Sports Writer
DEFIANCE - On a night that featured the physicality of a football game and the hits and checks of a hockey game, a little bit of basketball broke out as well with Wayne Trace routing host Ayersville 78-38 in Green Meadows Conference boys basketball.
The night was highlighted by the 1,000th point in the career of Raider senior Nathan Gerber, who broke the mark with a free throw at the 4:55 mark of the first quarter. Gerber went on to finish with 25 points in three quarters of action to bump his total to 1,022 for his career, becoming the ninth boys player in Wayne Trace history to score at least 1,000 points.
“I am really happy for Nate,” noted Raider head coach Jim Linder. “He has worked extremely hard and has put in a lot of extra time trying to make himself the best player he can become. I am just really proud of him and pleased that he was able to accomplish this.”
Wayne Trace led 10-0 at that point of the contest and the Raiders never looked back from there. The red, white and blue expanded the margin to 21-6 at the end of one quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
Ayersville did make a little run in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 24-13 on a pair of Brayden Amoroso foul shots but a quick three-pointer from Jace Vining and an Alex Reinhart basket widened the Raider lead to 29-13.
After the Pilots trimmed the Wayne Trace advantage to 29-17 on a Logan Schlachter basket, five straight Gerber points quickly pushed the Raider margin to 34-17.
With the red, white and blue leading 36-21, a bucket by Gerber along with one foul shot from Reinhart and a pair of Cale Crosby free throws extended the Wayne Trace lead to 41-21 at the midway point of the contest.
“We were able to get in front early on and kind of set the tone tonight,” Linder added. “Getting off to a good start is always big, especially on the road, and we were able to do that tonight.”
Wayne Trace continued to widen the margin in the third quarter, outscoring the Pilots 22-13 in the stanza to post a 63-34 advantage going to the final period.
Jace Vining added 15 points, three assists and four steals for Wayne Trace, which improves to 14-5 overall and 5-1 in the league. Alex Reinhart also recorded 14 markers, seven rebounds and three steals for the Raiders. Cale Crosby bucketed six points for the red, white and blue followed by Trevor Sinn (five), Nathan Crosby (four), Reid Miller (four), Cameron Sinn (three) and Grayson McClure (two).
Ayersville, which drops to 7-11 in all games and 0-6 in the conference, was paced by Jakob Trevino with ten points and three steals while Brayden Amoroso added eight markers and three rebounds. Ryan Clark (four), Lukas Calhoun (four), Logan Schlachter (four), Ike Eiden (three), Tyson Schlachter (two), Evan Clark (two) and Weston McGuire (one) also found the scoring column for the Pilots.
The Raider junior varsity posted a 36-30 victory over the Pilots in a game that was even more physical and featured more hits than the varsity contest, including an elbow to the head that led to a pair of Pilot technical fouls in the process.