Wayne Trace’s Colby Speice puts up a shot in a game against Ayersville Thursday evening at The Palace. The Raiders came away with a 58-35 win. (Times Bulletin/John Rindahl)
Wayne Trace’s Colby Speice puts up a shot in a game against Ayersville Thursday evening at The Palace. The Raiders came away with a 58-35 win. (Times Bulletin/John Rindahl)

BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER

Times Bulletin Business Manager

sports@timesbulletin.com

HAVILAND - For two quarters, Ayersville gave host Wayne Trace all it could handle in Green Meadows Conference boys basketball action at The Palace Thursday night.

However, the host Raiders blitzed the visiting Pilots 24-11 in the third quarter and pulled away for a 58-35 victory to stay tied atop the league standings.

Wayne Trace is now 10-1 overall and 3-0 in the conference, remaining tied with Edgerton for the GMC lead. Ayersville falls to 7-6 in all games and 1-2 in the league.

Holding a 24-20 lead at the break, it was all Raiders in the third.

Following a basket by Ayersville's Jacob Smith to open the second half scoring, Wayne Trace would answer. In three consecutive possessions, the Raiders got a Corbin Linder trey, a basket by Ryan Kortokrax and another Linder three-pointer to quickly push the margin to 32-22.

The Pilots trimmed the deficit to 34-27 after a trey from Trey Bauman and a bucket from Sigurd Rosok before the Raiders put the game away.

Wayne Trace responded with a ten-point run, getting baskets by Linder and Nick McClain along with a trey by Grady Gudakunst to widen the margin to 44-27. Buckets by Gudakunst and Kortokrax helped the Raiders close the period with a commanding 48-31 lead.

"We were able to hit some shots and I thought we played with more energy there in the third quarter," noted Raider head coach Jim Linder. "We came out and stepped up the intensity and that was a key for us. I think they were a little tired as well and we were able to take advantage."

Two Smith foul shots temporarily stopped the Raider run, pulling Ayersville within 48-33 early in the final period.

Wayne Trace, though, scored the next eight points to end any doubt in the outcome. Dalton Sinn had four points in the run with Kortokrax and Devin Wenzlick also scoring to give the Raiders a 56-33 lead.

Overall, it was a good team win," continued the Raider mentor. "We got good efforts again tonight and it is always good to get a win in league play. We still have a long way to go so we have to keep getting better."

Early on, it appeared Wayne Trace was going to break the game open right away.

Ignited by a steal and reverse dunk by Sinn, the Raiders scored the game's first eight points. However, Ayersville answered with nine straight markers with Bauman scoring seven of the nine.

Wayne Trace answered with two Sinn foul shots and a Gudakunst trey as the Raiders led 13-11 after eight minutes of action.

Kortokrax scored eight points in the second stanza as the Raiders posted a 24-20 lead at the break.

Despite not scoring, junior guard Colby Speice had another solid game with six assists and four steals to lead the Raiders in both categories. Senior guard Grady Gudakunst also picked up four steals on the night while adding eight points and four rebounds.

Kortokrax paced Wayne Trace in scoring with 16 points and eight rebounds with Sinn chipping in 14 markers four boards and five assists. Corbin Linder recorded 11 markers as well for the Raiders.

Smith topped the Pilots with a dozen markers while Trey Bauman added 11. Brayton Martin recorded four steals to lead Ayersville and Sigurd Rosok recorded five rebounds.

The junior varsity Raiders moved to 9-2 overall and 2-1 in the Green Meadows Conference with a 34-23 win over the Pilots.

Cole Shepherd and Justin Speice bucketed eight points each for Wayne Trace with David Sinn and Brock Worden chipping in six a piece. Worden also posted ten rebounds with Shepherd grabbing eight and Sinn getting six. Nick Glass had three steals for the red-white-and-blue while Sinn dished out three assists.

Wayne Trace will host Lima Shawnee in a non-league battle on Saturday.