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  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Wayne's Craig Young goes up for a shot as Bishop Dwenger's Lucas Lehrman defends during the first quarter Thursday. Young finished with 14 points as the host Generals advanced to the SAC tournament semifinals.

Friday, December 29, 2017 1:00 am

SAC Tournament

Shots finally fall for Wayne

Generals get hot start to second half, reach semifinals

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

Scoreboard

Boys

South Side 67, Snider 64

North Side 75, Concordia 40

Wayne 53, Bishop Dwenger 37

Girls

South Side 71, Bishop Dwenger 52

Bishop Luers 47, Homestead 43

Northrop 54, Snider 48

It took the entire first half but the Wayne boys basketball team finally found its footing and defeated Bishop Dwenger 53-37 Thursday at the Parkview Sports Medicine SAC Holiday Tournament at Wayne.

The Generals led 15-13 at halftime and came out of the locker room with a 13-0 run to take a 28-13 lead, helped by three straight 3-pointers by Dillon Redding.

“We kind of figured that (Bishop Dwenger) would throw some kind of zone at us since we're more athletic than they are,” Wayne coach Aaron Rehrer said. “We didn't do a good enough job in the first half using our dribble to attack and then looking to find shooters and the shots weren't falling.

“With Dillon, he scores in bunches. He missed his first two at Marion on Friday then hit seven in a row. We were just trying to get him to be patient. Going into the locker room 15-13, everyone's like, 'What do we do?' We did a lot better job being aggressive and rebounding which I think turned things around for us.”

Wayne was kept from its typical up-and-down game in the first half. The Saints packed the middle and forced shots from the outside. For Wayne, the opportunities were there, the shots weren't falling.

“They were mixing up the zones,” Redding said. “They were going with a 1-3-1, 3-2 and a 2-3, which was making us think more and mixing it up more.

“We have a lot of shooters on our team, so the coaches just tell us to keep shooting and they'll eventually fall. So that's what we did. In the second half, they eventually fell.”

The Saints jumped to a 6-0 lead with two 3-pointers from Brenden Lytle and led 6-4 at the end of the first quarter. Wayne started getting more shots up in the second quarter and led 15-10 with 1:15 left in the half. A 3 from Hayden Smithey with 15 seconds left made it 15-13 at halftime.

At halftime, Rehrer told his team to keep pushing the pace and be more aggressive. The adjustments paid off.

“(I told them to) Just to stick with it,” he said. “We had some heads down, and we were up two. I was like, 'You guys are winning the game.' We just had to stick with it and make some adjustments: just being more aggressive with our dribble and defending and rebounding.

“Every coach will tell you that the first three minutes of the second half is huge, and for us to come out, hit some shots, get some stops, got some turnovers, that set the tone for the rest of the game.”

Craig Young led the Generals with 14 points and Redding added 11. The Saints were led by Lytle's eight points.

“Everyone kind of clicked in on our team,” Young said. “I'm just ready for (the semifinals tonight).

“We weren't getting a lot of rotation (in the first half). We were pushing the ball too slow, they were getting into their zone, so we just started attacking, attacking, attacking, push and kick and we knocked down big shots.”

The Generals will face South Side in today's semifinal, a team that plays in a similar style.

“We've played Snider and we've played New Haven and Marion,” Rehrer said. “It's not going to be any different from that, just different personnel. I think these guys are smart enough to adjust to any style.”

areichel@jg.net