Blue Jays shoot past Van Wert 48-45

Posted On: Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Garett Gunter of Van Wert

The shooters from St. John's buried eight threes and pulled out a 48-45 non-league victory over Van Wert on Tuesday night.

The Cougars led early, but St. John's answered with a big run to end the first half then stayed up the rest of the way by fending off a game tying three point attempt from Nate Phillips as time expired.

With the score at 44-42 with 1:20 remaining, Van Wert played the foul game and managed to get the ball back after trading possessions with 14 seconds left down three.

The Cougars in-bounded the ball to Phillips with six seconds left on the left wing where he was trapped by Blue Jay defenders who forced a miss on his desperation heave as the final seconds winded off the clock.

It was Van Wert's sixth one-possession loss of the season.

Aaron Moenter locked things down in the fourth quarter for St. John's with two timely triples, but Cam Elwer set the tone on offense throughout the night for the Blue Jays.

Elwer spear-headed a 14-0 run to close out the first half with a pair of triples and a late two that put St. John's ahead 23-22 at the break.

The Blue Jays bounced back from a first quarter where they were out-scored 16-7 due to an 8-2 Van Wert run to close out the frame.

In the third, Elwer opened with the first six points to force a Van Wert timeout with the score at 29-22, running up the Blue Jays total to 20 straight points between the second and third quarters.

When the Cougars returned to the court, Aidan Pratt took over for his best quarter of the night and willed Van Wert all the way back in front 34-33 at the end of the third.

Pratt hit a pair of free throws, Ethan Druckemiller scored, then Pratt came through with a three-point play to make it 31-27.

Druckemiller scored again, then Van Wert closed the third with the final seven points, punctuated by a tough basket on the right block from AJ Proffitt to put the Cougars back up one.

Van Wert led 38-33 on back-to-back baskets from Garett Gunter before Landon Grothaus hit a three, Pratt scored, then Elwer and Aaron Moenter went on an 8-0 run to put the Blue Jays up for good.

Elwer led all scorers in the game with 22. Grothaus added 11 and Moenter's two triples gave him six.

All 45 of Van Wert's points came from the starting lineup. Pratt had 21 to lead the way, Gunter added 13 and Phillips finished with five. The Cougars also played Tuesday night's game without starting forward Luke Wessell.

Van Wert (10-7, 2-4 WBL) returns to the court on Friday night at home against Kenton (7-11, 1-5 WBL). St. John's (12-4, 5-1 MAC) is set to travel to St. Henry (8-9, 4-3 MAC) the same night.

Box score

Delphos St. John’s 7 16 10 15 - 48

Van Wert 16 6 12 11 - 45

Delphos St. John’s (48)

Cam Elwer 22, Landon Grothaus 11, Aaron Moenter 6, Ethan Druckemiller 4, Jack Gerker 3, Austin Moenter 2.

Totals: 17-6-48.

Van Wert (45)

Aidan Pratt 21, Garett Gunter 13, Nate Phillips 5, AJ Proffitt 4, Carson Smith 2.

Totals: 18-9-45.

3-pt goals: DSJ-Grothaus 3, Gerker 1, Elwer 2, Moenter 2.

Original Article Courtesy to Times Bulletin

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