PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Adrian uses stifling defense to march by Rabbits, 67-37

Photo by Sam Thiel Wabasso’s Tony Franta goes towards the basket with the ball during the Rabbits’ game against the Adrian Dragons at the Holiday Hoops Tournament Thursday.

WABASSO – The Wabasso Rabbits fell behind early and couldn’t catch up, falling to the Adrian Dragons 67-37 Thursday night.

The Dragons jumped out to a quick lead to start, going up 10-3 in the opening minutes. Both teams struggled to maintain possession of the basketball, as multiple turnovers were earned as well.

Wabasso pulled within four points with 8:40 left in the first half, but Adrian used a 9-2 run to put the Dragons up 25-16. The Dragons later extended that run to 14-2 before the Rabbits ended their drought with a 3-pointer.

Wabasso couldn’t pull any closer in the half, as the Dragons went into the locker room with a 36-24 lead at the break.

The second half didn’t go much better for Wabasso, as Adrian quickly built a 22-point lead in the first few minutes. The Dragons maintained a 20-point advantage throughout the majority of the half before extending the lead to 58-29.

Adrian led by as much as 33 points late in the second half before earning the 30-point victory.

Wabasso coach Zack Qual said he was happy with the way his kids competed throughout the game despite the large deficit.

“We turned over the ball less today and I thought the kids protected the basketball better today; that was one of our goals,” said Qual. “For us right now, it’s about those little wins every day, even though we don’t have any actual wins but we’re trying to get better every day.”

Myles Zeug led the way for Wabasso with 16 points while Jacob Plaetz chipped in six. Zeug led in rebounds with 12 while Cooper and Colton Taylor each had two assists.

Zeug felt the offense did a good job of sharing the ball, especially in the first half.

“It all comes down to the team, we move the ball pretty effectively and that led us to some good offensive looks for us,” said Zeug.

Qual said it was challenging for his team to slow down the Dragon offense.

“We like to lock up man to man and they outstretched us. They’ve got some long and lanky kids and they made shots over the top of us,” said Qual. “They just made more baskets than we did. You’ve got to give Adrian credit; I believe they shot near 50 percent tonight and that’s hard to beat when someone does that.”

Qual said their biggest takeaway was the play of the younger players.

“We had some younger guys who have forced me to play them more just because of their effort and energy,” said Qual. “I’ve got some guys that made me force my hand a little bit to play us a little deeper; I think that’ll help us in the long run.”

Wabasso (0-6) will play Russell-Tyler-Ruthton on Saturday.

Adrian 67, Wabasso 37

Adrian    36 31 – 67

Wabasso     24 13 – 37

SCORING: Wabasso 14-62, 22.6 percent (Zeug 16; Plaetz 6; Swedzinski, Franta 4; Colton Taylor, Rabenberg 3; Frericks 1).

3-POINT FIELD GOALS: Wabasso 3-20, 15 percent (Plaetz 2; Kemp 1).

REBOUNDS: Wabasso 30 (Zeug 12; Frericks 7; Cooper Taylor 3; Plaetz, Franta 2; four with 1).

ASSISTS: Wabasso 5 (Colton Taylor, Cooper Taylor 2; Zeug 1).

STEALS: Wabasso 7 (Franta 3; four with 1).

BLOCKS: none.

FOULS: Wabasso 17.

TURNOVERS: Wabasso 13.