Connor McCleery puts up a shot underneath during the Lancers’ 53-31 win over Fort Jennings on Friday night. McCleery was one of four Lancers in double figures. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Connor McCleery puts up a shot underneath during the Lancers’ 53-31 win over Fort Jennings on Friday night. McCleery was one of four Lancers in double figures. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)

By John Parent
Times Bulletin Sports Editor
MIDDLE POINT — Coming off a game in which the Lincolnview Lancers were out-rebounded in a game where they allowed Kalida to come-from-behind to beat them, Lancers head coach Brett Hammons knew his club had to crash the boards on Friday night when they hosted Fort Jennings.
Lincolnview came up with 39 total rebounds, including 19 on the offensive glass, while the Musketeers grabbed only 21 total boards. That advantage on the glass made all the difference in a 53-31 Lancer victory.
“After getting beat on the boards they way we did on Monday, we stressed (rebounding) coming in this week,” noted Hammons, whose team improved to 4-2 on the season. “I was proud of the guys. We discussed rebounding offensively and defensively and we got after it tonight.”
While the Lancers didn’t have the greatest of shooting nights, the team made up for its relative lack of offense with effort in getting to loose balls and on the defensive end of the court. Fort Jennings was held to just 3-for-21 shooting in the second half of the contest and accounted for a mere 12 points after halftime.

“We want to win the 50-50 game and I thought we did that tonight. We stress getting deflections, and we held a good-scoring team to 31 points. I’m just pleased with the effort,” added Hammons.
The Lancers jumped out to a quick 4-0 edge on a Kyle Williams jumper and a driving layup by fellow senior Connor McCleery. Though the Musketeers tied the game shortly thereafter, Williams knocked down a three-point field goal from the left wing to establish the Lancer lead at 7-4.
It was a lead that Lincolnview would not surrender.
Though the Musketeers pulled within two last in the opening period, Williams created some room to shoot and drained another three, this one coming on the right wing, just before the buzzer for a 12-7 score.
The second half featured sloppy play on both ends until Hayden Ludwig got himself involved in the action.
The Lancers seemed to catch Fort Jennings off guard when they jumped into some full-court pressure with just more than three minutes to play in the half. Sophomore guard Austin Leeth came away with a steal in the backcourt and fired a pass to Ludwig underneath for the hoop. On the ensuing in-bounds play, Ludwig came up with a steal of his own and scored inside once again.
Those two plays, along with a pair of McCleery three-point plays, helped the Lancers build a 26-12 lead before a 7-0 Fort Jennings run late in the period got the Musketeers back into the game, if only briefly. Eli Farmer’s buzzer-beating baseline jumper provided the 11-point halftime cushion for the Lancers.
Fort Jennings got a driving score from Austin Kehres and a triple from Nick Von Sossan, but Williams countered with a three of his own and the Lnacers closed the period on a 9-0 run, building a 42-25 lead after three. Ludwig once again made his presence felt, getting a pair of buckets in the final minute of the third, including a tip-in as the buzzer sounded. That was the last of seven offensive rebounds for Lincolnview in the quarter. Though the Lancers shot only 3-for-16 in the third, They were able to seal the game by creating extra possessions.
Fort Jennings was just 2-for-10 in the period and had a total of four boards.
“We want to be a tough team defensively that makes things difficult on opposing teams and I think we accomplished that goal tonight,” Hammons concluded.
Junior Justis Dowdy showed up with a strong final period for Lincolnview. Dowdy collected a pair of offensive rebounds and went to the free throw line where he made 3-of-4. He also drilled a three-pointer, giving him 11 points on the night. Williams led the Lancers with his 14 while Ludwig and McCleery each added 10.
The Lancers also came away with a victory in the junior varsity contest, taking a 39-26 final.
Score by quarters
Fort Jennings 7 12 6 6- 31
Lincolnview 12 18 12 11- 53
Fort Jennings (31) individual scoring
Von Sossan 2, Metzger 2, Wittler 2, Kehres 7, Wallenhost 1, Sickles 4, German 2, Grone 6, Berelsman 0, Ricker 0, Neidert 0
Lincolnview (53) individual scoring
Leeth 2, Williams 14, Dowdy 11, Adams 2, McCleery 10, Farmer 2, Ludwig 10, Miller 0, Friesner 3, Fraker 0, Thompson 0, Brant 0