By Jeff Motz
Lincoln Prep Sports.com
WAVERLY---All sorts of adversity surrounded the Waverly boys basketball team Friday night. First of all , they're playing their home games away from their gym since the floor suffered water damage from what apparently turns out to be a leaky pipe in their drinking water system. Secondly, injuries have plagued a key player. Third, and highly important, they did not have the services of head coach Gary Nunnally.
Despite that, the Class B No. 7 Vikings put that aside and bombarded Class C-1 Ashland-Greenwood 72-35 before an estimated 700 people at the Waverly Middle School gym.
Due to NSAA rules, Nunnally was serving a one-game suspension after getting ejected in the first half of the Platteview game last Saturday night, which the Vikings won in overtime.
In the game with Ashland-Greenwood, Waverly gained control early. Sophomore guard Nigel Stephenson, who finished with a game-high 18 points, hit the first three-pointer of the game on the opening possession.
The Vikings (3-2) had a 11-6 lead after James Doran hit a free throw with 46 seconds left in the first quarter. Two possessions later, Connor Sapp added a basket for Ashland-Greenwood to trim the lead down to three. Derek Hilt, who scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half, connected on back to back threes in the final 30 seconds of the quarter to give Waverly a 17-8 lead.
Waverly senior guard Tyler Evans, who missed the last two games because of an ankle injury, helped pace the Vikings the rest of the first half, scoring six of his 15 points in the 2nd quarter.
Hilt added another three, layup and free throw, while Stephenson stole an inbounds pass and raced for a breakaway layup to help the Vikings to a 34-17 halftime lead.
Waverly outscored Ashland-Greenwood 28-8 in the second half to seal the win. Sapp led the Bluejays (1-3) with 12 points.