By DAVE HANNEMAN
Findlay High boys basketball coach Jim Rucki was counting on Isaac Schumm for a lot of defense and a lot of rebounding this season.
Against Toledo Woodward Tuesday night, the senior center added a lot of something else to his game.
“It’s all just a game of matchups, and tonight those matchups fell in my favor,” Schumm said after converting 10 of his 11 shots from the field and scoring a career-high 21 points in leading the Trojans to a 69-47 nonleague win over Woodward.
Tuesday’s game was the first boys varsity contest at a Findlay High Gymnasium that was remodeled and renovated this year with a new floor, new bleachers, new lights and new wall padding. The Trojans christened the new floor like they did the first one in 1963, with a convincing win.
Ryan Nunn added 15 points and Ryan Roth scored 14 for Findlay. Leading just 11-10 at the first-quarter break and 13-12 two minutes into the second period, the Trojans broke it open with a 14-0 run and never led by less than 11 points the rest of the game.
Findlay improved to 1-1 with the win heading into Friday’s Three Rivers Athletic Conference opener with Toledo Whitmer. And while Tuesday’s game was no masterpiece from a coaching viewpoint — Findlay turned the ball over 18 times, missed a number of open 3-point looks and got burned a few times in the second half on offensive putbacks — Rucki realizes it was pivotal in the players’ eyes.
“I can see the big picture, and I feel confident that eventually we are going to get better and be able to do some things,” Rucki said.
“But the kids needed results. They needed this win especially because we’ve not performed well in practice. We had two, three days of bad practices in a row, then faced (Toledo) Start (a 50-42 loss), then two more days of bad practices where we’ve been losing the ball and fumbling it around.
“We’ve been pretty low. Our chins were dragging. I think as coaches, we can hang in there a little longer thinking if we just keep doing what we’re doing things might fall together. They realize we still have a long way to go. We played well in spurts. Not the whole game, but in spurts.”
Charles Robinson Jr., who pumped in 26 points in a 74-62 loss to Findlay a year ago, led Woodward with 19 points on Tuesday. Demetrius Barry added nine points and Delveon Lear had eight for a Woodward team that started five guards and was short on height, depth and energy.
“We’re exhausted,” Woodward coach Mark Knabbs said of a 1-3 team that was playing its fourth game in five days and was short-handed with three starters and five players overall sidelined from injuries suffered in a three-day tournament held in Willoughby over the weekend.
“We knew we were going to be out-sized. Findlay is always big, they are very well-coached and they always shoot the ball well. We didn’t really have a chance to game plan for tonight. At the pace we play and the style we play, I couldn’t slow it down because we couldn’t go in to the post against their big guys.”
Robinson had just pulled Woodward to within a point early in the second quarter when Findlay made its game-changing move.
The rally started innocently enough when Ben Howard converted one of two free throws with 6:08 on the clock.
Nunn scored off a steal and Andrew McCormick hit a jumper. Chayse Stillings then had a steal that led to Schumm’s lay-in, and an assist on a backdoor cut to the basket by Nunn. Adam Gutting converted one of two free throws as Findlay scored 14 unanswered points to go up 27-12.
Barry ended the Woodward drought by hitting a reverse lay-up. Nunn nailed a 3-pointer for Findlay, then found Schumm inside for basket that gave the Trojans their first 20-point lead at 34-14.
“I have to thank the guards for getting me the ball,” Schumm said. “Without them, there’s no way it could have happened.”
Rucki wasn’t expecting a 21-point game from his 6-5 post. But he wasn’t surprised, either.
“It was the kind of game where that had to happen,” he said. “(Woodward) was not very big. They were trapping and running around looking for steals. When you have someone flashing (inside), there are going to be opportunities to score. Isaac had those opportunities and he was able to finish the play. That was big.”
Findlay’s junior varsity won its second straight one-sided game, beating Woodward’s reserves 84-25. Garit Krupp scored 21 points, Chris Strzempka had 10 points and 11 players got into the scoring column for the Trojans.
TOLEDO WOODWARD (1-3)
King 2-3 0-0 4, Barry 4-8 0-0 9, Shabazz 1-4 0-0 2, C. Robinson 9-23 0-0 19, McCall 0-3 2-2 2, Lear 3-5 0-0 8, Sweeney 0-1 0-0 0, Davis 1-3 0-0 3, Smith 0-3 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-53 2-2–47.
Stillings 0-2 0-0 0, Roth 5-11 0-0 14, Nunn 7-13 0-0 15, Gutting 2-6 3-4 7, Schumm 10-11 1-1 21, McCormick 1-1 0-0 2, Adams 2-3 0-0 4, Howard 2-5 1-2 5, Rader 0-0 1-2 1, Moore 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 29-52 6-9–69.
Toledo Woodward 10 6 14 17 — 47
Findlay 11 23 11 24 — 69
3-Point GOALS: Toledo Woodward 5-20 (Lear 2-2, Barry 1-5, Shabazz 0-2, Sweeney 0-1, Davis 1-3, C. Robinson 1-5, Smith 0-2); Findlay 5-14 (Stillings 0-1, Roth 4-10, Nunn 12, Adams 0-1).
rebounds: Toledo Woodward 20 (); Findlay 37().
turnovers: Toledo Woodward 18, Findlay 18.
junior varsity: Findlay, 84-25.