BRYAN - On a night where both teams struggled offensively to get into any sort of rhythm, host Bryan picked up its first victory over Wayne Trace since 1997 with a 45-40 win over the Raiders Friday night in Williams County.

However, the game was up for grabs late as Bryan held a 39-37 lead with the Golden Bears’ Connor Arthur headed to the free throw line.

Wayne Trace got what it wanted in an Arthur miss but Titus Rohrer outworked a pair of Raiders for the offensive rebound and old fashioned three point play for a 42-37 Bryan lead with 26 seconds left in the contest.

“That was a huge play,” stated Bryan head coach Brandon Fisher. “Titus went out and made a great play and didn’t foul and that was a big rebound for us.”

The Raiders did cut the lead back to 42-40 on a Nathan Gerber three-point field goal but Bryan answered with a pair of Caleb Zuver foul shots for a 44-40 advantage with 13 seconds left.

Connor Shirkey then wrapped up the scoring with a foul shot to give the Golden Bears their first win over Wayne Trace in 21 years.

“This is a big win for us,” Fisher continued. “Wayne Trace is a quality program and we have given them some good games but haven’t beaten them. One of the things we talked about tonight was building off of this going forward.”

The game was a defensive struggle all night long.

Wayne Trace led 13-9 after eight minutes of action as Reid Miller scored on a layup at the quarter buzzer to put the Raiders up by four points.

Quarter number two saw the two teams tied five teams, the last of which was 21-21, before another late score by Miller gave the Raiders a 23-21 lead.

Bryan then took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Raiders 11-6 in the period for a 32-29 advantage entering the final period.

The Golden Bears then added two Rohrer foul shots before a basket by Reese Jackson expanded the margin to 36-29.

Wayne Trace trimmed the deficit to 37-34 on a Gerber foul shot but Bryan always came up with an answer.

A Rohrer basket pushed the margin to 39-34 and the Golden Bears went on to coast to the victory.

Rohrer paced the Williams County squad with 11 points while Jackson chipped in ten. Connor Arthur had eight markers for this senior center.

Rohrer helped Bryan move to 2-1 on the season with 11 points, four bounds and two steals. Jackson chipped in ten for the Golden Bears.

Gerber topped the Raider efforts with 16 points while also posting four boards and four steals. Jace Vining chipped in eight markers for Wayne Trace.

Wayne Trace’s junior varsity improved to 2-0 with a 41-32 win over the Golden Bears.

Carter Baksa had 13 points and seven rebounds to lead the Raiders while Grayson McClure chipped in 11 points. Cale Crosby also added nine points while grabbing five rebounds for Wayne Trace.

Bryan was led by A.J. Martinez with nine points with Braiden Showalter and Craig Jackson posting six each.

The Raiders return to action this evening as they welcome in county rival Paulding for the annual rivalry matchup. Bryan hosts Holgate in non-league action Saturday.