By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
HAVILAND — It wasn’t pretty, but Wayne Trace head coach Jim Linder had to be satisfied to get the victory.
The Raiders were sluggish and never seemed to get into any rhythm offensively but the red-white-and-blue used a solid defensive effort to post a 45-34 victory over Napoleon Saturday night at the ‘Palace.’
Wayne Trace moved to 4-1 on the season with the win while the Wildcats saw a four-game winning streak snapped in falling to 4-5.
Napoleon controlled the opening quarter, using Anson Lankenau’s second three-point field goal to take a 6-3 advantage.
After T.J. Blackmore hit one of two foul shots for Wayne Trace, the Wildcats picked up a three-pointer and a basket from Blake Dunbar to take an 11-6 lead after eight minutes of action.
“We struggled offensively tonight,” noted Raider head coach Jim Linder. “I thought we got better as the night went on, but we really never established anything early.”
While Wayne Trace was unable to establish itself offensively in the first quarter, the Wildcats had even more trouble in the second quarter.
Napoleon missed all seven field goal attempts in the period and missed three free throws as well as the Wildcats were blanked on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, the Raiders totaled 13 points in the period in opening a 19-11 halftime advantage. Devin Wenzlick and Jake Arend each had a pair of baskets for the red-white-and-blue in the quarter.
“Defensively, I thought our effort was very good,” Linder continued. “They had some very good shooters and, for the most part, we were able to limit the amount of good looks they got.”
Napoleon answered with the first six points of the third quarter, trimming the deficit to 19-17 following two Lankenau foul shots.
A basket by Corbin Linder, followed by an Ethan Linder bucket and a Corbin Linder trey, helped the Raiders open a 26-20 advantage after three quarters.
Arend and Wenzlick started the fourth quarter with consecutive baskets to push the lead to 30-20 and, from that point on, Wayne Trace settled in.
Napoleon got as close as 30-24 after a Lankenau bucket but the Wildcats couldn’t cut into the deficit any further. The Raiders answered with six straight points, culminated by an Ethan Linder three-point play, to grab a 36-24 lead and cruised from there.
“I thought we played hard tonight,” added the Raider mentor. “We were able to get contributions from a lot of different players and they are giving us quality minutes. That is something that we have to continue to develop.”
Corbin Linder led the Raider efforts with 15 points while Wenzlick and Ethan Linder added seven. Arend and Blackmore also chipped in six points each. Ethan Linder picked up seven rebounds to top Wayne Trace and David Sinn grabbed five rebounds. Ethan Linder also dished out three assists.
Lankenau topped the Wildcats with a dozen points while Michael Gilliland chipped in eight. Dunbar picked up six rebounds for Napoleon and Gilliland had three assists.
The Wildcat junior varsity handed Wayne Trace its first loss as Napoleon recorded a 39-34 win.
Brett Lauf had 13 points for the visitors and Logan Peckinpaugh had nine. Derek Gerken had four rebounds and Lauf had four assists.
Cole Shepherd led the Raiders with nine points followed by Gabe Wobler with seven and Luke Miller posted six. Shepherd also recorded six rebounds while Justin Speice picked up five. Miller picked up five steals.
Wayne Trace falls to 4-1 on the season.
The Raiders will open Green Meadows Conference action on Thursday as they host Holgate. Wayne Trace welcomes in Delphos Jefferson on Saturday for a non-league battle.
Score by quarters
Napoleon 11 0 9 14- 34
Wayne Trace 6 13 7 19- 45
Napoleon (34) individual scoring
Lauf 1, Gilliland 8, Dunbar 6, Daman 0, Kuhlman 1, Lankenau 12, Williman 3, DeVaul 0, Ferguson 0, Schlade 3
Wayne Trace (45) individual scoring
E. Linder 7, C. Speice 0, Shepherd 0, C. Linder 15, Wenzlick 7, Sinn 4, Blackmore 6, J. Speice 0