David Sinn takes the ball up on under the basket for Wayne Trace during the Raiders’ sectional final versus Continental on Friday. Sinn scored 10 points in the win. (Times Bulletin/Jim Bowers)
David Sinn takes the ball up on under the basket for Wayne Trace during the Raiders’ sectional final versus Continental on Friday. Sinn scored 10 points in the win. (Times Bulletin/Jim Bowers)
By Kevin Wannemacher
Times Bulletin Business Manager
PAULDING — Devin Wenzlick scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Colby Speice added seven points, four boards and eight assists to lead the Wayne Trace Raiders to a 58-40 win over Continental in the Division IV boys sectional at Paulding High School on Friday night.
It was a sluggish performance for the red-white-and-blue, which was victorious despite only two points from leading scorer Corbin Linder and six by freshman point guard Ethan Linder. It was a clutch performance by the trio of Raider seniors, which also saw senior forward T.J. Blackmore add seven points and five rebounds.
“Our seniors really stepped up for us tonight,” noted Wayne Trace head coach Jim Linder. “Devin went to the boards and also scored some big baskets for us, especially in the first half. Colby saw the floor well and distributed the ball. T.J. came in and got some key boards. They all came up big for us.”
Wayne Trace outrebounded the Pirates 32-25 on the night, helping to overcome a poor shooting night that saw the red-white-and-blue miss all 11 three-point field goal attempts. However, the Raiders connected on 22 of 32 shots inside the arc (69 percent).

“We were able to get some good looks inside the paint and that was a big difference for us,” continued the Raider mentor.
The Raiders never trailed in the contest, getting the game’s first two baskets from Speice and Corbin Linder. Wayne Trace led by as much as 14-7 in the opening stanza before the Pirates could answer.
Continental got a bucket from Joey Swager and two free throws by Zach Schwarzman to trim the deficit to 14-11 after eight minutes of action.
“You have to give Continental credit,” added the elder Linder. “They played hard all night long and they never gave up. I think we were able to wear them down a little bit as the game went on, and they had to battle some foul trouble, as well.”
With the contest tied at 18-18 midway in the second quarter, the Raiders closed the stanza with eight straight points. A bucket by Wenzlick started the run, which continued with baskets from Speice, David Sinn and Wenzlick to give Wayne Trace a 26-18 lead at the intermission.
“That was a big run for us,” Linder commented. “It gave us the momentum going into halftime, which was key.”
Two Wenzlick charity tosses to open the second half put the Raider lead at 28-18 before a run by the Pirates. Single free throws by Swager and Caleb Baker, followed by a trey and two-pointer from Wade Stauffer got the blue-and-gold within 30-25.
Continental would get no closer, though.
Wayne Trace picked up two Jake Arend foul shots and an Ethan Linder basket to close the third quarter with a 34-25 advantage.
“We were able to answer each time they made a run, and that was crucial,” said the Raider head coach.
With the Raiders on top 36-28 early in the final period, the Raiders put it away by scoring nine straight points to push the margin to 45-28. Sinn scored the first five points of the spurt before buckets from Ethan Linder and Blackmore completed the Raider run. Wayne Trace then cruised the rest of the way, hitting seven of 11 free throws down the stretch.
“I think we came out a little tentative, but now we have that first game under our belts,” Linder said. “They had played a game, so they had a little advantage in that aspect. I thought we had some kids really step up for us tonight and make some big plays. We will need that if we want to continue down the tournament trail.”
Sinn chipped in ten points and four rebounds for Wayne Trace while Arend added six points.
Stauffer topped the Pirate lineup with 14 points and five rebounds while Jacob Williams chipped in nine points and four boards. Tyler Rue also added four assists for the Pirates, who close the season with a record of 11-13.
Rue ended his career in a Continental uniform, scoring two points and picking up two rebounds. Austin Mansfield had four rebounds and two assists in his final game as a Pirate and Vernon Prowant picked up a steal, wrapping up his career as well. Matthew Bracken and Adam Lawhorn also played in their final games for Continental.
Wayne Trace resumes action on Tuesday as the Raiders play in the 8:00 p.m. game in the Division IV district at Van Wert High School. The Raiders now face Pettisville (13-11), who defeated North Central 42-40 at the buzzer in overtime in the Division IV sectional at Bryan last night.
Presale tickets for Tuesday’s district semi-finals will be sold starting Monday, March 3, from 7:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. in the study hall. Tickets also will be sold on Tuesday, March 4, from 7:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Adult presale tickets will be $6.00 while student presale tickets will be $4.00. All tickets at the door will be $6.00. If school is delayed, ticket sales will be postponed until school begins.
Tickets will be sold at the elementary schools until 12:00 p.m. on Monday, March 3. Orders must be to the school secretaries by noon on Monday and will be available for pickup on Tuesday, March 4. If school is cancelled on Monday, no tickets will be available through the elementary schools.
Score by quarters
Continental     11 7 7 15- 40
Wayne Trace 14 12 8 24- 58
Continental (40)
Swager 3, Williams 4, Schwarzman 2, Rue 2, Baker 1, Troyer 5, Lawhorn 0, Mansfield 0, Stauffer 14, Williamson 0, Prowant 0, Bracken 0, J. Williams 9
Wayne Trace (58)
Miller 2, Glass 0, E. Linder 6, C. Speice 7, Shepherd 2, Arend 6, C. Linder 2, Vest 0, Wenzlick 14, Sinn 10, Blackmore 7, J. Speice 2