VAN WERT —Van Wert broke open a tight game with 31 points in the fourth quarter, completing a double-win weekend with a 66-49 Saturday night victory over St. Henry. The Cougars are now 6-13, the Redskins 10-10.

“To get a league win last night, then against a storied program like St. Henry that’s had a lot of success for decades,” said Van Wert Head Coach Ben Laudick, “I’m just really happy for our guys, and I’m really happy for our eight seniors for their last home game to get a home victory.”

The final period started with a straightaway 3-pointer by St. Henry senior Riley Link to cut Van Wert’s lead to 35-34, but the red-hot Cougars took over from there. Van Wert junior marksman Owen Treece started the blitz with two triples from the right wing — 41-34, Van Wert, with 6:44 left. That was only the beginning.

The Redskins stayed within striking distance and closed the gap to 46-40 when sophomore post Matt Bertke muscled in a layup at 3:41. However, the Cougs scored a whopping 20 points in the last 3 1/2 minutes, starting with a big 3-pointer from the left corner by senior Keaton Brown to lead 49-40.

Despite St. Henry’s full-court pressure, Van Wert didn’t commit a turnover in the entire fourth quarter and only missed three field goal tries during those eight minutes.

Van Wert was ice-cold in the first quarter — 2 of 13 from the field — but only trailed by two, 10-8, after one.

The Cougars warmed up considerably in the second quarter — 6 for 9 from the field — which was close throughout. A Brown trey got Van Wert its first lead, 19-16, with 4:07 on the clock, and another Brown bomb at 1:57 had the Cougs up 22-18. It was 24-22, Van Wert, at the half.

During the first 16 minutes, St. Henry shot better (10 of 16) than Van Wert (8 of 22) from the field, but the Cougars had more shots, thanks to seven Redskin turnovers (Van Wert had only two miscues). Also, the home team had four 3-pointers, the visitors none.

Midway through the third period, the Redskins broke a 26-26 tie with a trey from junior lefty Carter Ontrop and an open layup by sophomore Bennett Gels — 31-26, St. Henry, at 3:36. However, Van Wert countered with three straight 3-pointers — senior Jake Hilleary, Treece, and senior Clayton Proffitt — to lead 35-31 going into the fourth quarter.

For the game as a whole, both teams shot well from the field, the Redskins a tad better 55 percent (18 for 33) to 48 percent (22 of 46), but Van Wert had more shots, including many more 3-pointers — 11 of 23 (48 percent) compared to 3 for 12 (25 percent).

“We’ve been known to get up some quick shots, but tonight we kinda ground it out and had to make our opponents work longer than probably they wanted to,” said Laudick. “There was some back screening, and it kinda gets lost in the shuffle at times when you set that many screens, and it allowed our shooters to get open.”

Both teams were good from the line — Van Wert at 85 percent (11 of 13), St. Henry 71 percent (10 of 14). The Redskins won the boards 20-15, but the Cougars had only three turnovers in the entire game, the Redskins 13.

Treece missed seven of his first eight shots, but was deadly from that point on, finishing with 32 points, including five treys and 5 of 5 free throws. Brown and Hilleary chipped in with 11 apiece. Ontrop, Gels, and Bertke led St. Henry with 13, 8, and 8.

The eight Cougar seniors playing their last game at the Den were Proffitt, Brown, Hilleary, Tanner Barnhart, Kolby Barnhart, Parker Conrad, Colin Place, and Spencer Adams.

St. Henry (49)

Casey Bruening 1-2 0-0 2, Ben Evers 1-6 2-2 4, Riley Link 1-4 3-4 6, Carter Ontrop 6-7 0-0 13, Logan Lefeld 0-2 5-6 5, Matt Bertke 4-5 0-2 8, Seth Heitkamp 0-0 0-0 0, Bennett Gels 4-5 0-0 8, Andrew Lange 1-1 0-0 3, Isaac Wendel 0-0 0-0 0, KJ Jacobs 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-33 10-14 49.

Van Wert (66)

Clayton Proffitt 2-4 0-0 5, Owen Treece 11-23 5-5 32, Keaton Brown 3-4 2-2 11, Nate Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Jake Hillary 4-12 2-4 11, Tanner Barnhart 0-0 2-2 2, Kolby Barnhart 0-0 0-0 0, Parker Conrad 0-0 0-0 0, Colin Place 1-1 0-0 2, Spencer Adams 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 22-46 11-13 66.

3-point shooting: SH 3/12 (Lange, Link, Ontrop), VW 11/23 (Treece 5, Brown 3, Proffitt, Hillary, Adams). Rebounds: SH 20, VW 15. Fouls: SH 12, VW 12. Turnovers: SH 13, VW 3.

St. Henry 10 12 9 18 - 49

Van Wert 8 16 11 31 - 66

Van Wert (17-2) cruised to another jayvee victory 46-30. The Cougars were led in scoring by freshman Aidan Pratt and sophomore Ethan Rupert with 19 and 9. St. Henry (9-10) was led by sophomore Luke Gels with 12.

Junior varsity:

St. Henry 6 7 6 11 - 30

Van Wert 17 13 12 4 - 46