DELPHOS — Delphos Jefferson continues to inch closer to an overall .500 record.
But that means nothing in the Northwest Conference race.
Jefferson pushed its NWC record to 4-0 Friday night with a 52-29 victory against Paulding on the stage at Delphos Jefferson.
Jefferson (6-8, 4-0 NWC) was in control from early in the first quarter.
Paulding is 3-11, 2-3 in the NWC.
“I feel like we’re progressing and getting better every game and learning from our mistakes,” Delphos Jefferson’s Ian Wannemacher said. … “We’re not satisfied yet. We’re going to keep playing and try to win the NWC.’’
Jefferson led 19-6 after the first quarter and 30-17 at the half.
Damon Wiltsie came off the bench to lead Jefferson with 10 points and two 3-pointers.
The Wildcats had five players with at least seven points.
Wannemacher had nine points and six rebounds.
Logan Hubert had eight points and five rebounds for Jeffferson. Doug Long had seven points and five rebounds.
Colin Bailey had seven points and five rebounds.
Logan Herron had two points and led both teams with 10 rebounds.
“Logan goes out there, sticks to his role and plays hard,” Jettinghoff said.
Payton Beckman, a 6-foot-4 junior, led Paulding with six points and six rebounds.
Helping hold Beckman in check for Jefferson were Hubert, Long and Herron.
“Defensively, this was right up there (with our top games),” Jefferson coach Jordan Jettinghoff said. “I think we frustrated them from the get-go. I think we did a good job being physical with them and making it tough for them.
“And with one of their big guys out, Blake McGarvey, we knew they wanted to feed it to Beckman. We did a good job of rotating guys.’’
The Wildcats dominated the boards, 43-26.
“They controlled the boards,” Paulding coach Brian Miller said. “Overall, I think they played harder than we did.’’
Jefferson’s defense went from a man to a 1-2-2 press.
Both helped the Wildcats run out to a 13-4 lead.
The Wildcats then pushed their lead to 17-4.
“Delphos came out and smacked us in the mouth, took it to us and their physicality wore us out in the first half,” Miller said. “Then, we couldn’t hit a shot and we’ve been having trouble hitting shots, but give them credit. They had a lot to do with that.’’
Long, a 6-foot-3 junior, scored five straight points in the first quarter on a follow shot, free throw and a 15-footer.
But Long picked up his second foul at the 1:46 mark of the first quarter and headed to the bench.
In the second quarter, the Wildcats went right inside and scored five layups, including two by Wannemacher.
“We wanted to take it at them for sure,” Wannemacher said. “We had more size and we were going to be the more physical team tonight.’’
Jefferson dropped three 3-pointers in the third quarter, one by Bailey and two by Wiltsie.
That powered the Wildcats to a 15-4 advantage in the third to pull out to a 45-21 lead.
Paulding wasn’t able to make a late charge.
Jefferson shot 45 percent from the field and was 4 of 11 on 3-pointers.
Paulding shot 24 percent from the field and was 3 of 14 on threes.
Jefferson has now won three of four, including a 50-41 victory over Crestview last Friday.
“After Crestview, I talked to them about not being satisfied, coming out staying hungry and keeping that momentum going,” Jettinghoff said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.