HAVILAND - Senior Eli Sinn scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in overtime to lead the Wayne Trace Raiders to a Senior Night 52-49 victory over visiting Kalida Saturday evening at the Palace.

The Raiders also got a big fourth quarter from sophomore Nate Gerber, with a trio of three-pointers in the period, to rally from a 33-26 deficit after three quarters.

It was a game where Wayne Trace head coach Jim Linder didn’t know how much energy the Raiders would have coming off of a tough league game Friday night at Ayersville. But Linder was pleased with the way his Raiders battled throughout before winning it in extra time.

“You never know what you are going to have left after playing a tough league game on Friday and it was our third game of the week,” Linder stated. “But I thought Eli really stepped up for us there late in the game and he showed what kind of leader he is. Nate also hit some big shots in the fourth quarter that got us back in the game.”

Trailing 33-26 at the end of three periods, a Gerber three-pointer was answered by a pair of free throws from Kalida’s Trevor Lambert.

After the two teams traded baskets, back-to-back Gerber three-pointers tied the game for the first time at 37-37 with 4:10 left in regulation. A Lambert bucket quickly gave the Wildcats a 39-37 advantage but Wayne Trace would answer, getting a Jake Kuhn basket at the 2:36 mark to even the game at 39-39 with 2:36 remaining. Neither team would score again in regulation, with Kalida holding the ball for most of the final 90 seconds before a late shot attempt was off the mark as the game went into extra time.

“I thought we did a nice job defensively there late in the fourth quarter,” added the Raider mentor. “We were able to disrupt some things and I think that gave us a little bit of a lift going into overtime. It was a physical game and it always is with Kalida. But I am proud of the way our guys continued to battle.”

In the overtime, it was all Sinn for Wayne Trace. The senior guard dished off to Kuhn for the Raiders’ first lead of the night at 41-39 with 3:14 on the clock but Kalida quickly responded, getting an Owen Recker three-pointer to go on top 42-41. However, it would be the Wildcats’ final lead of the night.

A Sinn three-point play put Wayne Trace in front 44-42 at the 2:35 mark before Lambert was fouled on the other end, hitting one of two foul shots to pull Kalida within 44-43. Sinn then again answered for the Raiders, hitting a pull-up jumper to make it 46-43 Wayne Trace with 2:10 remaining.




After a Wildcat miss, the Raider point guard was fouled and hit a pair of foul shots to extend the margin to 48-43 with 1:25 left.

Kalida would answer, getting a three-point play from Luke Erhart to trim the deficit to 48-46 with 1:05 remaining. Following a pair of Raider timeouts, Sinn was fouled and connected on two free throws with 24 seconds on the lock, stretching the lead to 50-46. The Raider senior added one more foul shot at the 15 second mark, pushing Wayne Trace’s advantage to 51-46.

However, the Wildcats weren’t done. Braden Decker connected from three-point land with two seconds remaining to trim the deficit to 51-49 before a Kalida timeout. Sinn was immediately fouled on the inbounds pass to go back to the free throw line, where the Raider senior hit the second of two shots to make it 52-49.

Erhart then almost sent the game into a second extra session, tossing a ¾ court attempt that bounced off the rim to wrap up a three-point Wayne Trace win.

“It is always a good game with Kalida,” continued the Raider head coach. “It is a game that prepares you for the tournament.”

The Wildcats led all of the first three quarters. Kalida scored seven of the game’s first eight points and went on to post a 14-7 advantage after eight minutes of action. With the Wildcats leading 22-13 midway through the second quarter, the Raiders scored eight straight points to end the first half in cutting the deficit to 22-21 at the intermission. However, Kalida then widened the margin back to 33-26 after three periods.

Sinn led all scorers with 18 points in the contest, adding four assists as well. Gerber bucketed 15 points for the Raiders and Josiah Linder chipped in ten for Wayne Trace, which improves to 15-3 on the season.

Recker had 14 and Lambert added 11 for the Wildcats, who fall to 13-4 on the year. Lambert also had a team high seven rebounds and four assists for Kalida.

Kalida did win the junior varsity contest, posting a 41-31 win.

Wayne Trace (4-1 in GMC) will host Hicksville (15-2, 5-0 GMC) on Friday with first place on the line in the Green Meadows Conference. The Raiders then return to the court on Saturday to visit rival Crestview (14-3), which is riding a 10-game winning streak.