Boys Fall to Paulding


Mason Ault (by Marvin Foster)

Mason Ault (by Marvin Foster)

Click here for game photos by Marvin Foster

(BLUFFTON) - Paulding turned in a Grinchy Christmas performance, stealing all momentum and holding Bluffton 35% shooting in a 62-43 victory.  Ethan Rhonehouse led Paulding with 17 points while Kaleb Jefferson paced Bluffton with 14 points and 7 rebounds.  Paulding improved to 3-4 and Bluffton fell to 2-3 (0-2 NWC).

A 12-0 Panther spurt pushed the visitors advantage out to 26-11 early in the second quarter.  Paulding used their full court press and 2-3 zone to create six first half turnovers and limit Bluffton’s offensive options.  Joel Piercefield drained two 3’s and two layups in the first half for ten points to lead Bluffton.  Jefferson made two free throws with ten seconds left in the half but the Panthers responded with a ‘3’ to make the halftime score 35-23. 

Coach Todd Boblitt’s halftime speech was invigorating as Bluffton bolted out in the third quarter on a 9-2 run.  Mason Soper drained a ‘3’, Jefferson scored in the paint, Cole Fruchey scored while being fouled and Piercefield dropped in a bucket during the run which cut the PHS lead to 37-32.  Paulding was quick to respond with their own 12-2 run to push the lead back out to 49-34.  Bluffton was unable to crack the Panther pressure during the fourth quarter and finished the game with 13 turnovers.  In the second half, Paulding leaned on 6’2” senior Ethan Rhonehouse who scored 10 of his game high 17 points. When Bluffton collapsed defensively, the Panthers were quick to kick out to open shooters.  Paulding canned 6/14 three point attempts on the night.  

Bluffton is off until Friday December 29 when they face Cory-Rawson in the second game of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament.  

Individual statistics: 

Kaleb Jefferson - 14 points, 7 rebounds (6 offensive), 4/4 free throws

Joel Piercefield - 12 points, 2/3 on 3’s, 3 rebounds

Mason Soper - 5 points, 3 rebounds

Cole Fruchey - 5 points, 3 rebounds (2 offensive)

Dakota Bricker - 5 points

Mason Ault - 2 points, 2 rebounds


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