Unlike their sister school Wayne Trace who got through sectional eliminations by defeating Van Wert, the Paulding Panthers found two teams standing between them and the sectional final play this Saturday with Archbold.

The first game was a 58-34 victory over Bryan on Feb.22. The contest left a battered bunch of Golden Bears in Napoleon fieldhouse.

Last Saturday the Panthers took on the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans who proved to be a little stiffer competition. But the Paulding team was once again on top with a score of 61-56.

The battle between teh Panters and the Titans took place in the Dfiance High School gymnasium, which was still hot form a close Fairview-Archbold contest.

First quarter was all Paulding’s. With the team’s flashy ball handling and rebounding the Panthers held the ball in their opponents’ court most of the minutes.

The score verifies the fact, totaling 19-7 in Paulding’s favor at the quarter mark. Second section of play was a repeat of the first. The score at the half was 31-21.

After the half time break, however, things fell apart. The Panthers’ machine broke down allowing hte Titans to eat awa at their lead. As the third quarter went on Paulding got down right sloppy. Several times the Ottawas team came within one point of evening the score.

Free throws were what finally bailed Paulding out. Four foul shots, two each from Jim Sholl and Ron Hornish, finished off the game.

The foul shooting made the game. Paulding converted 25 of their 34 shots for a phenomenal 74 percent. ottawa rated just under 50 percent making 10 out of 21.

Backboard coverage was another Paulding strong point. They pulled down 53 recoveries to 31 for the Titans.

Ont he other hand, from the field Ottawa clearly outscored the Panthers. The putnam County team hit 23 of 71 for 32 percent compared to Paulding’s 18 of 63 for 29 percent.

Dave Reinhart, a 5’11” junior, led the Panther scorers with 18 points. Mark Klein and Jim Sholl also made the double figure column with 14 and 10 points respectively.

In contrast to the close Ottawa game there was never any doubt of victory over Bryan.

Don Allshouse found himself on top of the scoring list with 16 points. Behind him were Mark Klein, Joe Bidlack and Jim Sholl holding nine points apiece.

At the quarter the score was 15-11 for the Panthers. Second period of play saw the lead grow to 32-10.

Again the free throws weighed in Paulding’s advantage. The Panthers only outgoaled Bryan 17-13 but canned 24 free throws to the Bears’ eight.

Next Paulding plays Archold, their toughest competition in sectional so far. The two teams will square off in Defiance Saturday March 4.

Obviously with a 15-2 seasonal record Archbold sounds like a good team. Panther coach Gary McClure is sure it is. He says, “Any team that’s lost only two games all year plays good ball.” But even with Archbold’s “winning tradition,” he feels his team has a good chance of beating them. The coach hopes that his boys will benefit from their close game with Ottawa to get worked up for the Archbold contest.

“We didn’t play very good ball Saturday night,” he stated. “It’s happened a couple of times this year. We’ve got big leads and the let down.”

Hopefully with that out of their system, the Panthers will put up a good fight against the Blue Streaks.

BOX SCORES

PAULDING (58) - Klein 2-5-9; Bidlack 4-1-9; Hornish 1-6-8; Walthour 0-1-1; Sholl 3-3-9; Sholl 0-1-1; McBride 1-0-2; Kohart 1-0-2; Allshouse 5-6-16; Stoller 1-1-3; Totals 17-24-58.

BRYAN (34) - Dally 3-3-9; Olnhausen 2-0-4; Ennen 4-1-9; Bever 1-1-3; Grant 3-2-8; Wetmore 0-1-1; Totals 13-8-34

PAULDING 15-32 46-58

BRYAN 11-20 27-34

PAULDING - Bidlack 1-3-5; Allshouse 1-0-2; Hornish 0-4-4; Walthour 0-1-1; Sholl 3-4-10; Klein 5-4-14; McBride 2-3-7; Reinhart 6-6-18; Totals 18-25-61.

OTTAWA-GLANDORF - Huggins 4-0-8; Kuhbander 8-9-25; Schmiedebusch 1-0-2; Smith 2-0-4; Knapke 1-0-2; Totals 23-10-56.

PAULDING 19-31 41-61

OTTAWA-GLANDORF 7-21 39-56