It would have been easy for Wayne to have a letdown after beating mighty Findlay Prep earlier this week. But against Centerville? No chance.
“It’s a different level competition but we like to look at it like playing every game is a state championship,” explained Wayne senior Xeyrius Williams following a thorough 66-45 deflating of visiting Centerville on Friday night before a capacity crowd of about 2,000. “We go out there and give it our all; there’s no letdown.”
That’s a good thing, because Wayne (11-2) has yet another season-defining game today against top-ranked (Division I) Gahanna Lincoln in the Ohio Scholastic Classic at Ohio Dominican University. Joining Wayne in the ODU multiple matchups are Wilmington and Dunbar.
Both Wayne and Gahanna posted Flyin’ to the Hoop wins earlier this week.
Any other season and this would have been a dogfight to the end. Instead, like so many of their other blowouts, the Warriors took command early, went often to their bench and sent the Elks (12-2) home searching for answers.
This was no trap game for Wayne, which won its seventh straight.
“They’re too good to let that happen, especially against us,” Centerville coach Brook Cupps said. “They’re a tough assignment. It’s not like we’re packing the bags and calling it a year. We’re going to figure out a way to get better and get in a position to compete with those guys. If you want to do things in the postseason you’re going to have to handle them somehow.”
Trey Landers led the streaking Warriors with 14 points and 5 rebounds. Williams, a University of Dayton signee, added 13 points and 8 rebounds. D’Mitrik Trice also was good for 13 points and freshman L’Christian Smith added 10 points in yet another balanced Warriors attack.
Centerville was paced by 9 points each from Clayton Schmerber and Joey Weingartner and had a five-game win streak snapped.
The trio of tough assignments was exactly what Wayne coach Travis Trice wanted for the Warriors.
“It’s a huge week,” he said. “This is one of those times, in your mind you’re worried about a letdown. The schedule actually worked out to our benefit. We knew we were playing for a lot of different things like seeding and first place in the conference. And it’s a rivalry game. We responded well.”