KALIDA – Kalida had been stewing about its slow start over the holidays.
On Friday, the Wildcats looked like a team with a lot to prove.
Kalida wound up its defensive pressure and converted it into transition baskets to run past Lincolnview 67-38 in a non-league holiday boys basketball game Friday at Kalida.
Kalida is 3-5. Lincolnview stands 4-2.
“I think we had to prove it to ourselves,” Kalida’s Evan Roebke said. “We knew we were capable of it and we do it all the time in practice. It was about transferring to the game and showing what we could do.’’
Luke Erhart, a 6-foot-5 junior, led Kalida with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Roebke added 16 points and eight boards. Roebke also had three 3-pointers.
Gabe Hovest had 11 points, seven rebounds and two 3-pointers.
Kalida forced 18 Lancers’ turnovers and turned most of those into transition points.
“I think part of our identity is a strong defensive mindset,” Roebke said. “We try to keep our opponent from scoring a lot on us and we try to get our defense to kick start our offense.’’
Kalida also dominated the boards, 41-23.
Garrett Richardson led the Lancers with seven points. Aaron Cavinder had six points with two 3-pointers.
Kalida was coming off a loss to Spencerville last Saturday and an overtime loss to Lima Central Catholic on Dec. 20.
But the Wildcats looked like that was all behind them at the start.
Kalida ran out to a 10-2 lead.
Leading the way was a 1-2-2 press, which jump started the Wildcats’ offense.
“Defensively, we’ve done a good job all year,” Kalida coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “But we had some kids who had to sit out a few games with minor injuries and we’re just finding our groove and getting comfortable.’’
Kalida forced the Lancers into six first-quarter turnovers.
Kalida led 15-6 after the first quarter and pushed the margin to 17-6 just into the second quarter.
“We started very well, offensively,” Stechschulte said. “When the ball’s going in, everyone sees that.’’
The Lancers then ran off a 10-0 run, with back-to-back 3-pointers by Collin Overholt and Creed Jesse.
That pulled the Lancers within 17-16 with 3:56 left in the second quarter.
Kalida bounced back and finished the half on an 11-0 run to take a 28-16 lead into the halftime break.
During that run for Kalida, Roebke hit one three and Brandon Miller came off the bench to sink a pair of 3-pointers.
Erhart also had a fast-break layup off a Lancers’ turnover.
Erhart, who missed the first three games of the year with an injury, went into halftime with a team-high 11 points.
It was more of the same for Kalida in the third quarter, with an emphasis on defense, steals, rebounding and running the floor.
Kalida started the third on a 16-5 surge to pull out to a 44-21 lead with 2:33 left in the third.
Kalida’s defense and running game outscored the Lancers 23-7 in the third to pull out to a 51-23 lead.
“If we can get clean rebounds, we can have the opportunity to get down the floor and beat them for layups,” Stechschulte said.
Roebke scored seven points in the third quarter.
Roebke said the team decided it was time for extra shooting over the holiday break.
“We knew if we didn’t want our season to keep on going the way it was, so a lot of us decided we had to come in over the break and get
some shots up,” Roebke said. “We wanted to work on our own, then bring our ‘A’ game to practice and I think that helped us tonight.’’