Wynford did its part in playing spoiler during a 55-47 victory over Buckeye Central Friday.
Heading into the final of regular season play, the Bucks (14-8, 10-3 NCC) were tied with Colonel Crawford in the North Central Conference Silver Division standings. The Eagles defeated Upper Sandusky, 46-39, to clinch their second consecutive outright title, matching a feat set by the girls team earlier this season.
“This is a young team and nobody gave us a chance and we play so well together,” Bucks coach Phil Loy said. “We play hard and we’ve come so far and it’s just a bummer to not quite achieve that, but we’ve got to keep our heads up. This season is over and we’ve got to move on and try to win some more games.”
As for the Royals (9-13, 6-7 NCC), playing spoiler wasn’t the focus of the evening. Getting back in the win column and having a solid game before heading into Tuesday’s sectional tournament was.
“We talked about coming out and doing our thing and getting a win and trying to move forward,” Wynford coach Tim Ehresman said. “It’s been awhile since we’ve got a ‘W’ and trying to have some positive going into the tournament on Tuesday.”
The Royals shot lights out, missing just one basket in the first quarter to take an early 21-7 advantage. Wynford shot 42 percent from 3-point range and 72 percent inside the arc — missing only 11 attempts on the evening.
“When we are patient we have those opportunities where we can find our post guys and that doesn’t happen very often,” Ehresman said. “We’ve done that a couple times this year and it’s been awhile since we have, so we talked about making good shots. Offensively if we don’t turn it over and get good shots we can be OK, and I thought we were OK most of the night.”
Post player Todd Carter returned after sitting out last week’s game against Colonel Crawford due to illness, coming up big with 20 points, including a game changer down the stretch. Less than a minute remained when Carter had a putback off of a missed Royals free throw to give his team a 51-46 lead.
“We are down three, and then (Michael) Powers misses which doesn’t happen very much and he goes around us and scores,” Loy said. “That sealed it pretty much right there because we were only a possession away where we could go down and tie or get it down to one.”
Both Powers and Ryan Fortner hit a pair of free throws in the last 20 seconds to stave off the Bucks for good. Wynford finished 10-of-15 from the free throw line.
“It’s tough,” Loy said. “You want to go out with a ‘W’ for your seniors and we didn’t get it done. We just got off to such a slow start. We seemed like we weren’t with it for some reason.”
For Wynford, Mason Davis finished with 12 points and Powers had 10 points. Buckeye Central’s Cade Kaple finished with 12 points, Austin Wurm had 10 points and Byrce Christy added nine points.