Updated: 11:38 p.m., Napoleon boys too much for Rossford (2-27-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer   
Wednesday, 27 February 2013 23:36
Rossford's Ryan Niese (right) sprints down the court as Napoleon's Blake Dunbar defends. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
SWANTON — Rossford simply could not keep up with Napoleon on Wednesday night in a Division II sectional semifinal.
The Bulldogs hung around early, but Napoleon ran away in the second half en route to a 63-46 victory at Swanton High School. PHOTO GALLERY
Rossford had trouble defending Napoleon forward Jordan Lauf and it was unable to get into a rhythm offensively
“Napoleon is a very aggressive team and defensively they like to get in the lanes,” said Rossford head coach Brian Vorst. “Typically we handle that very well, but tonight we were just a half-step slow. Once (Napoleon) got momentum on their side it was really difficult.”
Rossford held its own in the first half only trailing 35-27 at halftime, but the Wildcats forced 10 turnovers in the second half where their athleticism exploited the Bulldogs’ weaknesses.
“You can’t play on your heels against a team that is that aggressive and that quick,” said Vorst. “And that’s what we did tonight.
“When you watch the game we were a half-step slow everywhere today,” he added. “It didn’t matter if it was for a loose ball, it didn’t matter if it was for standing in and taking a charge, or if it was going for a rebound; we were half-step slow.”
While the rebounding battle was even at 24-24, Napoleon collected 11 boards on the offensive end allowing for second-chance points.
Lauf, a 6-foot-5 University of Toledo commit, led the Wildcats with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds. He was a force inside and outside knocking down two 3-pointers and finding teammates for multiple assists.
“We had some major breakdowns defensively,” Vorst said. “You can’t stop (Lauf) with one guy and we just didn’t rotate very well defensively. We were constantly chasing.”
In addition to Lauf’s offensive output, Anson Lankenau and Blake Dunbar added 15 and 11 points, respectively, with Dunbar connecting on three triples.
As a team Napoleon converted on six 3-pointers.
Mack Miller and Derek Mack kept Rossford in the game in the first half combining for 18 points, with Nate Childress scoring six of his eight points as well.
Miller finished with a team-high 15 points, while Mack added 13.
But Rossford was out-scored 28-19 in the final 16 minutes as Napoleon was just too much for the Bulldogs.
“They were more aggressive than we were and much more physical,” Vorst said. “We talked about initiating contact on the boards and letting them come to us, but that just didn’t happen.”
Rossford, which will return all five starters next season and all but one player on the roster, ended its season at 11-12 overall.
“They’re an entirely different team than they were at the beginning of the season,” Vorst said. “I was really proud with how much they matured this year.”
Napoleon (9-13) will face Bowling Green (13-10) in a sectional final on Friday at 8 p.m. at Swanton.

Miller, 3-3-0—15; Niese, 1-0—2; Davis, 0-0—0; Mack, 3-1-4—13; Keller, 0-0—0; Allen, 0-0—0; Savage, 0-0—0; Hotz, 0-0—0; Smale, 0-0—0; Aguirre, 2-0—4; Burks, 0-0—0; Sauter, 0-0—0; Enderbury, 1-0—2; Linthicum, 0-2—2; Childress, 4-0—8. TOTALS: 14-4-6—46.
Daman, 1-0—2; Homan, 2-0—4; Dunbar, 1-3-0—11; Gilliand, 1-0—2; Lankenau, 4-1-4—15; Willeman, 1-0—2; Lauf, 8-2-1—23; Devaul, 0-0—0; Damman, 0-0—0; Schlade, 2-0—4. TOTALS: 20-6-5—63.
ROSSFORD    14    13    9    10    —46
NAPOLEON    16    19    15    13    —63
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:44

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