After winning one of the most exciting matches of the season, sophomore Connor Runyon gets some well-earned congratulations and a low 10 from Wayne head wrestling coach Joe Nekvinda, right. Photo by Jason Selby
HEAD COACH JOE NEKVINDA SEES MORE SUCCESS AS NUMBERS INCREASE, BUILDING THE FOUNDATION ON YOUNG ATHLETES SUCH AS BROTHERS BLAYDE AND STETSON BAKER
Normally, recruiting is a function reserved for college coaches. Not so for Wayne wrestling head coach Joe Nekvinda and assistant coach Joel Petty, who must convince student-athletes milling in the hallways that wrestling is the sport for them.
“You’ve got to be a recruiter, especially when it was a program that was really down,” Nekvinda said. “When you inherit a program that has very few kids and doesn’t have a lot of success, the first order of business is to get bodies. Then you can worry about improvement.
“The guys are going in the right direction—to go from having four kids out a few years ago, winning one dual for four years in a row, to winning five duals [this year] and several that we lost by only five or six points." Mar 2, 2015, 09:09
Bronson Carpenter, right, covers his face after being poked in the eye, while Blake Housley pulls down the board before going back up for two points. The Falcons beat the Mohawks 79-66. Photo by Jason Selby
DOWN BY SIX POINTS AT THE BREAK, FALCONS EXPLODE FOR 46 POINTS IN SECOND HALF
Receiving an opportunity to host a first-round playoff matchup against Moravia, the Falcon boys came out of the locker room lethargic, falling behind the Mohawks by 8 points in the first half, before trailing 39-33 at the break.
Wayne used a full-court press for most of the game, which Moravia broke during the first half. Ramping up the defensive intensity after halftime, the Falcons racked up 19 steals, pulling away in the end 79-66.
Every starter recorded 3 steals, with Dakota Lovett and Blake Moore both getting 2 steals off of the bench. Wayne also outrebounded Moravia 40-32. Feb 23, 2015, 09:40
Tanner Bennett takes it strong to the bucket against Moravia before hitting a tough shot. Against Melcher-Dallas, Bennett scored a career-high 11 points for Wayne. Photo by Jason Selby
SHOOT 60 PERCENT FROM THE FIELD TO DOWN THE SAINTS 100-68
Despite 43 points on 20 field goals from Melcher-Dallas athlete Chase Wetterling, the Wayne boys beat the Saints 100-68 on Fri., Feb. 13.
It was a two-man show for Melcher-Dallas, with senior Brock Breese also scoring 12 points with 24 rebounds.
The Falcons were an outstanding 60 percent from the field, hitting 41 of 68 shots, including 11 of 26 from downtown, while making it to the century mark.
Four of those three-pointers came from sophomore reserve Alex Chapman, who score a career-high 14 points with 4 steals and 2 rebounds.
Trent Moore recorded another outstanding game, hitting 11 of 13 shots from the field, including 3 of 4 from three-point range for a team-high 26 points. He also pulled down 6 rebounds with 4 steals and 2 assists. Feb 23, 2015, 09:31
Trent Moore hits a tough jumper against the Cardinals. Photo by Jason Selby
PLAYING BETTER THAN THEIR RECORD, YOUNG FALCONS PUT A SCARE INTO 20-2 CARDINALS BEFORE FALLING 71-48; LADY FALCONS FINISH SEASON IN DISTRICTS AT MURRAY, 55-40
Early in Tuesday night’s game, it was difficult to tell who had only two losses on the season. Wayne was a Cade Christian three-point shot away from taking a 10-point lead early in the first half. Despite a run by Central Decatur, the Falcons continued fighting, down by only 6 after two quarters. But the talented Cardinals came out of halftime determined to put the young Falcons away, winning 71-48. Feb 16, 2015, 13:19
Tylar Kunzie passes the basketball inside to Aryanna Lanier against Southeast Warren. Photo by Jason Selby
Though the varsity Falcons led Southeast Warren last Tuesday night after the first, second and third quarters, a fourth-quarter slump and defensive breakdown allowed the Warhawks to come back from a 4-point halftime deficit to steal a 68-56 victory on the road.
Cold shooting was also the story for the Lady Falcons, who lost 50-30 to Southeast Warren, though down only 4 points at halftime. It dropped the girls’ record to 8-11. The score allowed some future stars at Wayne to see more action. Feb 9, 2015, 12:39