Boys Basketball: Delphos St. John’s builds lead, protects it in win over Pandora-Gilboa

PANDORA – The way Delphos St. John’s boys basketball team is built, with four guards in its starting lineup and more off the bench, once they get a lead it’s not easy to take it away from them.

That was demonstrated again when the Blue Jays beat Pandora-Gilboa 57-48 on Saturday night.

St. John’s took the lead late in the first quarter and never trailed again. Pandora-Gilboa got to within three points at 33-30, with three minutes left in the third quarter. And after falling behind by as many as 12 points halfway through the fourth quarter, the Rockets got back to within five points, 53-48, in the final minute. But that was as close as they could get.

Cameron Elwer scored 34 points to lead St. John’s (11-2) and Andrew Elwer had nine points. Aidan Morris’ 17 points led Pandora-Gilboa (11-2) and Colin Harris scored 10 points.

“We really like our guard play. We have big guards, we have skilled guards who have played a lot of basketball,” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer said.

“You talk about tournament basketball and what do you like and a lot of people say, ‘We like having good point guards and guards.’ We’re built for that. They (Pandora-Gilboa) are a really good basketball team. It was a tough physical game. We handled the situation again. We’re growing up,” he said.

Pandora-Gilboa coach Mike Lee said there is no doubt about St. John’s ability to protect a lead.

“And when you’ve got the main cog who is running the show (Cameron Elwer) the ball is going to be in his hands 75 to 80 percent of the time and that just puts a lot more pressure on your defense. He’s one tough character,” he said.

Pandora-Gilboa came into Saturday night’s game after taking its first loss of the season on Friday night, 48-46 against Arlington in a game in which it led the Red Devils by seven points with a minute and a half to play.

Lee said he did not see any lingering effects from that game.

“I was curious to see what our reaction was going to be. But the effort, the intensity, I’m very pleased with,” he said.

“We’ve got some things we need to get corrected. We can’t have dry spells. We had one last night that cost us and we had a couple tonight. They didn’t last as long but we’ve got to shore some things up offensively. And while that’s going on we have to do the job at the other end of the floor.”

St. John’s shot 59 percent on field goals (17 of 29). Pandora-Gilboa shot 46 percent (18 of 39). St. John’s had a 17-16 rebounding edge.

Elwer said, “I thought our guys did a good job of finding open players, like on the one big three Andrew hit, Aaron Moenter made a great pass. Sometimes those things go unnoticed because you go right to the boxscore. It’s a collaborative deal. Our guys are locked in and they embrace their role. I like the direction we’re going.”

Delphos St. John’s 57, Pandora-Gilboa 48

Score by quarters:

Delphos St. John’s 13 18 10 16 – 57

Pandora-Gilboa 8 14 11 15 – 48


Cameron Elwer 34, Austin Moenter 6, Andrew Elwer 9, Tyce McClain 5, Drew Boggs 2, Brayden Klaus 1. Totals: 17-15-57.


Aiden Harris 4, Zach Neuenschwander 9, Nate Maag 4, Aidan Morris 17, Colin Harris 10, Owen Huffman 2, Nate Walker 2. Totals: 18-9-48.

Three-pointers: DSJ – C. Elwer 3, A. Elwer 3, Austin Moenter 1, Tyce McClain 1; PG – Neuenschwander 3.

Records: Delphos St. John’s 11-2; Pandora-Gilboa 11-2.

Jim Naveau
Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.