PERRY TOWNSHIP – Often when both teams are inexperienced, play can be sloppy and ragged. Such was not the case when Perry hosted Kalida Tuesday evening at Leonard Volbert Gymnasium.
The Wildcats start only one senior and four juniors while the Commodores answered with two seniors and three sophomores.
Kalida responded to the challenge and came away with a 65-62 victory in overtime to run its early season record to 2-0. Perry, meanwhile, has lost both of its starts by two and three points to fall to 0-2.
Perry got off to a good start and grabbed a 17-6 lead after one quarter thanks in large part to Kalida hitting only 2-of-11 from the field in the initial period of play.
But the Wildcats roared back in the second period as they connected on 7-of-11 from the field including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. That hot shooting allowed Kalida to outscore Perry 20-6 and take a 26-23 to the break.
The two teams battled back and forth in the third period and finally settled for an 18-18 tie and Kalida went to the final period leading 44-41.
Kalida was leading by three points with only 6.9 seconds to play when Perry senior Jared Poling buried a three from the top of the key to send the game to overtime.
Kalida was able to get the ball inside and connected on 3-of-4 free throws to escape with the hard fought victory.
“We are both works in progress,” Kalida coach Dick Kortokrax said. “It usually comes down to free throws and we hit them in the fourth quarter and overtime. I’m proud of our effort.”
Perry coach Matt Tabler was pleased with the effort he got from his team but wasn’t thrilled with the defense at times.
“I can live with the turnovers and bad shots; the defensive breakdowns have to be fixed, we just have to be strong and mentally tough.” Tabler said. “We lost our first two games by two possessions and if we keep doing that we will have more wins than losses by the end of the season.”
Kalida got 23 points from Devin Kortokrax (grandson of Dick) and 17 points by Grant Unverferth. Perry was led by Jacoby Lane-Harvey with 23 points and 16 by Poling.