By A.J. Atkinson | Correspondent
The Mogadore Wildcats remained just one game back of front-running Windham in the Portage Trail Conference County Division with Tuesday's dominating 72-33 victory over the visiting Waterloo Vikings.
Just one game from losing to Windham, the Wildcats responded by jumping out to a sizable first-quarter lead that they continued to build upon.
The Wildcats (7-2, 5-1 PTC County) used a fast-paced offense with multiple players cutting to the basket shredding the defense of Waterloo (1-9, 1-4 PTC County) Waterloo's defense.
Mogadore's forwards created much of Waterloo's defensive hardships, primarily because of their size. Wildcats 6-foot-3 forward Hunter Van Camp finished with 12 points, while 6-foot-4 forward Kasey Beard led the Wildcats with 17 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
At 1:20 into the fourth quarter and up 57-28, Mogadore head coach Russ Swartz pulled his starters.
By the end of the fourth quarter, the bench scored 15 of the Mogadore's 18 final-quarter points, with four of the field goals coming from behind the 3-point line.
In total, Mogadore made nine 3-pointers to Waterloo's one. Eight of the nine were made by players off Mogadore's bench.
"You can't simulate game conditions (as well in a practice)," Swartz said. "Our bench often picks us up. Sometimes our bench increases our energy and provides a scoring boost."
Swartz further explained how he wants his bench to ignore the deficit and play like it is always a close game, so that they are prepared for when they are needed in tight games in the future.
Waterloo head coach Jason Wise said he was happy his team played its hardest the entire game, but that didn't leave him without frustrations.
"It's a broken record with us," Wise said. "We can't score, and we need to do a better job creating stops on defense."
Wise said he just wants his team to be able to compete.
"We have to learn how to stay positive throughout the game," Wise said. "We have yet to finish a game within double figures. Even our win was by double figures."