By ANDY WOLF
FOSTORIA — Fostoria High School’s boys basketball team won’t see a team as athletic as Toledo Waite the rest of the season.
While that may bode well for the Redmen in future contests, it didn’t Saturday night.
The Division I Indians used their size, length and quickness to gradually pull away and eventually topple Fostoria 82-62 in the nonconference boys basketball season opener for both teams.
“We opened with a very tough opponent. We definitely didn’t schedule any cupcakes,” Fostoria coach J.T. Bates said. “We played very hard. We were outsized dramatically but we battled. We had some seniors step up and be leaders tonight.
“We’re missing one of our best scorers in Jayden Stanton tonight (broken collarbone in football). Overall, this is something that when we’re watching film that is going to be encouraging.”
All five Waite starters scored in double figures, led by 5-foot-8 junior guard Carl Banks’ 27 points.
Banks, a transfer from Toledo Scott, canned four 3-pointers and also had seven steals.
“Carl is a player, he really is,” Toledo Waite coach Adam Rodriguez said. “When he was talking about transferring over from Scott, it was a blessing. He can shoot the ball. He was productive for us tonight.”
Banks was an active cog in the Waite press that proved to be more reward than risk.
Rodriguez admitted he won’t normally implement a press but had a lot of success with it in defeating Fostoria twice last season. It worked again in helping the Indians total 19 steals as Fostoria rack up 25 turnovers.
“I don’t think it was a very intense press,” Bates said. “We’re disappointed as a coaching staff the way we handled the press because we see a press every day in practice. They run the same press as we run. We got very lax and didn’t attack it.
“(In the) first half we ran right at it. Second half , we kind of sat and played catch in the back court and you can’t do that.”
The Redmen conquered the press for three easy, breakaway lay-ins in the first quarter in building a 17-15 lead.
Bates commended his team for showing great spark and running with Waite in what was a heated and physical quarter.
“We’ve got to be able to run,” Bates said. “We’re not going to beat a lot of teams in halfcourt situations. In the first half we did a very good job of running.”
However, four turnovers in a span of a minute allowed Waite to flip the script and take a 28-22 edge midway through the second frame.
Banks buried a few open 3-pointers as the Indians worked their lead up to 41-29 with a minute to go. The Redmen closed the final minute of the second frame on a 7-0 run, getting five points from Dae’Mier Johnson, to go to the locker room down 41-36.
The spurt was short lived as the Indians outscored the Redmen 17-3 in the first five minutes of the second half.
“We closed out the second quarter very well, poor stretch in the third,” Bates said. “We set a goal of ‘get it to 15 entering the fourth.’ We got it to 14. We’ve got to be able to answer runs.”
Johnson led the Redmen with 18 points, eight rebounds and two steals while Armand Cousin chipped in 14 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Gabe Turner put in 11 points with two 3-pointers.
For Toledo Waite, Mohammed Elmajzoub, an Oregon Clay transfer, had 16 points and five steals.
Six-foot-4 forwards Keyshawn Leach (11 points) and Ronnie Sanders (10 points) accounted for 16 and 12 rebounds, respectively. The duo outrebounded Fostoria 28-25.
TOLEDO WAITE (1-0)
Elmajzoub 6-2–16, Sanders 4-2–10, Booth 4-5–13, Randall 2-0–5, Juarez 0-0–0, Nichols 0-0–0, Holmes 0-0–0, Wells 0-0–0, Leach 5-1–11, Banks 11-1–27. TOTALS: 32 11-30–82.
Bunley 1-0–2, Sierra 2-0–4, Garcia 1-0–3, Ane. Cousin 2-0–4, Turner 2-5–11, Arm. Cousin 3-6–14, Tucker 1-1–3, Johnson 6-3–18, Phillips 1-1–3, Milum 0-0–0, Boff 0-0–0. TOTALS: 20 16-24–62.
Toledo Waite 15 26 21 20 — 82
Fostoria 17 19 12 14 — 62
3-POINT GOALS: Toledo Waite 7 (Banks 4, Elmajzoub 2, Randall); Fostoria 6 (Arm. Cousin & Turner 2, Garcia & Johnson).
REBOUNDS: Toledo Waite 43 (Leach 16); Fostoria 25 (Johnson 8).
TURNOVERS: Toledo Waite 14, Fostoria 25.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Fostoria, 64-51.
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