Story By Kody Smith-The performances of senior duo Trevon Crowe and Gavin Gysin was too much to handle for the Wabash Apaches, as their combined 41 points paced the Peru Tigers to an 84-64 victory, their sixth TRC win of the season.
The Apaches would kick off the night with a bucket by Logan Vander Velden just ten seconds into the contest, which the 6’5” junior would answer with a three-ball from way downtown as well. However, a shot from inside the perimeter by Crowe and a triple by Gysin would tie things up at 5-5. Wabash senior Luke Mattern began his incredible night scoring the basketball with a three-pointer of his own in response to Gysin’s make from downtown. The three-point shootout would continue as well, Peru’s junior DJ Fuller would bury an attempt from beyond-the-arc as well. After 3:30 played, the two squads were all knotted up at 8-8. Mattern would nail two consecutive buckets, which was accompanied by a Major basket as well. The Apaches led 12-10, but this would be the last lead that Wabash held in the contest. Peru would hustle their way to a 9-0 run following the back-and-forth action to begin the first quarter, which would result in a 17-4 run in favor of the Tigers over the last four minutes played in the quarter. At the end of one, the Tigers held a firm 29-16 lead.
Wabash sophomore Trenton Daughtry would start the second quarter of play with his second made shot of the evening, but Peru seemed to have an answer to every Wabash bucket. Sophomore Michael Chandler would bury two free throws, his only two points of the contest, followed by a forced turnover by Crowe as he finds junior Josh Adejokun for the breakaway
layup. However, five consecutive points for Mattern, including his second triple of the night, would cut the deficit to just ten points, 33-23 with under five minutes to play in the second half. Mattern had 12 points at this point in the TRC matchup. Sophomore Elijah Vander Velden would convert on a three-point play to cut deeper into the deficit. Following a Tiger basket, Mattern drained another field goal from downtown, as the Tigers held only a six-point advantage, 35-29. Sophomore Daunte Majors would follow suit with a tough offensive board and a put back for the second chance points, his second bucket of the evening. A three-ball off the hands of Daughtry following an assist by sophomore Dereck Vogel would cut the Peru lead to just five, 37-32 with 2:27 left in the half. Wabash was clawing back, but a 6-0 run over the last two minutes of the first half, as Crowe would hit two big buckets to guide the Tigers to a 43-32 lead at halftime. Gysin led the Tiger scoring attack with 15 points, while Fuller added 12 points, and Crowe chipped in eight points. For the Apaches, Mattern’s three three-pointers contributed to 15 first half points, while Daughtry added seven.
Following a scoreless streak that took 1:30 off the clock, Peru’s Adejokun would conclude dry-spell with a two-point jumper, followed by a three-point conversion by Gysin. Gysin would pull up for two more consecutive jumpers, extending the Peru scoring run to 15-0 dating back to the second quarter. Wabash would get on the board after three minutes of play in the quarter, as sophomore Jared Holley hit one of his two field goals on the evening. The scoreboard read 52-34 in favor of the Tigers with 4:50 remaining. Following four consecutive points for Majors, Mattern would pull-up from just inside the perimeter for a deep corner two, giving him 17 points in the game. Consecutive buckets by junior Blake Edwards, Gysin, and Fuller would push the Peru lead to over twenty, as the Tigers held a 62-39 advantage with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter. An assist from Daughtry to junior Blake Gribben would answer the Peru bucket, but it was the Tigers who had the last laugh. As time ticked away, Adejokun would drive baseline, utilizing the inside-out mentality to find a wide open Gysin for three as time expired. Gysin had 27 points at this point in the game, pacing a commanding 65-41 lead for the Tigers heading into quarter number four.
Daughtry started the final quarter the same way he began the second, as he cruised into the lane hitting a layup. Daughtry finished the night with 15 points. Gysin would answer with two free throws, his final two points of the evening. He led all scorers with 29 points. Mattern was not far behind that total, as his fourth triple of the night fell in response to the Gysin free throws. Mattern would drill two more shots from downtown, tallying six three-pointers on the night in route to an impressive 28 points to conclude the regular season. Two buckets by the Tigers were one-upped by the Apaches, as Logan Vander Velden found the bottom of the bucket, while Daughtry would hit two consecutive shots following a Peru turnover. With 5:19 remaining in regulation, the Tigers held a 17-point advantage, 71-54. The two teams would trade blows again as time ran down in the contest, as Logan Vander Velden and Crowe would answer each other’s buckets. However, Peru still held an 82-68 lead over the Apaches with 1:30 remaining in the game. Vander Velden finished the night with 13 points, while Crowe finished with 12 points. With under 1:30 to play, the Peru seniors were pulled from the contest, leaving the court to a well-deserved standing ovation and a round of applause for their efforts as members of the Peru Tigers basketball team. The Tigers tacked on two more points, as freshman Treyden Curtis would bury a pair from the charity stripe to close out the night. The Tigers ended the three-game winning streak of the Apaches, with a final score of 84-68.
Wabash falls to 12-10 overall, with a 4-5 TRC record to finish the year. Wabash will face the winner of Oak Hill and Manchester on Friday, March 2 at 6:00 P.M in the second round of sectionals.