On Thursday night Waite hosted Rogers in City League action on what was Senior Night for the home Indians. The game originally scheduled for Friday night was moved to the night before ahead of the big boxing match of Toledo’s own Robert Easter Jr. taking place downtown at the Huntington Center.
From the opening tip it was Waite who looked the most ready to play and compete and that would be the theme for the majority of this ballgame. The combination inside for Waite of Ronnie Sanders and Keyshawn Leach was the difference early as they handled business in the paint with their energy and activity on the glass. They would open up to a 7-0 lead early and use that to carry a 13-9 lead after the 1st.
Waite’s leading scorer and the 2nd leading scorer in the City League, junior point guard Carl Banks, would go scoreless in the opening period, but would have 6 points in the second as Waite continued to hold onto its slight advantage. Vonte Middleton was the only Rogers player that could put the ball in the basket, and Waite would lead 25-19 at the half.
The second half would open to some sloppy play by both sides as turnovers plagued any up and down pace either side looked to play with. Both would shake off the hectic start and settle down into a more efficient style of play. Vonte Middleton and Dru Pettigrew would carry the burden of the scoring for Rogers in the quarter, each having 10 points at the quarter’s conclusion as Waite still clung to a slight 36-33 lead.
The scoring would pick up a little more in the final period for both sides. The talented backcourt of Mohammed Elmajzoub and Carl Banks would do the bulk of the damage for Waite, knocking down consecutive three pointers at one critical point in the fourth. Their play would balance out the scoring run by Rogers, spearheaded by senior guard TQ Belcher who had a string of six straight points. Waite would get some clutch free throws from Dominique Booth down the stretch that would all but seal it for the home team on Senior Night.
Waite would win by a final score of 58-48, with Carl Banks leading the way with 18 points followed by Keyshawn Leach with 14. Rogers was led by Vonte Middleton and Dru Pettigrew who finished with 12 points apiece in the loss.