KALIDA — All 6-foot-6 of Drew Johnson graduated for Pandora-Gilboa.
And Kalida was determined to take full advantage of P-G no longer having the Putnam County League player of the year.
Kalida got the ball inside and pounded the glass in a 47-36 victory against P-G in a PCL boys basketball game Tuesday night.
Consider of Kalida’s 21 baskets, 17 came via layups.
And Kalida dominated the boards, 31-12, including 10-2 margin on the offensive end.
Kalida is 2-2, 1-0 in the PCL. Two-time defending PCL champion P-G is 1-2, 0-1 in the PCL.
“They have kids who have been playing for four years, kind of like we were last year,” P-G coach Joe Braidic said. “So their knowledge level is a little higher than ours. We’re still feeling our way through it. We have two starters back and the rest of the team hasn’t played varsity competition. I thought our kids did themselves proud.’’
Trevor Lambert paced a balanced Kalida attack with 16 points and five rebounds. Of his seven baskets, six came on layups.
Grant Laudick had 12 points and six boards for Kalida.
Owen Recker had 10 points.
Luke Erhart, a 6-5 sophomore, had nine rebounds for Kalida.
Zeb George led P-G with 13 points, four rebounds and one 3-pointer.
“He (George) had a nice game,” Braidic said. … I was just happy with how hard we played. We proved that we belonged, now we need to do a better job executing.’’
Riley Larcom, one of two veterans back for the Rockets, had 10 points.
The other returning starter for P-G, point guard Jared Breece, had six points.
“I thought we did a really nice job, defensively, of making Breece and Larcom really work,” Kalida coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “I’m overall happy with the defensive effort.’’
The Rockets were within five in the third quarter, 32-27, and they got within seven, 42-37, with five minutes to go.
Kalida then ripped off a 5-0 run, with a three-point play by Lambert.
That gave Kalida 47-35 lead with 2:50 to go.
“Give them credit. They made plays,” Braidic said.
Kalida went out to an early 14-7 lead.
The Wildcats led 18-12 after the first quarter and 28-23 at the half.
Whether it was driving to the basket, or powering down low, Kalida wanted to take it to the basket.
Kalida’s Lambert was doing most of the early driving. He had nine points in the first quarter, on four layups.
In the second quarter, Recker had two layups, while Laudick had three.
Kalida was 12 of 19 from the field in the first half. And 10 of those 12 baskets came on layups.
“We talked about owning the paint on both ends and offensively, there was an emphasis on the ball touching the paint,” Stechschulte said. … “We have good length and we should be a good offensive rebounding team.’’
P-G had a similar idea.
George had 11 points at the half, with eight coming off layups, along with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
Kalida shot 57 percent from the field. P-G hit 44 percent.