Van Wert's Abby Jackson tries to gain control over the ball against St. Johns Thursday. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)
Van Wert's Abby Jackson tries to gain control over the ball against St. Johns Thursday. (DHI Media/Tina Eley)

VANWERT – The Van Wert Lady Cougars welcomed the Delphos St. Johns Lady Blue Jays to Van Wert High School on Thursday for non-conference girls high school basketball action. The Lady Cougars picked up the win with a 55-45 victory over Delphos St. Johns.

The Lady Jays had a brief lead in the first quarter as Halle Hays and Hannah Bockey both knocked down 3-pointers to give Delphos St. Johns a 6-5 lead. Buckets from Abby Jackson and Jerica Huebner helped Van Wert take the lead at 9-6.

Huebner got the final bucket of the first period to help Van Wert take a 11-7 advantage after one quarter.

After a Lady Cougars timeout with 5:51 left in the second quarter, Cassidy Meyers got back to back baskets to increase Van Wert lead to 17-9 and force St. Johns to burn a timeout at the 3:30 mark of the second quarter.

The Lady Jays ended the first half on a 8-2 run as Hannah Will and Ellie Csukker drained 3-pointers for St. Johns to cut the Van Wert lead to 19-17.

St. Johns cut the Lady Cougar lead to one at 21-20 in the starting stage of the third quarter as Taylor Zuber knocked down a trey for the Lady Jays.

Reagan Priest and Meyers combined for six points to increase Van Wert advantage to 27-22 in the third period. The Lady Jays closed out the third period on 10-6 after getting 3-pointers from Paige Gaynier and Will to cut the deficit to just 33-32 after third quarters.

The 32 minute basketball game came down to a five minute stretch as the Lady Cougars opened the final period with a 10-0 run that kept St. Johns off the scoreboard until the 3:17 mark of the fourth period.

Huebner and Caylee Phillips got four points each during the Lady Cougar run to start the fourth quarter, 43-32.

Van Wert went seven for eight over the final three minutes of the fourth quarter to help ice away the game for the Lady Cougars.

The final bucket of the game was a buzzer beating 3-pointer from Zuber for the Lady Jays but Van Wert picked up the 55-45 victory.

Both coaches mentioned the loss of Lady Jays starter Betty Vorst, who was unable to play in Thursday matchup. Van Wert improves to 2-7 on the season and the Lady Jays drop to 4-5 on the year.

“We were one of 13 in the paint in the first half and obviously we have to find a way to better in the paint because we aren’t going to get those calls," said Delphos St. Johns girls basketball coach Nate Stant. "So we have to work in practice to be better at finishing in the paint as a team."

“Tonight was our night we came out and did the things we needed to do as a team," said Van Wert girls basketball coach Rob Adams. "I thought we played really good defense. We gave up some of those 3-point shots, but we clogged up the lane really good. Total team effort for us tonight. That fourth quarter run is how you build a team any good team is going to have rough patches and rough moments. We have talked with the girls; it’s how you response in those tough moments.”

Delphos 45

Hannah Will 2-4 3-4 9, Paige Gaynier 5-16 1-5 13, Ellie Csukker 2-5 0-2 5, Abby Bonifas 2-5 0-1 4, Hannah Bockey 2-7 0-0 5, Taylor Zuber 1-7 0-0 3, Hannah Will 2-8 0-1 6, Aubrie Friemoth 0-1 0-0 0, Total: 16-53 4-13 45

Van Wert 55

Alexis Metz 2-6 0-0 6, Abby Jackson 3-5 2-2 8, Cassidy Myers 4-8 4-4 12, Caylee Phillips 4-8 2-2 10, Reagan Priest 5-13 3-4 13, Sierra Shaffer 1-3 0-0 2, Jamison Clouse 0-2 0-2 0, Jerica Huebner 1-5 2-4 4, Allison Schaufelberger 0-1 0-0 0 Total: 20-51 13-18 55

D 7 10 15 13 45

V 11 8 14 12 55

3-Pointers: Delphos 9-29 (Hays 2, Gaynier 2, Will 2, Zuber Bockey, Csukker), Van Wert 2-9 (Metz 2), Rebounds: Delphos 28 (Gaynier 7), Van Wert 42 (Jackson 8), Assists: Delphos 8 (Gaynier 4), Van Wert 8 (Meyers 4), Turnovers: Delphos 13, Van Wert 15 Fouls: Delphos 16, Van Wert 17 JV: 43-41 Van Wert