COLUMBUS GROVE — Jake Kuhn scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Eli Sinn added 10 points and seven rebounds to lead the Wayne Trace Raiders to a 64-55 win over Columbus Grove in the high school basketball opener Friday night.

The duo combined for 13 points in a pivotal third quarter for the Raiders, who turned a 29-24 halftime lead into a 48-32 advantage entering the final period.

“Jake is our go-to guy, and he played well tonight,” said Raider head coach Jim Linder. “He has worked very hard on improving his game and has gotten a little quicker down low. We are going to need him to play well and be aggressive, and he did that tonight.”

Kuhn had 10 points in the third quarter to help the Raiders grab control.

Wayne Trace opened the second half with consecutive baskets by Trae Sinn, Kuhn and Eli Sinn in widening the lead to 35-24. The Raiders also got a key defensive play by Nate Gerber, who took a charge from Columbus Grove’s Dane Selby to wipe out a Columbus Grove layup.

“I thought we got solid efforts from several guys,” Linder said. “We had people make plays in different areas and that is what it is going to take for us. This is a team effort and that is the kind of effort we need going forward.”

Following a basket by the Bulldogs’ Garrett Nemire, three straight Kuhn baskets and a Reid Miller bucket put Wayne Trace on top 43-26 and in control. The Raiders went on to post a 48-32 advantage entering the final quarter.

“To me, we kind of started to set the tone a little bit in the second quarter,” Linder said. “We were able to establish a little more of what we wanted to do and I think that kind of led into the third quarter.”

Despite the deficit, Columbus Grove made things interesting. The Bulldogs hit their first four 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter, getting a pair from Logan Malsam, along with one each by Blake Reynolds and Riley Schumacher, to slice the deficit to 55-44 with 4:44 remaining. After a pair of free throws from Wayne Trace’s Miller, the Bulldogs picked up two Malsam baskets and two Reynolds foul shots to cut the Raider lead to 57-50 with 3:06 left.

A Raider turnover led to a Reynolds basket that got Columbus Grove within 57-52 at the 2:28 mark. Sinn hit one of two charity tosses to push the Raider lead to 58-52 with 1:28 left before a Kuhn basket made it 60-52 Raiders. Columbus Grove again pulled within five, though, on a 3-pointer by Malsam that made it 60-55 with 40 seconds left.

Wayne Trace, though, closed out the game’s scoring from the free throw line.

“Overall, I am pretty pleased with the effort for game one,” said Jim Linder. “We see some areas that we need to improve at and we will get back to work next week.”

Josiah Linder also chipped in 10 points for Wayne Trace while posting 4 assists and grabbing 4 rebounds. Eli Sinn and Gerber both dished out 3 assists as well for the Raiders. Malsam topped Columbus Grove with 21 points and 10 rebounds while Reynolds added 14 points.

Wayne Trace returns to action on Friday when the Raiders host Bryan.

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WAYNE TRACE (64)

Eli Sinn 3-7 4-9 10, Reid Miller 1-2 4-7 6, Josh Kuhn 0-0 5-6 5, Nate Gerber 1-5 0-02, Trae Sinn 2-30-2 5, Josiah Linder 3-9 1-2 10, Adam Stoller 1-1 0-0 2, Jake Kuhn 10-16 4-10 24, Jordan Saylor 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 21-43 18-36 64

COLUMBUS GROVE (55)

Caleb Barrientes 1-5 0-0 3, Dylan Mason 0-0 0-0 0, Blake Reynolds 3-12 3-4 14, Grayson Flores 2-5 0-0 5, Logan Schroeder 0-3 0-0 0, Alex Schneider 0-3 0-1 0, Tayt Birnesser 2-6 0-2 6, Logan Maslam 7-13 3-5 21, Garrett Nemire 1-2 0-0 2, Dane Selby 0-0 0-0 0, Rileu Schumacher 1-1 1-2 4, Kurt Griffith 0-1 0-0 0; Totals 18-51 7-14 55

Wayne Trace 14 15 19 16 - 64

Columbus Grove 14 10 8 23 - 55

3-point field goals: WT 4-15 (Linder 3, TSinn), CG 12-40 (Maslam 4, Reynolds 3, Birnesser 2, Barrientes, Flores, Schumacher); Rebounds: WT 40 (JaKuhn 11), CG 31 (Maslam 10); Assists: WT 13 (Linder 4), CG 1 (Schroeder); Turnovers: WT 15, CG 13; JV Score: CG 60-49