Boys basketball: Wapakoneta rallies to beat Jefferson

·4 min read

Nov. 27—WAPAKONETA — So much for Delphos Jefferson jumping out to a 20-2 lead.

In the end, it didn't matter.

Wapakoneta came from 18 down to post a 50-46 overtime victory over Jefferson on the opening night for boys high school basketball Friday at Wapakoneta.

Wapak sophomore Zac Niekamp led the comeback with 16 points and four 3-pointers, all in the second half.

Wapak's Braeden Goulet added 13 points and 13 rebounds. Goulet added six steals and several assists.

Kaden Siefring scored eight.

"It was less than an ideal start," Wapak coach Trey Elchert said. "In a lot of ways, it was Jefferson's night. They started three of three on threes and we couldn't throw the ball in the ocean. It was one of their nights and not one of ours in a lot of ways, but credit to our kids, we battled and found a way."

Added Goulet, "We wanted to get closer and closer each quarter and cut the lead down every quarter. We had to keep playing hard as a team."

Colin Bailey paced Jefferson with 27 points with three 3-pointers. Bailey had 14 points at the half.

Wapak's Zach Rogers gave Wapak its first lead of the game and the lead to stay on a driving layup to make it 43-41 with 3:22 left in overtime.

Wapak still led 48-46 with 18 seconds left when Jefferson called timeout and played for one shot.

Bailey drove the lane with 10 seconds left, but missed the runner. Goulet rebounded and fired an outlet pass.

Kaden Siefring scored on a fastbreak layup with three seconds left to finish the game off at 50-46.

Jefferson led 18-2 after the first quarter and 20-2 early in the second.

But the Wildcats couldn't put Wapak away.

Jefferson had 18 turnovers for the game, which kept the Redskins within range.

Wapak closed the lead to 24-14 at the half.

Niekamp sank two 3-pointers in the third quarter to get the Redskins within 33-26 after three.

Niekamp sank two more 3-pointers in the fourth quarter. His second 3-pointer tied the game at 39 with 3:38 to go.

"He (Niekamp) had a tremendous game and he can definitely shoot the ball," Elchert said. "That was a big stage and game one for the sophomore and his first varsity minutes and he led the charge to bring us back. ... He's a kid who can really shoot it."

Bailey sank two foul shots to give Jefferson a 41-39 lead with 3:38 to go.

Niekamp then hit an 8-foot floater in the lane to tie the game at 41 and force overtime.

"He's a great shooter," Goulet said of Niekamp. "We told him to keep shooting."

Jefferson came out and hit its first five shots, while Wapak missed its first five from the field.

The result was a very quick 12-0 lead for the Wildcats.

Bailey scored seven of his team's first 12 points on a pair of driving layups and a 3-pointer.

Wapak put several players on Bailey, with Rogers doing the bulk of the work in the second half.

"Colin is a tremendous player and this is the second year in a row he's had over 20 on us," Elchert said. "He's a really, really difficult guard. He's strong and is physical driver and he gets to the rim. I thought Zac did a good job on him and stayed in front of him."

After the first quarter, Jefferson was 7 of 8 from the field and 4 of 4 on 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Wapak started 1 of 12 from the field.

Jefferson outrebounded Wapak 25-24.

Jefferson shot 59 percent from the field, but only attempted 22 shots. It was 6 of 8 on 3-pointers.

Wapak shot 39 percent from the field and was 6 of 18 on 3-pointers.

But Wapak had only four turnovers on the night, 14 less than Jefferson.

"We found a way to win, when in a lot of ways it wasn't our night," Elchert said.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

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