Boys Basketball to Play at Goedde Dec. 21

Van Wert Boys Basketball will play Delphos St. John’s on Friday, December 21, 2018 at the S.F. Goedde building with J.V. tipping off at 6:00 and Varsity to follow. Season tickets will be honored but with fewer seats available, seating is not guaranteed so arrive early. The gym will be divided in half on both sides with Delphos on the west half of the gym and Van Wert on the east. There will be no seating in the balcony area but standing room only. Presale tickets will be on sale in the High School Athletic Office on Wednesday and Thursday during normal school hours or until sold out. High School and Middle School students may purchase tickets during lunch, and Elementary School students may purchase tickets by submitting money to their homeroom teachers on Wednesday and Thursday. Good luck to all student athletes!


Lady Cougars fall to Spencerville 55-37

Inconsistent shooting by Van Wert, along with a pair of late quarter scoring runs by Spencerville plagued the Lady Cougars in a 55-37 non-conference loss to the Lady Bearcats on Monday.

Van Wert dropped to 1-4, while Spencerville improved to 5-0 on the season.


Sierra Shaffer (2) drives to the basket for two of her eight points against Spencerville. Photo courtesy of Jerry Mason

“We don’t shoot the ball well,” Van Wert head coach Rob Adams said. “If we’re not shooting the ball well we’re not going to win games.”

“I’ll have to watch the film, but that’s been our Achilles heel. You can’t fault the girls’ effort, but we’re just having mental lapses. We did show improvement tonight, but it’s not enough. We’re going to keep fighting, because that’s all we can do.”

Spencerville jumped out to a 12-2 first quarter lead before a trey by Jaylyn Rickard and a bucket by Jerica Huebner helped close the gap to 14-7 at the end of the period.

The Lady Bearcats pushed the lead to 19-9 at the 5:50 mark of the second quarter, before a free throw by Caylee Phillips and baskets Sierra Shaffer and Carly Smith made it a 19-14 game. However, Spencerville scored the final six points of the quarter on buckets by Alex Carter, Nelaya Burden and Emma Leis, giving the visitors a 25-14 halftime advantage. Burden went on to finish with a game high 18 points, while Leis finished with 10.

Carter went to work early in the third quarter, scoring two quick baskets to increase the lead to 29-14, and the 6-4 senior went on to tally 14 points. Later in the period, Van Wert trimmed the deficit to 37-28 on buckets by Smith, Shaffer and Allison Schaufelberger, but Spencerville responded with a 7-0 run, including a buzzer beating three pointer by Gillian Goecke to close the quarter.

The closest Van Wert could get in the fourth quarter was 13 points.

Abby Jackson led the Lady Cougars with nine points, followed by Shaffer’s eight.

“We ran out of gas and we were a little short on the bench,” Adams said. “Their three point shooting hurt us a little a bit. They knocked down some outside shots and we’re still trying to find it from the outside.”

Spencerville hit six treys in the game, while Van Wert hit two from beyond the arc, and the Lady Bearcats enjoyed a 30-23 rebounding advantage. The Lady Cougars committed just 10 turnovers, compared to 19 for Spencerville.

Van Wert missed the services of Reagan Priest, who’s out with a leg injury.

“You lose a senior who provides a spark and a little bit more length (it hurts), the coach explained. “But we can’t worry about who’s not playing, we have to worry about who’s in front of us, and it’s kind of a next girl up mentality.”

“Our motto going forward is how do we be tougher and how do we get over these mental lapses,” Adams added. “This team is resilient and I think we’ll be fine down the stretch, we just need to find some offense.”

Van Wert will play at Wapakoneta on Thursday.

Scoring summary:

Van Wert        7   7 14   9 – 37
Spencerville 14 11 19 11 – 55

Van Wert: Sierra Shaffer 4-0-8; Alexis Metz 1-0-3; Carly Smith 2-0-4; Jaylyn Rickard 3-0-7; Caylee Phillips 0-2-2; Jerica Huebner 1-0-2; Allison Schaufelberger 1-0-2; Abby Jackson 2-5-9

Spencerville: Gillian Goecke 2-0-6; Kelsey Shaffer 2-0-6; Abbygayle Satterfield 0-1-1; Nelaya Burden 6-4-18; Emma Leis 4-2-10; Alex Carter 7-0-14

JV: Spencerville 43-40

WBL bowling: Wapakoneta tops Van Wert

Van Wert fell to Wapakoneta in varsity and junior varsity bowling action at Olympic Lanes on Monday.

The varsity lost a tough match to the Redskins 2527-2388. The high scores of the night for the Cougars were shot by senior Troy Weaks, who finished with a 413 series (222, 191) and sophomore Ian Ellis, who rolled a 182 game.

The Cougars were down by 32 pins after the first game.

“The guys tried to make adjustments after the first game but just couldn’t find the right line to play,” head coach Seth Blackmore said. “Spares win matches and tonight we were unable to cover our spares. I have a lot of confidence in this team and expect great things this season.”

The JV lost 2357-1799. High scores came from Logan Goodwin (148) and Landon Nowak (142).

“This is a young team with a lot of new bowlers,” Blackmore said. “Over the last few months I’ve seen a lot of progress from our first year bowlers and I am excited to see what they have to offer this season.”

“Wapakoneta is a great team and has been for years. There’s a lot of pressure on the guys when it comes to making your spares and hitting your marks. We just need to keep our composure, relax and have fun. That’s something we will be working on before our WBL match against St. Marys.”

Van Wert will play St. Marys at Varsity Lanes at 12 p.m. on Saturday.

Parkway wins Lancer Invite; VW 2nd

Parkway won the Saturday’s Lancer Invitational, while short handed Van Wert finished second.

The Panthers netted 231 teams points, and were led by champions Preston Brown and Ethan Meyer. Brown won the 132 pound weight class with a pin of Delphos Jefferson’s Johnathon Brooks in 3:13, while Meyer won the 145 pound title with pin of Celina’s Jakob Poor in 1:32.

Other Parkway placers included Treya Conn (third, 106); Parker Mihm (second, 113), Isaac Grogg (third, 120); Abe Meyer (third, 126); Brendan Etzcorn (third, 138); Bryce Mihm (second, 152); Chas Neuenschwander (third, 160); Kaine Younker (second, 170) and Hayden Ridenhour (fifth, 182).

Van Wert, a late entry to the invitational and missing four varsity wrestlers, finished with 182 points.

Malachi Battle was the lone champion for the Cougars with a 4-1 decision over Hicksville’s Miciah Ankney, but Van Wert received second place finishes from Arnez Riley, Ryan Pratt, Thurston Miller and Eli Kline. Riley (120) was pinned in the championship round by Antwerp’s Aidan McAlexander in 2:13. Pratt (160) was pinned by Sidney Lehman Catholic’s Noah Young in 1:48, and Miller (195) was pinned in 20 seconds by Delphos Jefferson’s Kane Plescher. In the 286 pound championship match, Spencerville’s Michael Aldrich (285) pinned Kline in 1:05.

Other placers for Van Wert were Jacob Sealscott (fifth, 138); Devon West (fifth, 145); Macein Bigham (third, 152); Spencer Blue (fourth, 182) and Brice Waldon (fourth, 220).

Lincolnview’s finished third in the 220 pound weight class with a win over Van Wert’s Waldon, while Caleb Erickson went 1-2 in the 160 pound weight class before an injury forced him out of the tournament.

Final team standings:

Parkway 231
Van Wert 182
Spencerville 179
Celina 175.5
Lehman Catholic 140
Delphos Jefferson 130.5
Antwerp 114.5
Hicksville 81
Defiance 73
Ada 45
Lincolnview 25

Place, Bagley lead VW past Parkway

Nate Place scored 20 points, including a pair of key foul shots with 15 seconds left and Van Wert held off stubborn Parkway 56-50 in the home opener for the Cougars on Friday night.

Drew Bagley chipped in with 14 points, including four consecutive free throws with just over a minute left in the game as Van Wert improved to 1-1 on the season. The Panthers dropped to 2-1.

Van Wert’s Drew Bagley (35) attempts a shot while Parkway’s Caleb Kinney defends. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

“Parkway is going to win a lot of games this year,” Van Wert head coach Mark Bagley said of the Panthers. “They’re a good basketball team and they’re very hard to guard.”

“We gave them a lot of layups, but we kind of took control and it got to the point where we were going to the free throw line. They only had one team foul, and they had to foul a bunch and we finally got there.”

In addition to foul shots, Van Wert enjoyed late scoring surges in the first, second and third quarters. The Cougars found themselves down 10-7 with 1:36 left in the opening quarter but scored the final six points of the period, including two foul shots and a basket by Lawson Blackmore and a buzzer beater off an offensive rebound by Blake Henry at the end of the quarter.

The game was tied 19-19 with 3:38 left in the second quarter, then the Cougars closed the period on a 11-2 scoring run to grab a 30-19 halftime lead. Owen Treece started the run with an offensive rebound and basket, Bagley and LeTrey Williams each scored baskets, Henry scored, and Place drilled a trey. Parkway’s lone basket during the run came from Mason Baxter.

On the strength of four consecutive free throws by Caleb Kinney, the Panthers pulled to within four, 40-36, with two minutes left in the third quarter, but Place scored Van Wert’s final five points of the period, and the Cougars enjoyed a 45-37 advantage. Kinney went on to finish with 20 points.

Parkway again cut the margin to four, 49-45 with 4:02 left in the game, then neither team scored until Bagley connected on two foul shots at the 1:14 mark, and two more with 1:04 left to give Van Wert a 53-45 lead.

“We do all kinds of pressure free throw situations in practice,” the elder Bagley said.

“I thought we had some key possessions with three or four minutes left in the game,” Parkway head coach Doug Hughes said. “We had good looks at the basket, but we got fouled and didn’t hit our free throws, and we didn’t hit the shots we needed to beat a quality opponent like Van Wert.”

Kinney hit a basket with 33 seconds left, then Preston Shober, who finished with 10 points drained a trey with 20 seconds left to make it a 53-50 game, setting the stage for Place’s two late free throws and one by Blake Henry.

“Our kids did a great job of getting last week’s loss out of their minds,” Bagley said. “I was pleased with how they practiced and how they moved on.”

Parkway will host Crestview tonight, while Van Wert will open Western Buckeye League play at home against Wapakoneta on Friday.

In the junior varsity game, Ryan Hesse’s three pointer with five seconds left gave the Panthers a 35-32 win.

Scoring summary:

Van Wert 13 17 15 11 – 56
Parkway   10 21 16 13 – 50

Van Wert: Owen Treece 1-0-2; Nate Place 7-4-20; LeTrey Williams 2-0-4; Blake Henry 3-1-7; Lawson Blackmore 3-3-9; Drew Bagley 5-4-14

Parkway: Dylan Hughes 3-2-8; Mason Baxter 3-1-7; Jack Wehe 1-0-2; Preston Stober 4-1-10; Caleb Kinney 7-6-20; Caden Slusher 1-0-3

Van Wert bowlers post ‘W’ over Defiance

The Van Wert Cougars varsity and junior varsity teams defeated the Defiance Bulldogs in the season opener on Thursday.

The varsity won 2573-2518, and top scores of the night came from seniors Nathan Bidlack (217) and Ethan Brown (211). Sophomore Ian Ellis also rolled a 211, folowed by Nicholus McPhail (173). Also helping with the win: were seniors Derek Fanning, Troy Weaks and Collin Mosier and junior Jose Aguilar.

The junior varsity defeated the Bulldogs 2009-1607. Top scores of the night came from freshman Landon Nowak (156); sophomores Logan Goodwin (161) and Zachary Miller (145), and juniors Gabriel Siena (147) and Sam Cassidy (154). Also helping with the win were junior Dante Jones, sophomore Aidyn Sidle and freshmen David Gordan and Jim Tomlinson.

The Cougars will return to action at 4:30 today at Olympic Lanes against Wapakoneta.

Lady Cougars to hold food drive

The Van Wert Lady Cougars basketball team will host the Spencerville Bearcats on Monday, December 10, and the team is inviting all spectators to donate two canned goods to receive $1 off the admission price.

All donations will benefit the Van Wert Salvation Army. Regular tickets are $6 at the door with junior varsity game tipping off at 6 p.m.