BY NICK JOHNSON
Times Bulletin Correspondent
WAPAKONETA - The Spencerville Bearcats and the Parkway Panthers traveled to Wapakoneta High School on Wednesday night for the first game of Division III sectional, and the Bearcats won the matchup 72-44.
Parkway jumped out to a 4-0 lead with baskets from Matt Heindel and Tanner Bates. The Bearcats then got a three-pointer from Ben Bowers and a three-point play from Derek Goecke.
The Panthers tied the game with a layup from Cody Schmitt, but Spencerville answered with a 15-4 run to end the first period. The Bearcats got two three-pointers from Bowers and one three-pointer from Devon Cook during the first quarter run to make the score 21-10.
Parkway managed to score just 10 points in the second period, and six of those points came from Brant Barna.
Spencerville got seven points from Zach Goecke and six points from Dominick Corso to increase its lead to 41-20 to end the first half.
Parkway got back-to-back layups from Austin Adams and Tanner Bates in the third quarter before Bowers and Cook both drained three-pointers to push the Bearcat lead to 49-26.
Heindel helped the Panthers go on a 7-2 run in the middle of the third stanza, converting on a three-point play and a layup to cut the Bearcat lead to 54-33.
Spencerville countered with two straight three-pointers to end the third period, one from Cook and one from Evan Crites, to make the score at 60-33 after three.
The Bearcats opened the fourth quarter with a Derek Goecke layup to increase the lead to 62-33. Parkway then went on another 7-2 run which included a three-pointer from Adams to cut the Bearcat lead to 64-40.
Late in the fourth quarter Mason Nurse knocked down a jumper to increase the Bearcat lead to 70-40. Parkway got two straight layups from Heindel, but Nurse knocked down two foul shots to end the game and give Spencerville a 72-44 win.
Bowers had a game-high 17 points to lead the Bearcats. Cook added in 16 points and Corso chipped in 10 points on the night.
The Panthers were led by Heindel with 13 points on the night, and Tanner Bates chipped in 12.
"I thought we shot it really well, and anybody could see that. I thought we moved the ball well offensively - we always found the open guy and didn't turn the ball over. Offensively I was pretty pleased with how we played. I wasn't very proud of how we played defensively, we need to shore things up defensively in the half court," said Spencerville coach Kevin Sensabaugh.
"We played really hard and played some good basketball, but Spencerville came here and shot the ball pretty well.
"I thought we played extremely well and shot the ball pretty, well we tried to make plays.Tonight they shot better than we did. When Tanner (Bates) comes to play, our team is much better when he is on the floor. Sometimes, as a sophomore, you have to go through some bumps on the road," said Parkway coach Will Snyder.
Spencerville improves their record to 15-7 on the year. The Bearcats will play the winner of Coldwater and Bluffton who also played on Tuesday night. The loss drops Parkway to 2-21 on the year.
Spencerville (FG, FT, 3PT)
Evan Crites 0-0 0-0 1-2 3, Devon Cooks 1-1 2-2 4-7 16, Dominick Corso 3-5 4-4 0-0 10, Hunter Patton 2-3 0-0 0-1 4, Zack Goecke 2-5 0-0 1-3 7, Ben Bowers 1-1 0-0 5-8 17, Mason Nurse 1-2 2-2 0-0 4, Derek Goecke 4-10 1-3 0-0 9, Coleman McCormick 1-1 0-0 0-0 2 Totals: 15-28, 9-11, 11-21, 72
Parkway (FG, FT, 3PT)
Austin Adams 1-1 0-0 1-1 5, Cody Schmitt 1-1 0-1 0-0 2, Tanner Bates 6-8 0-1 0-0 12, Brandon Gibson 1-2 0-0 0-0 2, Austin Dennison 0-0 0-0 0-1 0, Kris Gangwer 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Matt Heindel 6-10 1-1 0-2 13, Brody Adams 0-0 0-0 0-1 0, Luke Bates 1-1 0-0 0-0 0, Brant Barna 3-4 2-2 0-1 8, Devin Stover 0-1 0-0 0-0 0, Totals: 19-29, 2-5, 1-6, 44