Waverly falls in state semi


Tigers play in Final 4 1st time since ‘70

By Paul Boggs - [email protected]



Waverly senior Will Futhey puts up a shot during the Tigers’ Division II boys basketball state semifinal game against Gilmour Academy on Friday night at University of Dayton Arena.

Waverly senior Will Futhey puts up a shot during the Tigers’ Division II boys basketball state semifinal game against Gilmour Academy on Friday night at University of Dayton Arena.


Courtesy of John Futhey

Waverly senior Trey Robertson (4) is guarded by Gilmour Academy’s Adisa Molton (25) during Friday night’s Division II boys basketball state semifinal game at University of Dayton Arena.


Courtesy of John Futhey

DAYTON — While Waverly brought the entire city, and pretty much all of Pike County even, the Gilmour Academy Lancers brought with them their three-point attack —and eventually pitched a quarter’s worth of shutout basketball.

With that, the underdog Tigers —making their first appearance in the state boys basketball tournament since 1970 —trailed the entire way, and ultimately fell to the Lancers 58-43 on Friday night in a Division II semifinal inside University of Dayton Arena.

That’s correct — as Gilmour made 10 three-point goals to the Tigers’ five, held the Tigers scoreless for seven seconds shy of exactly eight minutes, and pulled away from a 20-20 tie by outscoring Waverly by 15 points over the final 19 minutes and 53 seconds.

When Gilmour’s Ryan Mueller made 2-of-2 free throws with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, it staked the Lancers’ largest lead at 53-37 —and the talented, highly-touted and senior-laden Tigers emptied their benches for exactly the final minute.

That meant the Tigers’ dream season, with half-a-dozen seniors including five in the regular rotation, came to an end —but where they wanted to in Dayton with the state Final Four.

Friday night’s outcome resulted in both squads posting 23-5 marks, but it was Waverly —with two-time (Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association) Southeast District Division II Player of the Year Trey Robertson leading the way —unfortunately on the short end.

The Tigers first captured the outright Southern Ohio Conference Division II championship, then allowed no more than 56 points during their run through the regional tournament —their first in an entire decade, and which they won two tilts in overtime to advance to the state semis.

“We felt fortunate to be at this spot, but we worked hard over the course of the season, and we’ve had this group of kids from the time they were little until now. I’m extremely proud of where we ended this season,” said Waverly coach Travis Robertson. “We put regional championship up on the board since day one. And anybody can say it, but these guys actually did it.”

In truth, the Tigers got to the Final Four from their defensive effort along their tournament trail —while they struggled to shoot well in the regionals, and that carried over against the taller Lancers.

They shot 17-of-50 from the field for an even 34-percent, and only made 5-of-16 three-point goals —combined with 10 turnovers, as Waverly missed several short-range shots which certainly made a difference.

“We unfortunately probably had our worst stretch of shooting the basketball our last three games of the season. We missed some shots early tonight,” said Robertson. “But that has something to do with the defense too. I also think we came out tight, which was kind of expected, being the first time we’ve all been in this situation or on this type of stage. It took us a little while to get going, we loosened up and started making some shots, but then we went back to missing some shots again after we tied it up. It just affects your entire overall play and frustration sets in.”

While Waverly wasn’t hitting, and Trey Robertson registered just seven baskets on 24 total attempts while Futhey finished 4-of-11 from the field, the Lancers had much to do with that — blocking four shots (Muller and Brandon Rose two apiece) and contesting several others.

“They were long and fairly athletic in there. We talked all week about trying to shot-fake and get into their bodies, but I thought they (Lancers) did a good job of staying down on the floor and contesting our shots still,” said Coach Robertson. “We could have done a better job of trying to draw more contact and being able to finish through them, but we took some tough shots and that’s a credit to them.”

The Tigers trailed 13-2 with 3:34 left in the opening period, but quickly reversed course with a Braylon Robertson foul shot —and eight consecutive points from Trey Robertson, including back-to-back trifectas for a 13-11 deficit only 22 seconds into the second stanza.

In all, that was nine unanswered points over a four-minute stretch, as the 20-20 deadlock ended an 18-7 spree over almost a full eight minutes.

But the Lancers —early and often and even late —landed three-point shots, splashing seven of 13 triple tries in the first half.

In particular, Brandon Rose rained in 3-of-3, Nathan Flaherty 2-of-2 and Adisa Molton 2-of-4 —as back-to-back-to-back three-balls by Rose, Flaherty and Molton made it 29-20 at the 2:05 juncture.

Rose then split a pair of free throws 54 seconds later for a 30-20 cushion, as his fourth and final three-pointer pushed the Lancers’ lead to 34-20 —with three-and-a-half minutes gone by in the third frame.

Finally, Waverly’s epic scoring drought ended at the four-minute mark of the third —when Wade Futhey’s three sailed through.

However, that 7:53 span dropped the Tigers at a double-digit deficit —kept at 14 points at 37-23, when Molton made his third and final three.

“That’s the difference in the game. You have to stop the bleeding, but we weren’t able to stop the bleeding by getting some buckets,” said the coach. “I thought we had some good looks in some spots that we just didn’t make, and I know we mishandled the ball a few times.”

Waverly —with Robertson’s final three to end the third quarter and his final career deuce to open the fourth — got no closer than 41-34 only 30 seconds into the final canto.

From there, the Lancers doubled up the Tigers 17-9, going 8-of-13 from the free-throw line in the frame —part of 14-of-22 overall, while Waverly went 4-of-8 including 3-of-4 in the last.

Both brothers Robertson meshed 2-of-4 from the stripe.

Speaking of sinking 50-percent, the Lancers drilled half (10) of their 20 total trey tries —including Mueller’s make just 55 seconds (44-34) after the Tigers trimmed the deficit from 14 in half.

The Tigers trailed, for the final 6:18, by nine points or more.

The trio of Rose, Molton and Mueller combined for five of Gilmour Academy’s seven twos, eight of its 10 threes, 12-of-19 freebies, and 46 of its 58 points.

Rose (seven field goals and 5-of-8 free throws) matched his jersey number with a game-high 23, while Molton (four field goals and 3-of-7 free throws) muscled for 14 points and Mueller (two field goals and 4-of-4 free throws) netted nine.

Dorjan Flowers finished with four second-half points, including 2-of-3 foul shots, while Lucas Grover garnered a fourth-quarter basket.

In all, the Lancers shot slightly less than 50-percent on 17-of-35.

But, Coach Robertson said that’s the best he’s seen Gilmour shoot the ball.

“It was the perfect storm, and Gilmour is one heckuva team,” he said. “I thought they shot the ball better tonight than what I had seen from them on film. You have to give them credit for stepping up in a state semifinal and making shots and playing good enough defensively.”

Trey Robertson racked up 19 points with four twos and three threes —as he concluded his decorated Tigers career with Waverly’s school record of 2,072 career points.

The six-foot and five-inch Will Futhey finished with four field goals for eight points, and ripped down a game-high 14 rebounds for a near double-double in his final contest.

The seniors Robertson, the Futhey twin brothers, Mark Stulley, Penn Morrison and Drake Teeters took turns subbing out to standing ovations from the Waverly faithful —which was decked out almost everywhere in UD Arena in Orange and Black.

Indeed, this season is what Waverly built for —with “Built Four This” as its statebound slogan.

“I’m extremely proud of my guys. They’ve made this the best experience possible. I love my six seniors. They dedicated their four years, a lot more actually, to myself, this basketball program and our community,” said Coach Robertson. “They are a great group, and they deserve every bit of respect and celebration that we were able to give them. This group was here tonight playing in the Final Four NOT because of measurables, but because they all have things you can’t measure. They have heart, they have grit, they have toughness, and they play for each other. If anybody thinks that they didn’t deserve to be here, they are wrong. They earned every single bit of what they got.”

* * *

Gilmour 13 17 11 17 — 58

Waverly 9 11 12 11 — 43

GILMOUR 58 (23-5)

Jackson Wahl 0 0-0 0, Nathan Flaherty 2 0-0 6, Lucas Grover 1 0-0 2, Nathan Nootbaar 0 0-0 0, Dorjan Flowers 1 2-3 4, Ryan Mueller 2 4-4 9, Brandon Rose 7 5-8 23, Adisa Molton II 3 4-7 14; TOTALS: 17 14-22 58; Three-point field goals: 10 (Brandon Rose 4, Adisa Molton II 3, Nathan Flaherty 2, Ryan Mueller 1)

WAVERLY 43 (23-5)

Peyton Harris 0 0-0 0, Mark Stulley 1 0-0 2, Hudson Kelly 2 0-0 4, Drake Teeters 0 0-0 0, Trey Robertson 7 2-4 19, Wade Futhey 1 0-0 3, Caden Nibert 0 0-0 0, Braylon Robertson 1 2-4 5, Penn Morrison 1 0-0 2, Will Futhey 4 0-0 8; TOTALS: 17 4-8 43; Three-point field goals: 5 (Trey Robertson 3, Braylon Robertson and Wade Futhey 1 apiece)

Waverly senior Will Futhey puts up a shot during the Tigers’ Division II boys basketball state semifinal game against Gilmour Academy on Friday night at University of Dayton Arena.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_Waverly-Gilmour-Futhey.jpgWaverly senior Will Futhey puts up a shot during the Tigers’ Division II boys basketball state semifinal game against Gilmour Academy on Friday night at University of Dayton Arena. Courtesy of John Futhey

Waverly senior Trey Robertson (4) is guarded by Gilmour Academy’s Adisa Molton (25) during Friday night’s Division II boys basketball state semifinal game at University of Dayton Arena.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/03/web1_Waverly-Gilmour-Robertson.jpgWaverly senior Trey Robertson (4) is guarded by Gilmour Academy’s Adisa Molton (25) during Friday night’s Division II boys basketball state semifinal game at University of Dayton Arena. Courtesy of John Futhey
Tigers play in Final 4 1st time since ‘70

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