FORT WAYNE — A stifling defense and extraordinary three point shooting led the Fort Carroll Chargers past visiting Van Wert 74-32 in boys’ non-conference basketball action on Saturday night.
The Chargers held the Cougars to 11 points in the first half, including just two in the second quarter. Offensively, Fort Carroll was 12-of-21 (57 percent) from beyond the three point arc.
Van Wert’s Jonathan Lee finds himself surrounded by Fort Carroll defenders. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent
Reece Swoverland scored the first six points of the game for Fort Carroll (6-2), before Jacoby Kelly hit a trey to get the Cougars on the scoreboard. From there, a triple and two more buckets gave the Chargers a 13-3 advantage. Nate Place, Thane Cowan and Blake Henry each scored baskets to climb to within four, but a pair of free throws and a three-pointer by Riley Perlich closed the scoring and gave Fort Carroll an 18-9 lead.
Kelly scored Van Wert’s only basket of the second quarter, and that came with less then 90 seconds left in the period. Meanwhile, Daniel Mckeeman and David Ejah each hit treys to open the scoring for the Chargers. Mckeeman and Fish also hit conventional baskets and Perlich drained a pair of foul shots to give Fort Carroll a 19 point lead at halftime.
15 of Fort Carroll’s 21 third quarter points came from three point range. Mckeeman hit three of those treys, while Arius Jones and Blake Pocock drained the others. Owen Treece scored all five of his points in the quarter, Drew Bagley scored and Blake Henry added a pair of free throws.
Armed with a 51-23 lead to begin the final quarter, two more triples and a slam dunk by Ejah gave Fort Carroll a 59-23 advantage. Jacoby Kelly hit a technical shot after the dunk, Bagley hit a three pointer and Place added a bucket to make it 63-29.
The final half of the fourth quarter was mainly played by subs from both sides, with Cowan hitting a basket and Clayton Proffitt connecting on a free throw to round out scoring for Van Wert.
Place led Van Wert with seven points, Kelly had six, and Treece and Bagley each finished with five.
As a team, the Cougars finished the game 12-of-37 from the floor (32.4 percent) and 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) from the free throw line. Van Wert also finished with 17 turnovers and 11 rebounds.
Mckeeman led all scorers with 14, Swoverland had 13 and Ajah finished with 10.
The Chargers ended the night 29-of-53 (54.7 percent) from the floor and 4-of-5 from the foul line, while finishing with 26 rebounds and committing just seven turnovers.
Van Wert (3-5, 0-2 WBL) will travel to Ottawa-Glandorf on Friday and will host Marion Local on Saturday.
Fort Carroll 18 12 21 23 – 74
Van Wert 9 2 12 9 – 32
Fort Carroll: Daniel Mckeeman 5-0-14; Arius Jones 3-0-7; David Ejah 4-0-10; Riley Perlich 3-4-7; Blake Pocock 1-0-3; Reece Swoverland 6-0-13; Nathan Fish 3-0-8; Preston Shearer 4-0-8; Hunter Perlich 1-0-2
Van Wert: Nate Place 3-0-7; Jacoby Kelly 2-1-6; Blake Henry 2-2-4; Drew Bagley 2-0-5; Clayton Proffitt 0-1-1; Thane Cowan 2-0-4
JV: Van Wert 41-39