After a lackluster first half, Waynesville picks things back up and blows out Glendale

After falling behind 20-14 in the first quarter, Waynesville used an explosive second half to storm out in front and win 80-53 in Springfield against Glendale.

Helping the Tigers to their 11th win (2-0 in Ozark conference) of the season was their great presence from outside the arc.

14 shots landed from 3-point range for Waynesville on Saturday including six from senior Jaron Alexander.

“I've been doing hours in the gym and so I feel confident in my shot,” Alexander said. “I was hitting them and my teammates were finding me open.”

Things weren't that easy in the first half for the Tigers, though.

After jumping out to a 12-3 lead to open the game, Glendale called a timeout to regroup.

And boy, did they.

The Falcons came off of the ropes swinging and put themselves ahead 18-12.

Head Coach Chris Pilz recalled the counterpunch and said he was just as shocked as his team.

“We got outscored 15-0,” Pilz said. “I should have taken a timeout at about 6-0.”

But Pilz ended up taking it after Glendale scored its tenth straight unanswered point. They would have five more before a Waynesville shot found the bottom of the net.

After the first quarter buzzer Glendale had a 20-14 lead.

The Tigers would start to wake up a little in the second and outscore the Falcons 22-12 to have a halftime lead of 36-32, but the big quarter would come in the third after Pilz had a halftime talk to his team.

He didn't exactly say what he told his team, but the results were phenomenal to say the least.

Waynesville pummeled Glendale 21-9 in the third.

“We were moving the ball more and hustling more,” Alexander said. “We got on the boards a lot more in the second half and we played more as a team.”

Coach Pilz tried to explain where he thought the problem was to start the game.

“I don't know if it's (Josh) Scott's, the athletic director, fault, my fault or the snow's fault, but that was our second game in three weeks,” Pilz said. “I didn't sleep much (Friday) night because (Glendale's coach) Brian McTague is an outstanding coach and he would have some strategy for us.”

The shots kept falling for the Tigers in the fourth and they nearly doubled up the Falcons in the final quarter 23-12.

“I knew we would be a little rusty, but Glendale is a good team,” Pilz said. “We are the sixth ranked team they have played. They've been right in a lot of those basketball games and they fought hard. So we knew this would be a very difficult game. Glendale is good and we may see them again in a couple of weeks and it won't be much fun seeing them again.”

Pilz said once his team figured out the game plan things started clicking.

“We've been stressing and trying to get them to understand that we want to play inside and out. Today I think we did that pretty well. Alexander had some transition threes and (Joe) Johnson had a transition three or two, but most of them came when someone drove into the paint and got piece of the paint and kicked it out.”

Also helping out, the coach said, is the fact his shooters are starting to understand when they need to shoot and when they need to pass the ball off to a teammate. Even though they still had a couple of bad shots Saturday, the Tigers' understanding of the game is improving and Pilz hopes that will keep making the team a lot better.

Alexander says he and his teammates plan on taking their team as far as they possibly can.

“Whether that's state or whatever, we feel like we can make a good run at it,” Alexander said.

Pilz said he has a good feeling about their chances.

“I've played a lot of basketball and coached a lot of basketball and I can probably count on one hand the number of good teams I thought I was on,” Pilz said. “This team has a chance to be one of those. They like hanging out with each other. I think eight or ten of them spent the night at Morgan's house last night.”

The boys' next game will show where the Tigers really are at.

Tuesday night they will travel to Rogersville and play Nixa before the Logan-Rogersville game against Branson.

Waynesville won't be back at home until February 7 when the team plays Joplin.