Garfield overcomes turnovers to top Waterloo

By Colin Harris | Staff Writer Published:

Waterloo picked a bad time to go quiet.

The visiting Vikings scored just six points in the fourth quarter as Garfield -- at times, in spite of itself -- picked up a 55-48 Portage Trail Conference County Division victory.

Garfield (5-10, 5-5 PTC County) struggled all evening to hold on to the basketball, committing 30 turnovers, but the G-Men leaned on their bigs down the stretch as they erased a consistent deficit to escape with the win.

G-Men head coach Andy Olesky said Tuesday's win was not a pretty one, but he was happy about it, considering the tough luck his team has had of late -- including a heartbreaking 59-57 loss to Mogadore last Friday.

"It was an ugly game tonight, but sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Olesky said. "I told our guys to count their lucky stars because we've been on the other end of (bad outings) this season."

After Waterloo (1-15, 1-9) took the lead with a 7-1 run to close the first quarter, the Vikings led for the entire second and third quarters.

Collin Michalec (10 points) and Bobby Watson (5) helped the Vikings during the middle two periods as Waterloo kept the G-Men at arm's length with a consistent lead.

One other consistent on the night was Garfield forward Fred Maxey. The G-Men big man finished with 18 points to go along with 18 rebounds as no one on Waterloo's side had an answer for his play in the post.

"Fred has been absolutely dominant on the boards," Olesky said. "I always tell our kids that a don't get a defensive stop until you're able to get a defensive rebound and he's been doing a great job of that all season."

Maxey kept Garfield in the game, scoring all but one of his points during the first three quarters of play.

But while Maxie had a quiet final period, his teammates were there to pick up the slack.

Garfield began its rally at the end of the third period with a 5-0 run -- capped off by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Matt Pratt which cut Waterloo's lead to 42-40.

With momentum on its side, the fourth quarter belonged to Garfield. The G-Men outscored Waterloo 15-6 over the final eight minutes of play, led by six points from fellow Garfield big man Anthony Workman.

Garfield tied the game at 44-44 with 5:13 remaining in regulation on a Pratt bucket. The G-Men took their first lead since the first period one minute later on a hard layup in traffic by Tyler Cover to put his team up 46-44.

The G-Men outscored Waterloo 9-4 over the remainder of regulation to seal the victory.

Workman and Pratt joined Maxey in double figures for Garfield, each scoring 12 points in a winning effort.

One played finished in double figures for Waterloo as Michalec ended his night with 12 points. Michalec scored all but six of his team's 16 points during the second half.

Waterloo head coach Jason Wise said that he was at a loss to explain his team's low offensive output during the second half -- and in particular, the fourth quarter.

"We've been doing this all season where we play a good first half and then come out flat for the second," Wise said. "I actually thought this was the best four quarters we've played all season, but we still came out too flat (in the second half)."

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Email: charris@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9447

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