Lincolnview’s Chayten Overholt (11) pops a jumper over a Wayne Trace defender during Friday night’s Sectional final at Paulding High School. (Image courtesy of Kylee Mongold)
Lincolnview’s Chayten Overholt (11) pops a jumper over a Wayne Trace defender during Friday night’s Sectional final at Paulding High School. (Image courtesy of Kylee Mongold)
PAULDING — Wayne Trace posted its 24th sectional championship in school history and fifth consecutive title Friday night at Paulding High School as the Raiders posted a 60-52 victory over Lincolnview in Division IV action at the Jungle.

The Raiders sealed the game on both ends of the floor.

Defensively, Wayne Trace kept the Lancers off of the scoreboard for the final 4:57 of the contest after Lincolnview had taken a 52-51 lead on a Chayten Overholt 3-pointer. On the other end, the Raiders sealed any doubt at the free throw line going a perfect 17 of 17 at the foul line, including 7 of 7 in the final period.

Wayne Trace got a tremendous game from senior point guard Eli Sinn, who topped all scorers with 22 points while also posting 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. He was also very active in the Raider defense that kept Lincolnview from getting on track most of the night.

“Eli was very good tonight,” noted Raider head coach Jim Linder. “He just does so much for us, and you saw that tonight. He is a big key to what we do and he really stepped up and led this team tonight.”

Leading 52-51, the Lancers had a pair of chances to stretch the lead but were unable to do so. Those missed opportunities proved to be critical as Wayne Trace took the lead for good with 2:13 left in the contest on a Nate Gerber 3-point play that gave the Raiders a 54-52 advantage.

“We had a couple of chances there to widen the lead when we were up one but shots just didn’t fall for us,” commented Lincolnview head coach Brett Hammons. “But, I am proud of the effort of our kids. They came out and played very hard and gave it everything they had.”

Early on, it was the Lancers jumped in front as Lincolnview scored nine of the game’s first dozen points and led 14-9 midway through the opening quarter. However, Wayne Trace closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run and grabbed an 18-16 advantage after eight minutes of action.

Lincolnview rallied to take a 27-26 lead late in the second quarter on a Caden Ringwald 3-pointer but the Raiders again answered. A basket by Gerber along with a 3-pointer from Josiah Linder helped Wayne Trace take a 31-29 advantage at the midway point.

“This was just a good basketball game,” Linder stated. “Two good basketball teams that went back and forth at each other.”

Wayne Trace opened the third quarter with seven straight points, getting a pair of Jake Kuhn baskets and a 3-pointer by Gerber, to open a 38-29 lead. The Lancers, though, rallied. Tristin Miller hit a 3-pointer followed by an Ethan Kemler basket and two Ringwald free throws to get Lincolnview within 46-43 late in the period. Sinn again responded for Wayne Trace, though, with a 3-point play that put the Raiders on top 49-43 at the end of three periods.

The Raiders (18-5) then won the game down the stretch at the free throw line and on the boards. Wayne Trace picked up five offensive rebounds in the final quarter, getting two each by Eli Sinn and Kuhn as the Raiders took advantage to produce second chance points.

“We were able to get some big offensive rebounds there late in the game,” said Linder. “Jake (Kuhn) got two big ones that we scored off of and Eli picked up a couple as well.”

Nate Gerber added 19 points for Wayne Trace with Josiah Linder posting 9 and Jake Kuhn chipped in 8.

Lincolnview was paced by Chayten Overholt with 18 points and Caden Ringwald chipped in 15 points. Overholt also had 6 rebounds to top Lincolnview while Ethan Kemler and Zane Miller recorded 4 boards each.

“I am very, very proud of this group of seniors,” concluded Hammons. “This is the first group of kids that have been in the program for me from junior high through high school. They have worked extremely hard and put in a lot of time in the gym, and I am just so proud of them.”

Caden Ringwald, Chayten Overholt, Tristin Miller, Isiac Bowersock and Ethan Parsons all wore the Lancer uniform for the final time Friday night. The Lancers close their season with a record of 16-8.

Wayne Trace will now play Hicksville (19-5) in the district semifinals on Tuesday at Elida High School. The first semifinal game that evening will have Crestview (20-3) against Ottoville (18-5) followed by the Raiders and Aces.