KALIDA — Kalida takes pride in its defense and it showed in its 53-15 win against Continental in the Division IV sectional opener Tuesday night.
Kalida improves to 18-5 for the year and plays host to Lincolnview at 7 p.m. Friday. Continental ends its season at 8-14.
The Wildcats held the Pirates’ scoring to single digits in all four quarters. Earlier in the year, Kalida held Continental to 29 points. For the year, the Wildcats are holding teams to an average of 38.5 points per game.
“The defensive effort was excellent tonight,” Kalida head coach Ryan Stechschulte said. “I think it is even better than it has been in the past four or five weeks and it has been really good. They (Continental) did not get a lot of good looks. We were very disciplined, and we rebounded the ball. It was nice to see the kids were playing with confidence. “
While the Wildcat defense was getting the job done, the Kalida offense, on the strength of its outside shooting and transition buckets, was led by Tyson Siefker, who scored a game-high 17 points, hitting five 3-pointers. Senior Luke Erhart, who had three 3 pointers, finished with 14 points.
As a team, Kalida hit 10 treys on the night.
“The ball movement was really good tonight,” Stechschulte said. “When teams press and kids press they tend to hold it and try to make too much happen. It is not because they are selfish it is just that these kids want to succeed. Tonight we did a really good job of sharing it and getting a lot of good looks.”
Kalida’s trademark defense was on display from the opening tip as the Wildcats limited the Pirates to two points in the first eight minutes.
To try and stop the Kalida, Continental came out in a 2-3 zone in hopes of stopping Erhart and the Wildcats inside play. But Kalida countered by hitting a trio of treys and the Pirates changed to man-to-man midway through the quarter.
Kalida’s relentless pressure, along with the its precision perimeter shooting, continued into the second stanza and with 3:25 left in the first half, Kalida owned a 23-7 advantage.
Going into the second half, the Wildcats led, 28-7.
Continental did not have a single player score in double digits.
Stechschulte said that he thought teams might want to throw a zone at his team to stop the Wildcats but added the team had some good practices in anticipation of this occurring.
“We are playing downhill and inside out and it was pretty good,” the Kalida head coach said. “We’re never going to pass up a good shot, and we had great shots tonight. I tell my kids to keep taking great shots.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.