The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Feb. 22, 2019

Van Wert High School cheerleader Avery Cowan is this week’s Van Wert independent/Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy Student Athlete of the Week. The senior, who was nominated by interim athletic director Ben Collins, has been a cheerleader for three seasons and also plays volleyball. Cowan is involved in a number of other activities, including National Honor Society, FCA and the upcoming VWHS musical. “Avery is a dedicated athlete and student,” cheerleading advisor Kenzie Ray said. “She is a fabulous leader and is especially good with the underclassman.” Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 02/22/19 at 6:19 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

He caught over 120 passes in two seasons for the Van Wert Cougars and he’ll continue his academic and athletic career at the collegiate level.

Van Wert High School senior Drew Bagley, the son of Mark and Rachelle Bagley, signed a letter of intent on Thursday to play football at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. The NAIA Trojans compete in the Mideast League of the Mid-States Football Association.

Bagley’s father attended Taylor and he explained he has another connection at the school.

“My uncle is a professor at the university and he also coaches cross country,” Bagley said. “He talked to the coaches and they came down and watched a game and were impressed with how I played in my junior year.”

Surrounded by coaches and family, Drew Bagley signed a letter of intent to play football for Taylor University. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

“I started talking to them and went down to watch a practice and fell in love with the campus. I like the coaches, the players were really nice to me and it was a good experience.”

“Coach (Ron) Korfmacher has done a great job with the program and has been there over 30 years and has been the head coach for over 10 years. They have a good program.”

During the 2017 football season, Bagley had 60 receptions for 658 yards and four touchdowns, then followed up with 63 catches for 490 yards and one touchdown as a senior, and was regarded as an excellent blocker. He also punted for the Cougars and excelled at defensive end, finishing with 94 tackles and 11 sacks during his junior and senior seasons combined.


POSTED: 02/22/19 at 6:17 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Here is the updated girls’ basketball sectional championship broadcast schedule for WKSD 99.7FM and WERT 1220AM/104.3FM. All games will air live.

Saturday, February 23


Division IV at Defiance: Delphos St. John’s vs. Lincolnview, 12:25 p.m. pregame, 1 p.m. tipoff

Division IV at Defiance: Ottoville vs. Antwerp, 2:45 p.m. tipoff

Division III at Lincolnview: Ottawa-Glandorf vs. Paulding, 5:30 p.m. pregame, 6:15 p.m. tipoff

Division IV at Paulding: Wayne Trace vs. Crestview, 8 p.m. tipoff


Division II at Miller City: Napoleon vs. Van Wert, 5:45 p.m. pregame, 6:15 p.m. tipoff

POSTED: 02/22/19 at 6:15 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

DEFIANCE — Adia Welch scored 22 points and No. 8 seed Lincolnview rallied from an eight point halftime deficit, then held on to defeat No. 7 seed Ayersville 36-33 in the Division IV sectional semifinals at Defiance High School on Wednesday.

The victory means the Lady Lancers (8-15) will play No. 4 seed Delphos St. John’s for the sectional championship on Saturday.

Annie Mendenhall scored four points and blocked an Ayersville three point attempt late in the fourth quarter. Van Wert independent file photo

Trailing 23-15 to start the third quarter, Lincolnview opened with a 9-0 run, including seven points by Welch. Ayersville’s Ashlee Tressler answered with a basket and a pair of foul shots to give the Pilots a 27-24 lead, but a trey by Welch tied the game 27-27. The 5-6 senior guard, who scored 12 points in the quarter tied the game 29-29 with 45 seconds left in the period.

“She’s playing with a ton of confidence right now,” head coach Dan Williamson said of Welch. “We talked in the third and fourth quarters about ways to get her some shots and the girls responded to that.”

The fourth quarter was a struggle offensively, as each team scored just one basket. Ayersville (10-13) hit a pair of free throws, while Lincolnview went 5 of 12 from the foul line in the quarter. Sierra Adams and Annie Mendenhall each blocked late three point attempts by Ayersville to help secure the win.

“We held them to 10 points in the second half and that’s the reason we won,” Williamson said. “We struggled offensively and we struggled from the free throw line, but our defense is really what won it for us tonight.”


POSTED: 02/21/19 at 12:01 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

MILLER CITY — Reagan Priest scored 19 points helped Van Wert defeat Elida 51-46 in the Division II sectional semifinals at Miller City High School on Wednesday.

“Our girls played with purpose tonight,” Van Wert head coach Rob Adams said. “It was a total team effort and Reagan Priest was dynamite for us and looked like vintage Reagan Priest.”

Reagan Priest scored 19 points during Wednesday’s sectional win over Elida. Jerry Mason/file photo

The 5-7 guard scored nine of Van Wert’s 11 points in the first quarter with four baskets and a free throw, but the Lady Cougars trailed 14-11 at the end of the period.

Abby Jackson scored eight of her 10 points in the second quarter and Van Wert led 22-20 at halftime. Priest scored six more in the third period, Jerica Huebner added three and Allison Schaufelberger and Jackson each chipped in with two, and Van Wert maintained a two point lead, 35-33 at the end of the quarter.

Alexis Metz drained a pair of much needed treys in the fourth quarter and Priest hit two more buckets.

When the dust settled, Van Wert hit 21 of 60 shots, finished 5 of 12 from the foul line and pulled down 25 rebounds. Elida (8-15) was 14 of 44 from the floor, 13 of 17 from the free throw line and had 23 rebounds. Hayleigh Bacome led the Lady Bulldogs with 11 points.

“We pride ourselves on defensive effort and tonight we had it,” Adams said. “I’m very proud of these girls – survive and advance.”

Van Wert (6-16) will play No. 1 seed Napoleon (15-5) for the upper bracket sectional championship at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday at Miller City.


POSTED: 02/20/19 at 11:59 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The 2018-2019 boys’ basketball regular season will come to an end this weekend, with most area teams concluding the season on Friday. Teams will then set their sites on next week’s tournament games.

Van Wert at Defiance, vs. Bath (Tuesday)

At least on paper, Van Wert and Defiance are very evenly matched.

The Cougars (12-9, 5-3 WBL) clinched a winning season with Tuesday night’s 70-50 victory over Lima Central Catholic. Nate Place finished with 19 points, Owen Treece had 12, Drew Bagley scored 12 and LeTrey Williams finished with 11.

Through 21 games, Van Wert is averaging 53.8 points per game while allowing 52.3 points per outing and the Cougars have won seven of their last nine games.

After a 10-2 start, the Bulldogs (12-8, 5-3 WBL) have lost six of their last eight games. Like the Cougars, Defiance is averaging 53.8 points per game, while giving up 52.7 points per contest.

Van Wert won last year’s game 52-45.

The Cougars will play Bath in the Division II sectional semifinals at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Findlay High School, with the winner advancing to play Wauseon on Friday, March 1.


POSTED: 02/20/19 at 11:58 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports/submitted information

Crestview junior guard Lexi Gregory was named to the Northwest Conference First Team in voting by girls’ basketball coaches, while teammates Bailey Gregory and Olivia Cunningham were named Second Team All NWC.

In addition, Lincolnview senior Lakin Brant was named Honorable Mention All NWC.

Bluffton senior guard Alivia Koenig was selected as the 2018-19 NWC Player of the Year, edging out teammate Averey Rumer, Lexi Gregory, and Rylee Sybert (Columbus Grove) in a close vote.

Koenig averaged 13 points and 3 assists per game in leading the Pirates to a 17-5 regular season record. Entering tournament play, Koening had amassed a career total of 1303 points and was a second-team all-NW Ohio selection as a junior.

Joining Koenig, Rumer, Sybert and Gregory on the NWC First Team were sophomore Emma Leis freshman Makenzie King, both of Columbus Grove. Koenig was named a first team selection all four years of her career while Rumer and Gregory were repeat selections.

Eric Garmatter, who led Bluffton (7-1) to a co-championship with Columbus Grove for the NWC girls basketball title was selected as the NWC Coach of the Year.


POSTED: 02/20/19 at 11:57 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent/submitted information

WREN — The Wren Ballpark Association has announced that sign-ups for summer sports activities will take place Sunday, March 10, from 3-5 p.m., at the Eagles Nest (the new community building) at the ballpark.  

Those who cannot make that date should send a message to the association’s Facebook page or contact Ballpark Association President Mike Breece at 419.771.2302 or Vice President Tony Heckler at 419.605.6849 for more information.  

Anyone interested in umpiring in Wren this summer should also let the ballpark association know.

POSTED: 02/20/19 at 11:55 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

PAULDING — Crestview shot 60 percent from beyond the three point arc during Tuesday night’s 60-22 Division IV sectional semifinal victory over Continental at Paulding High School.

The Lady Knights were 12 of 20 from long distance, including a 6 of 7 performance by Bailey Gregory, who finished with a game high 18 points. Olivia Cunningham was 3 for 4 outside the arc, Lexi Gregory hit a pair and Haley Speith accounted for Crestview’s other triple.

Bailey Gregory winds up for one of her six treys against Continental. Gregory went on to finish with a game high 18 points. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

“We shot the ball really well tonight and that’s something we’ve been working really hard at during practice,” head coach Mark Gregory said. “I feel like as the season’s progressed we’ve shot the ball well and have been very confident. I’m really proud of our girls.”

Overall, Crestview was 23 of 42 (54 percent) from the floor, while holding the Lady Pirates to 8 of 37, or 21 percent.

Already leading 4-0, Bailey Gregory hit three consecutive triples early in the first quarter to give the Lady Knights a 13-0 lead. Cunningham would later close the scoring with a trey that gave Crestview a 16-7 lead at the end of the period.

A pair of baskets by Bailey Gregory and one by Lexi Gregory would increase Crestview’s lead to 22-7 in the second period and when the quarter ended, the Lady Knights had a 28-14 lead.


POSTED: 02/20/19 at 12:21 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Van Wert outscored Lima Central Catholic in each of the four quarters on the way to a 70-50 win in the home finale Tuesday night.

Nate Place scored a team high 19 points against Lima Central Catholic. Bob Barnes/file photo

Along the way, four Cougars finished in double figures. Nate Place led the way with 19, including 10 in the first quarter. Owen Treece finished with 17, Drew Bagley tallied 12 and LeTrey Williams scored 11.

Led by Place, Van Wert led 15-11 after the first quarter, then enjoyed a 19-13 scoring advantage in the second period, with Treece hitting a pair of treys and a bucket and Bagley converting three baskets.

“We got off to a slow start but enjoyed a great second quarter and led 34-24 at the half,” head coach Mark Bagley said.

The Cougars were able to add on to the lead with by outscoring the Thunderbirds 19-11 in the third quarter, with Williams leading the way with a pair of baskets and a triple, while Bagley and Treece each accounted for four points. Biggz Johnson scored nine of Lima Central Catholic’s 11 points in the quarter, and Johnson went on to finish with a game high 22 points for the Thunderbirds, who dropped to 10-11.


POSTED: 02/20/19 at 12:16 am. FILED UNDER: Sports