The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Jan. 15, 2021

VW Cougars can’t rally from early deficit

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

DEFIANCE — A nearly perfect first quarter by Defiance was enough to give the Bulldogs a 53-46 Western Buckeye League win over Van Wert on Tuesday night.

Defiance hit 10-of-12 shots and closed the opening period on a 9-0 run, giving the hosts a 23-10 lead. 6-5 sophomore forward Cayden Zachrich scored eight of his 11 points in the first quarter, including a pair of treys, while Isaac Schlatter came off the bench to add four of his 11 points.

Garrett Gunter (10) races to the basket during Tuesday night’s game against Defiance. The sophomore point guard finished the night with six points. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

“We just did not do things correctly and then after that we kind of righted the ship a little bit,” Van Wert head coach Ben Laudick said of the first quarter. “We challenged guys in a timeout, we challenged guys at halftime and they responded.”

Van Wert (0-7, 0-2 WBL) outscored Defiance (5-5, 2-1 WBL) in each of the three remaining quarters.

Owen Treece scored six points and Ethan Brown added four in the second quarter, and the Cougars trimmed the deficit to seven, 29-22, before Schlatter drained a triple to give the Bulldogs a 32-22 halftime lead.

Garrett Gunter and Nate Jackson each scored four points in the third quarter and Van Wert held Defiance to just nine points, but the Cougars trailed 41-32 entering the fourth quarter.

Van Wert stayed within striking distance during the fourth quarter, with Treece scoring seven of his game-high 19 points in the period and Jackson adding five of his 11. Defiance had a chance to ice the game, but missed the front end of two 1-and-1’s late in the quarter, before hitting 3-of-4 foul shots.

“We’re going to try to learn from the first quarter mistakes defensively, we’re going to take that effort in the second half and we have to work on some timing stuff with our offense,” Laudick said. “Part of that is we haven’t had enough time in the gym but we’re not going to use that as an excuse, because nobody on our schedule is going to feel sorry for us. If we can get some timing things shored up and get that consistent defensive effort, our best days are ahead of us.”

Van Wert will host state-ranked Ottawa-Glandorf (No. 4, Division III) on Friday.

Scoring summary

Defiance 23 10 9 12 – 53
Van Wert 10 12 10 14 – 46

Defiance: Bradyn Shaw 2-0-5; Tyler Fredrick 1-0-2; David Jimenez 1-0-2; Isaac Schallter 4-2-11; Joe Lammers 3-3-9; CJ Zachrich 5-2-13; Caden Zachrich 4-1-11

Van Wert: Ethan Brown 2-2-4; Owen Treece 7-2-19; Garrett Gunter 3-0-6; Aidan Pratt 3-0-6; Nathan Jackson 5-0-11; Ethan Rupert 1-0-2

JV: Defiance 47-46

POSTED: 01/12/21 at 11:18 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports