The Wayne Trace Raiders play Napoleon in sectional finals this Friday night in Defiance. Before they could receive the honor, however, they had to defeat the 7 and 10 Van Wert team a week before.

The game, also held in the Defiance High School gymnasium, started with the Raiders blitzing Van Wert with a full court press.

Their game plan was worth while producing 12 Cougar turnovers in the first half. By the end of the first quarter the Raiders boasted a 30-19 lead. At half time the score board told the same story recording a 53-38 in favor of the Paulding County team.

But the game didn’t stop there. Van Wert disliked getting beat. Led by Dave Branfield, the game’s high scorer with 28 points, they caught and surpassed the Raiders int he last minutes of the game.

At that point in looked like anybody’s game and remained that way until there was 1:33 left on the clock with a tied score of 83 apiece.

Ken jay saved the Raider victory then with a 15 footer. And that was the deciding factor. The game ended after four additional foul shots by Clemens rounding the score to a 89-84 victory.

Junior Ron Treece scored high for the Raiders with 20 points. Tim Clemens came in second hooping 18.

Overall Wayne Trace hit 45 percent of their field goal attempts while their opponents scored 47 percent of theirs.

Now the question is, “Can the Raiders do it again with Napoleon?” For the answer we talk to Coach Doug Parks.

He’s kept his eye on on the Wildcats. As he points out, “We’ve watched them against Wauseon and Patrick Henry. They’re a good big ball club that play on their strengths and don’t try anything foolish.”

Napoleon will come to the game with a height advantage and Parks feels the game will be won or lost on the boards.

What Wayne Trace lacks in height the coach hopes they can make up in speed. That speed will pay an important role in their defense.

He outlined their strategy.