Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WAVERLY — There are good shooters and then there’s Trey Robertson … a once-in-a-lifetime shooting talent that has continually made a habit of torching nets.
Robertson was the centerpiece to a Waverly team that finished 19-6 overall and won a sectional title — the program’s fourth straight sectional championship.
“Our season was a good one overall. We had some ups and downs this year,” Roberston said. “We were really young, playing three sophomores for a lot of minutes in the game towards the end of the year.”
Robertson was one of those sophomores, alongside fellow starter Will Futhey and backcourt teammate Mark Stulley. But when the Tigers needed a shot, their first look was to Robertson.
He ended the year averaging 21.5 points per game and collected SOC II and District 14 Player of the Year honors, as well as earning a third-team All-Ohio nod in Division II.
For those reasons, and many more, he’s been selected as SOSA’s tri-Boys Basketball Player of the Year — sharing the honor with Zane Trace’s Cam Evans and New Boston’s Kyle Sexton.
“As the season went on, I got more and more aggressive,” Robertson said. “When I started the season, I wasn’t shooting the ball great but as the season went on, I shot it better.”
It sounds simple. But it’s absolutely correct.
Take his performance on Jan. 7 for example. Heading into a contest at alway-hard-to-beat — and then state-ranked — Wheelersburg, Robertson loaded his weaponry and used every item in the arsenal.
He erupted for 36 points, leading the team to a 67-58 victory. It was the Pirates’ first regular season loss since Feb. 3, 2018 and the group’s first league loss since Jan. 19, 2018.
“Probably one of the most fun games I played in this season was at Wheelersburg,” Robertson said. “They are always tough to beat at home.”
Or take Waverly’s 38-34 win over Unioto on Feb. 22, where Robertson poured in 17 points. That night, the Tigers won a sectional championship and grabbed revenge for a 53-48 loss to the Shermans in a district championship game, back in 2018.
“We just hit the open guy and when I got open shots, I hit them,” he said after the win. “We got to where we wanted to be and we stuck it out.”
Robertson will undoubtedly be looking for many more big-time performances when his junior year takes flight and, if his normal gym routine is any indication of what’s next, an abundance of stellar things are to come.
But even with how much time and effort he already puts into basketball, he knows that he’ll have to take his game to the next level after the departure of two senior starters.
“Tanner Smallwood had a really good year and played big for us when needed,” Robertson said. “Michael Goodman played his role this year and both had a big role in our success this year. Next season, we will have everyone back but [those two] and they’ll be hard to replace.”
It’s a challenge he’s accepted, however.
This season, he not only grew as a scorer, but as a leader. And with Smallwood and Goodman gone, that attribute may be the most important trait he carries into the 2020-21 year.
“I think we should be good next year if everyone stays in the gym and works on their game,” Robertson said. “You can always expect us to play hard and fight. All of us sophomores have played together since third grade and I think that stuff shows.”