tuck and possession-for-possession game, as each team’s largest run of unanswered points was eight —with Waverly taking its first lead at 23-21 with a minute and 52 seconds gone by in the third.

Waverly overcame an icy 19-percent (4-of-21) three-point performance by forcing 17 McClain turnovers —and getting to the foul line 17 times to McClain’s six, with all 17 of those attempts in the final 20 minutes.

Stulley was 2-of-2 in the third, while the six-foot five-inch Futhey was 1-of-3 in the fourth.

Futhey’s force was in the form of 17 points and 15 of the Tigers’ 25 rebounds —as several of his eight field goals were the result of rebound stickbacks.

“Rebounding, Will (Futhey) was a man on those boards. We yell at him about finishing and all that, but when you go back and watch the film, he is one guy against two or three in there a lot of times, ” said the coach. “Will was outworking those guys in the paint and got some of those offensive putbacks. You get effort out of that kid like that, that means good things for us. Without him, we’re on the losing side of this.”

Waverly was ALMOST on that losing side in the final few seconds —when Robertson baseline barreled for a charging foul with 2.9 tics to go.

Then, McClain inbounded the ball and downfloor clear to the wing, but Braylon Robertson raced from behind —and intercepted a pass at the buzzer, which was looking to set up a quick catch-and-shoot near the free-throw line.

Senior-laden McClain, which got 14 points from Kendyll Toney including a second-period tiebreaking trifecta followed by an old-fashioned fourth-quarter three-point play, got points in overtime only by Braden Wright (field goal with 46 seconds) and Bryson Badgley (free throw with 24.6 seconds).

Badgley bagged three threes towards 10 points, as McClain — which ended at 17-4 — misfired on 10 of its 16 trifecta tries.

Waverly will now face the 23-3 Heath Bulldogs in Saturday’s surefire snow-impacted regional title tilt —as the Bulldogs bested Meadowbrook (47-44) in Thursday’s first semifinal matchup.

While Waverly only gets one day of defined preparation for Heath, the Tigers are familiar with the Bulldogs —as these two clubs, with the nucleus of both back largely intact, played two years ago at Waverly’s Downtown Arena.

Although, it’s a much larger arena, and a much different atmosphere, on Saturday —and for a state tournament ticket to be punched.

But, Coach Robertson knows what he has with his talented — and highly-touted — senior-oriented Tigers.

“Our kids want to be here, they love each other and play for each other. As a coach, that makes you extremely proud to see what type of effort they give you,” he said.

* * *

Waverly 13 8 8 12 9 — 50

McClain 13 8 8 12 3— 44

WAVERLY 50 (22-4)

Mark Stulley 0 3-4 3, Hudson Kelly 0 0-0 0, Trey Robertson 8 6-9 24, Wade Futhey 0 0-0 0, Braylon Robertson 2 0-0 6, Penn Morrison 0 0-0 0, Will Futhey 8 1-3 17; TOTALS: 18 10-16 50; Three-point field goals: 4 (Trey Robertson and Braylon Robertson 2 apiece)

McCLAIN 44 (17-4)

Preston Saunders 3 0-0 7, Bryson Badgley 3 1-3 10, Evann Mischal 0 0-0 0, Seth Wise 3 0-0 7, Braden Wright 1 2-2 4, Kendyll Toney 6 1-1 14, Wesley Potts 1 0-0 2; TOTALS: 17 4-6 44; Three-point field goals: 6 (Bryson Badgley 3, Preston Saunders, Seth Wise and Kendyll Toney 1 apiece)

Waverly senior Trey Robertson (4) scored 24 points and fellow Tiger senior Will Futhey finished with 17 in their 50-44 overtime victory over McClain on Thursday night in a Division II Region 7 semifinal at The Convo.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_Waverly-McClain-pic-.jpgWaverly senior Trey Robertson (4) scored 24 points and fellow Tiger senior Will Futhey finished with 17 in their 50-44 overtime victory over McClain on Thursday night in a Division II Region 7 semifinal at The Convo. Courtesy of Julie Billings | Pike County News-Watchman
Pike County club back in Elite 8

By Paul Boggs

[email protected]

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @paulboggssports © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved