RICHFIELD Wayne's boys basketball team wasn't happy when it reached the locker room at halftime of its first-round 1A tournament game against St. Joseph.
Despite leading by eight points, the Badgers felt they had been pushed around by Region 17's No. 4 seed during the first half.
My, oh my, how they went from being bullied to being the bully in the second half.
The Badgers dominated St. Joseph from the word "go" after halftime, and it translated into an easy opening-round win. Wayne held the Jayhawks to just six points in the second half yes, six and emerged with a 50-23 victory.
"I don't know what it was, (but) in the second half we got in there and we kind of got mad after the first half," said Wayne star senior Porter Ellett, who led all scorers with 16 points and added six steals.
"We kind of decided we weren't going to let them push us around as much."
Yeah, how about not at all?
That's the impression, anyway, that you'd get by watching the second half.
One thing that definitely helped spur Wayne's turnaround was a defensive change.
At halftime, Wayne switched the assignment of guarding St. Joseph's quick point guard from Ellett to junior Lance Peterson.
"Lance shut him down," said Ellett. "He's quick. I always think, (if) you shut down a team's leader, you can slow them down ... Lance can take credit for that."
Besides his second-half prowess on defense, Peterson finished with 14 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Wayne's second-half performance came in stark contrast to what they did early on. The Badgers didn't look comfortable at all early and trailed for most of the first quarter.
Ellett said he felt like Wayne played too timidly in the early going. However, the Badgers managed to settle down after that."It always helps," he said, "the style we play, by the second half you kind of wear them down."
Top performer: Guard Lance Peterson filled the box score with 14 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds for Wayne.
Key stat: Wayne held the Jayhawks to a paltry six second-half points.
Up next: Quarterfinals, Thursday, Wayne vs. Duchesne, 4 p.m.
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