DELPHOS - Tuesday evening’s girls basketball encounter between St. John’s and Paulding at Robert A. Arnzen was not a thing of beauty.

The host Lady Blue Jays hit 7 of 8 free throws in the last 4:55 to seal a 39-30 non-conference victory.

The Jays (3-9) canned 16 of 27 from the line (59.3%).

“We made enough plays down the stretch,” St. John’s coach Nathan Stant said. “Emma Will and Abby Kerner didn’t shoot as well as they had been but they hit big free throws in the fourth period. We only had eight girls able to play but everyone we played contributed.”

On the other end, the Lady Panthers (1-8) were a chilly 10 of 31 from 15 feet for 32.3 percent.

Both teams had issues with foul trouble, losing a starter each in fouling out and having others with four.

“That is the stat of our night,” Paulding coach Matt Arellano said. “We missed 21 free throws when we’ve been shooting 75 percent. If we hit half we missed, we’re in good shape.”

Kerner’s 15 led the hosts and Will added 13

Addison Pease and Elli Barton paced Paulding with eight counters each.

The Jays led 26-19 to commence the finale and the visitors extended their pressure to try to rally. They got within five early but the Jays then held on. Will hit four foul shots and Kerner three down the stretch and the Jays’ defense held off Paulding for the win.

Both teams struggled in the early going, combining for 4 of 18 from the floor. When Carolyn Mueller buried a triple from the right corner with 2:00 on the clock, that accounted for the Jays’ 7-6 edge after one

The Jays held Paulding scoreless from the field in the second stanza, with them scoring three foul shots. Will’s two singles with 26.5 ticks on the clock made their halftime lead 20-9.

The hosts were 1 of 10 from the field, allowing the Panthers to get within 25-19 on a basket by Brianna Bermejo before Emma Wiltsie’s freebies at 5.5 ticks put the Jays up 26-19.

“We battled hard on the boards,” Stant added. “We lost Ava Hershey to fouls and we needed young players like Carolyn, Brooke (Altenburger) and Melanie (Mueller) to battle bigger girls on the glass. Again, this young team did just enough to get a win.”

Paulding shot a chilly 22.0 percent from the floor (9 of 41, 2 of 10 3-pointers). They won the battle of the boards 42-35 (14-6:offensively) as Carlea Kuckuck had 11 and Barton 10. They turned it over 22 times. They visit Ayersville Thursday.

“We have struggled shooting from the field and with turnovers,” Arellano added. “We knew we were going to struggle with both but we figured it would even out with them struggling with both. It came down to our inability to hit free throws. We got there enough times; we just didn’t take advantage.”

St. John’s was a bit better from the field - 10 of 33 (3 of 13 trifectas) for 30.3 percent. Kerner grabbed nine caroms and Hershey six. Will had eight steals. They host Fort Recovery starting at 7 p.m. (no junior varsity contest) Thursday.



Addison Pease 2-3-8, Brianna Bermejo 1-2-4, Brooklyn Bakle 1-0-3, Mikayla Suffel 3-0-6, Brooklyn Schlatter 0-0-0, Lucy Breier 0-0-0, Amaeh Carr 0-0-0, Carlea Kuckuck 0-1-1, Elli Barton 2-4-8, Addison Shull 0-0-0. Totals 9-10-30.

ST. JOHN’S (39)

Carolyn Mueller 1-2-5, Aubrey Fairchild 0-0-0, Emma Wiltsie 0-1-1, Ava Hershey 0-0-0, Emma Will 3-7-13, Brooke Altenburger 1-0-2, Melanie Mueller 1-1-3, Abby Kerner 4-5-15. Totals 10-16-39.

Score by quarters:

Paulding 6 3 10 11 - 30

St. John’s 7 13 6 13 - 39

Three-point goals: Paulding, Pease, Bakle; St. John’s, Kerner 2, C. Mueller.