KALIDA – The Tinora Rams made the trip over to Putnam County to take on the Kalida Wildcats, Tinora was looking to break through the ice and end their eight game losing streak.
The Wildcats were hit hard with graduation, returning but just one letter winner after being ranked much of last season in the top five in DIV IV. The Wildcats brought a three game winning streak as well as a 6-6 record to the table, the Rams toted a 2-9 record.
The first quarter saw the Wildcats jump out to an 11-6 lead, courtesy of six points from Tyson Siefker. Luke Harris hit two threes, tallying six in the initial quarter.
Quarter two saw much of the same from both teams, Kalida took a 19-16 lead to the locker rooms. Both defenses tightened up, The Rams D held Siefker scoreless, and Tinora’s Harris bucketed just two points in the quarter.
As teams took the floor in the third, Kalida extended their lead right out of the gates to 23-16. Harris responded with a three, cutting the Wildcats lead to 23-19. Kalida extended the lead out to as many as eight, 30-22, midway through the third. The Rams defense rallied, cutting the Wildcats lead to 32-29 after three, limiting the ‘Cats to just a single bucket over the last four minutes of the quarter.
As the Rams were headed to the floor to start the final quarter, fans, players and staff were probably thinking they’ve been down this road before. Same story, same movie, same ol’ script, a close game, Rams will grab a lead only to see it fly out the window late.
Tinora senior Lance Rinkel grabbed that script and ripped it in two as he headed out of the huddle. The senior guard was held scoreless in the first three quarters after coming off a 12 point game vs the Raiders of Wayne Trace Friday night.
Rinkel exploded for 10 points in the final five minutes. After bucketing his fifth point courtesy of a long distance three, the game was knotted at 34-34. Tinora sharpshooter Luke Harris nailed a three pointer on Tinora’s next possession, giving the Rams their first lead of the night, 37-34 with four minutes remaining.
A Wildcat bucket by Justin Siebebeck with two minutes remaining gave Kalida the lead back, 38-37. “Here we go again”, mumbled each Rams hoops fan. Rams Luke Harris grabbed the lead, 39-38 with a baseline jumper.
After a Kalida miss, Rinkel dialed up a three pointer from the left corner, giving Tinora a 42-38 lead with 50 seconds remaining. Another Wildcat miss resulted in a foul, sending Rinkel back to the line for a one and one free throw. The senior calmly stepped to the line with 20 seconds remaining, and canned both free throws, giving the Rams a 44-38 lead.
Tyson Siefker’s last bucket of the night cut the lead to 44-40 with just seconds remaining, the Rams were able to run out the last few seconds, breaking their eight game losing streak.
Big games by Harris, Schafer, and Rinkel rallied the Rams to a 44-40 win over the Kalida Wildcats.
The Higbea Embroidery Player of the Game award went to Lance Rinkel, great job Lance!
Tinora improves to 3-9, the Rams will play at Ayersville on Friday night.
Kalida falls to 6-7, the Wildcats will host Columbus Grove next Saturday.
JU Siebeneck 7
D Fersch 4
Freshman – Tinora 21- Kalida 20
JV – Kalida 39 Tinora 24 -Aiden Rittenhouse 14 points