Tanner Barnhart of Van Wert takes the ball up against St. Marys on Friday night. (DHI Media/Chris Howell)
Tanner Barnhart of Van Wert takes the ball up against St. Marys on Friday night. (DHI Media/Chris Howell)

VAN WERT — With the size advantage, a balanced attack, and a half court offense that was fully in control throughout the night, the Roughriders took Friday night’s game from the Cougars 54-39.

Once the ball moved across the half court line with St. Mary’s on offense, the pace of the game slowed to a screeching halt with the visiting team in control.

The Roughriders rapid ball movement helped them jump out to a 12-5 lead on the Cougars at the end of one. Austin Parks sparked the blue and gold with six first quarter points, on his way to finishing the game with 12.

Owen Treece was responsible for all of Van Wert’s five first quarter points with a pair of field goals and a free throw. Treece, Van Wert's leading scorer on the season would finish the night as the only Cougar to reach double figures, scoring 20.

While Treece was held scoreless in the second quarter, he found support from his teammates in an effort to keep Van Wert in the game. Jake Hillary found the bottom of the net twice, and Clayton Proffitt and Tanner Barnhart both chipped in with a field goal each.

The Cougars determination was valiant, but not enough as LeTrey Williams and Ethan Steger combined for all of the Roughriders 14 points in the second to outscore Van Wert in the frame by two.

Ethan Brown's spinning reverse layup turned into a three point play that sent the game into the break at 26-17.

As the case was all night for the Roughrider offense, their scoring stayed consistent. Not a single thing changed.

Williams and Steger combined for 15 more points, eight of which belonged to Steger, en route to opening up a double-digit lead that would last the rest of the evening.

Treece scored nine in the third quarter, including two three point plays and one triple, but it wasn't enough to keep the game from entering blowout territory.

With a 43-28 lead at the end of three, St. Marys could use their slow paced half court offense to cruise through the fourth with ease.

The Roughriders opened the final quarter with a possession that lasted 56 seconds, or 1/8 of the entire period, something that had become a normal occurrence throughout the game.

After failing to gain any ground, Van Wert Head Coach Ben Laudick pulled his starters with two minutes left in favor of the reserves, and the game ended at a score of 54-39.

Van Wert's record falls to 2-7 overall and 1-2 in the WBL with the loss. Next up for the Cougars is Marion Local on Saturday night in the "Cougar Den."

BOX SCORE 1 2 3 4 T

ST. MARYS 12 14 17 11 54

VAN WERT 5 12 11 11 39

ST. MARYS (54)

Jack Cisco 0, Carson Fishbach 0, Gino Johnson 0, LeTrey Williams 18, Jaden Davis 2, Braeden Hemmelgarn 0, Carter Monbeck 0, Gavin Reineke 0, Max Mielke 2, Ethan Steger 20, Austin Parks 12, Brandon Bowers 0.

VAN WERT (39)

Clayton Proffitt 3, Owen Treece 20, Keaton Brown 0, Tanner Barnhart 2, Kolby Barnhart 2, Nate Jackson 2, Kolby Barnhart o, Parker Conrad 0, Colin Place 3, Ethan Brown 3, Spencer Adams 0, Jake Hilleary 6.