Lincolnview’s Jake Bowersock and Parkway’s Preston Stober fight for rebound Tuesday night, as the two local teams squared off in the Sectional Semi-Finals. (DHI Media/ Pat Agler)
Lincolnview’s Jake Bowersock and Parkway’s Preston Stober fight for rebound Tuesday night, as the two local teams squared off in the Sectional Semi-Finals. (DHI Media/ Pat Agler)
PAULDING — Back on January 26, Parkway shot lights out in a fast-paced 80-63 win over Lincolnview. Those teams met again in a Tuesday night Division IV sectional semifinal that was nothing at all like the regular season game. The 8th-seeded Panthers (now 12-11) used a late 16-2 run to pull out a 48-38 win in a defensive donnybrook. The 7th-seeded Lancers’ season ends at 10-12.

Parkway advances to play 2nd-seeded Kalida (17-5) in Friday night’s 6:15 game at Paulding. The second game features 3rd-seeded Ottoville against 4th-seeded Wayne Trace, which won Tuesday night’s second game 74-57 over 9th-seeded Miller City.

“The first time they pressed us, and it led to a much more open court, up-and-down type game,” said Parkway coach Doug Hughes. “Today they were sitting back in a 2-3 matchup, so it was definitely gonna be a lower scoring game. It’s a tribute to our kids that we’re able to win the up-and-down pressing-type game, then come out tonight and grind it out and win this type of game.”

After the teams slogged through a cold-shooting first half, won by Parkway 19-13, the offenses heated up considerably in the third quarter. The Panthers led by as much as nine — 27-18 with 5:24 on the clock. A late 3-pointer from the right wing by Lincolnview senior Alek Bowersock made it 32-27 after three — and that was only the beginning of a Lancer offensive revival.

Lincolnview scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter — layup by senior Kyle Wallis (assist Alek Bowersock), layup by sophomore Jake Bowersock, 3-point play (steal/layup/free throw) by Alek Bowersock — to grab a 34-32 lead with 7:01 left in the game. Lancer fans were over-joyed with the turn of events, but that’s when the momentum took another 180-degree turn.

Some untimely turnovers and a slew of missed Lancer shots led to a 16-2 Parkway run to end Lincolnview’s hopes. Senior Mason Baxter started it with a drive to the basket that resulted in two successful game-tying free throws. Senior Preston Stober escaped for a layup (assist by junior Corey Walls). Baxter went inside again, was fouled and cashed both freebies. Junior post Caleb Kinney’s layup (assist Stober), followed by the reverse — layup Stober (assist Kinney) made it 42-34 with 1:48 left.

Alek Bowersock sliced through the defense to get within 42-36 at 1:25, but after a Parkway turnover, the Lancers turned it back over at mid-court, leading to a wide-open layup by sophomore Dylan Hughes (assist by freshman Caden Slusher) — 44-36, Panthers, at 1:06. Baxter then hit his 5th and 6th free throws of the quarter, and Walls added two more freebies for a 48-36 lead with 0:45 left. A layup by Wallis ended the scoring.

“We knew it wasn’t gonna be easy,” said Coach Hughes. “Lincolnview’s a very well-coached team. They’re a very good basketball team. Our kids hung tough, faced adversity (when the Lancers took the lead), and I was very proud of the way we overcame that.”

Defenses — and some cold shooting — dominated the early going. Lincolnview shot an ice-cold 4-for-18 from the field, 1-for-10 from three, in the first half, but stayed well within striking distance because Parkway wasn’t a whole lot better — 8-of-21 from the field, 2-for-9 from long range. The Lancers were helped by 4-for-6 free throw shooting (Parkway was 1-for-2) and eight Panther turnovers (Lincolnview had only three).

Things started to look up for the Lancers when the second half started with a nothing-but-net corner three by senior sharpshooter Zane Miller off a nice assist by senior point guard Jorge Salinas — 19-16, Parkway. However, the Panthers answered with an 8-2 run to get the aforementioned 27-18 lead.

For the game as a whole, field goal shooting was the decider. Parkway shot considerably better there — 45 percent (18 of 40) to 35 percent (14 of 40). Lincolnview was a tad better from long range — 27 percent (3 of 11) to 23 percent (3 of 13). The Lancers were also a bit better from the line — 64 percent (7 of 11) to 56 percent (9 of 16), even though Parkway hit 8 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter. Parkway dominated the boards 31-14, but Lincolnview had fewer turnovers, 12-16.

Parkway had its usual balanced scoring — Kinney, Hughes, Baxter, Stober, and Walls with 12, 12, 9, 8, and 7. Eight Lancers got into the scoring column, led by Alek Bowersock, Miller, and Wallis with 12, 7, and 6.

The game ended the high school basketball careers of eight Lancer seniors, including all five starters — Salinas, Logan Williams, Ethan Kemler, Alek Bowersock, and Miller — and three subs — Wallis, Josh Oberlitner, and Sam Myers.

Parkway (48)

Dylan Hughes 12, Mason Baxter 9, Jack Wehe 0, Preston Stober 8, Caleb Kinney 12, Corey Walls 7, Jason Luth 0, Caden Slusher 0.

Lincolnview (38)

Jorge Salinas 4, Logan Williams 2, Ethan Kemler 4, Alek Bowersock 12, Zane Miller 7, Collin Overholt 0, Kyle Wallis 6, Josh Oberlitner 0, Jake Bowersock 2, Creed Jessee 1, Sam Myers 0.

Parkway 11 8 13 16 - 48

Lincolnview 9 4 14 11 - 38