The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Cougars lose another close one, to Elida

DAVE MOSIER/independent sports

ELIDA — Poor free throw shooting again doomed the Van Wert Cougars, who outshot Elida otherwise, but couldn’t make foul shots when it mattered in a heartbreaking 64-61 Western Buckeye League road loss to the Bulldogs on Friday.

The Cougars, who again had the services of top-scorer Jacoby Kelly, took a 15-13 first-quarter lead and maintained that through the second quarter, when both teams scored 10 points for a 25-23 halftime score. The second half got away from Van Wert, though, as the Bulldogs took a one-point lead, 45-44, at the three-quarter mark and kept out in front in the final stanza by outscoring the Cougars 19-17 in the period.

Cougar head logoKelly led a balanced Van Wert offense with 21 points, included a 3-for-4 night at the line. The Cougars also had three other players in double figures, including Blake Henry, who scored 13 points; Nate Place, with 12 points; and Nick Gutierrez, who had 10 points on the night.

Dan Unruh led Elida with 20 points, while Drew Sarno added 16 points for the Bulldogs, including a 6-for-9 night at the free-throw line.

Van Wert was 24 of 48 from the field (50 percent), but also made just half of its free throws (7 of 14) on the night. The Bulldogs shot 23 of 53 from the field (43.4 percent), but were 11 of 14 from the line (78.6 percent).

Both teams had 23 rebounds, while the Cougars turned the ball over nine times, versus 11 for Elida.

The Van Wert junior varsity team also lost a heartbreaker, 40-39, to the Bulldog JVs. Brice Klausing scored 11 points for the Cougars, while Joey Schaufelberger added 10 points in a losing effort. Elida’s Matt Fish led all scorers with 18 points.

Van Wert will travel to Coldwater tonight to play the Cavaliers in a non-conference game.

Box score:

Van Wert 15 10 19 17—61

Elida       13 10 22 19—64

Van Wert (61) — Jacoby Kelly 21, Nate Place 12, Nick Gutierrez 10, Blake Henry 13, Drew Bagley 5. Totals: 24 7-14 61.

Elida (64) Drew Sarno 16, Dante Johnson 8, Brice Stinson 7, Skyler Smith 6, Dan Unruh 20, Isaac McAdams 4, Trey Harris 3. Totals: 23 11-

POSTED: 01/28/17 at 9:48 am. FILED UNDER: Sports