NORTH ROBINSON — The difference between the Wynford boys basketball team in the first and second halves over the course of the last three North Central Conference games has been staggering.
Trailing by eight at the break, the Royals saw the game get away from them in the final two quarters of an 82-41 loss Saturday night at Colonel Crawford.
It came one night after a one-point halftime deficit turned into a 17-point loss to Galion. Last week, the Royals saw a 17-point halftime advantage against Upper Sandusky result in an overtime loss. In those three games, Wynford has outscored opponents, 89-81, in the first 16 minutes but has been thumped, 120-52, in the second 16 minutes and overtime.
“For some reason, we can’t sustain for 32 minutes, but we’ll keep working at it and look at the film and see what we need to do to get better, but when you’re playing the best, you’ve got to be at your best physically, mentally and emotionally for every possession, and until we learn that, these types of nights are going to happen,” Wynford coach Steve Mohr said.
Mason Davis had 18 points and all but one of them came within the game’s first 18 minutes. The Royals (3-7, 1-4 North Central Conference) did not connect on another field goal in the final 14 minutes after Davis scored a bucket to make it 41-33 early in the third quarter.
Connor McCreary and Todd Entenmann led a balanced effort by the Eagles (9-2, 4-1 NCC) with 18 points apiece. Logan Sager and Nate Klingenberger added 17 and 16 points, respectively, as Colonel Crawford shot 65.9 percent in the game.
Neither team failed to execute much in the first quarter with Colonel Crawford taking a 25-20 advantage after one quarter, but Wynford could not keep up the offensive pace the way the Eagles did.
“We picked up our defensive intensity and two nights in a row we’ve done that,” Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon said.
The Royals led 14-10 on a Jake Glowaski basket inside, but the Eagles scored seven straight points and did not trail again.
After Colonel Crawford pushed its lead to 12, Davis scored the final four points of the first half and the opening basket of the second half to get Wynford within six. After two straight Eagles baskets, Davis scored again, and Colonel Crawford went on a 21-1 run to close out the quarter with a 62-34 lead.
“We got out in transition,” Sheldon said. “We did a good job of getting some easy buckets in transition and then we ran our stuff. We ran the dribble-drive. We’ve got some guys who can put it on the floor both right and left and can create at the rim or can create for others and I thought our guys shared the basketball and made a lot of extra passes.”
Transition came as a result of 10 Wynford turnovers in the third quarter. The Royals committed seven more in the fourth quarter after having only six in the first half.
“It was just mistake after mistake,” Mohr said. “I’ve got to give Colonel Crawford credit. They really got after us defensively. We got out to a great start — a 20-point first quarter and we’re playing our game — and they did a good job of slowing us down and forcing us into a half-court game in the second half. I’m just at a loss right now as to what we need to do to come out in the second half to stay competitive with a lot of people.”
McCreary and Entenmann essentially combined for their average, but the Eagles got a big boost from Klingenberger for the second straight night. He came into the week averaging 10.7 points per game and scored 21 against Riverdale on Friday night. Sager scored double his average.
“He’s leading the league in 3-point percentage,” Sheldon said. “He knows his role. He’s not going to force, but if you’re going to take other guys away, he’s going to step up and hit 3s and he’s done that consistently for us all year.”
After making 13 of 18 (72.2 percent) field goal tries in the first half, the Royals were 2 of 8 in the second half.
Colonel Crawford won the junior varsity game.
Wynford plays at 6 p.m. Saturday at Crestline.
WYNFORD (3-7, 1-4 NCC): Davis 8-1-18, Glowaski 3-3-9, Shutler 2-1-6, Pfeifer 1-3-5, Lear 1-1-3. Totals 15-28 9-15 41.
COLONEL CRAWFORD (9-2, 4-1 NCC): McCreary 6-3-18, Entenmann 6-4-18, Sager 6-3-17, Klingenberger 6-4-16, Gulley 3-1-7, Tresich 2-0-4, Adams 0-2-2. Totals 29-44 16-19 82.
3-point goals: McCreary 3, Sager 2, Entenmann 2, Davis, Shutler.
Score by quarters
Wynford 20 9 5 7 — 41
Colonel Crawford 25 12 25 20 — 82
Junior varsity: Colonel Crawford won.
By LONNIE McMILLAN