Kalida's Devin Kortokrax (30) gets inside for a shot attempt in the Wildcats game against Pandora-Gilboa. The Rockets Jared Tousley defends on the play.
Kalida's Devin Kortokrax (30) gets inside for a shot attempt in the Wildcats game against Pandora-Gilboa. The Rockets Jared Tousley defends on the play.

OTTAWA — Kalida couldn’t have asked for a better start to their Division IV sectional semi-final at Ottawa-Glandorf Tuesday night.
After Pandora-Gilboa scored the opening points of the game, the Wildcats scored the next 13. That early run gave the Wildcats the breathing room they wanted on their way to a 55-39 win over the Rockets at the Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium.
The win sends the Wildcats (14-9) to the sectional finals Friday against top seeded Miller City (14-8) at 6:15 p.m. The Rockets saw their season end at 3-19.
The Rockets drew first blood when Hunter Hovest banked in a short jumper. Kalida missed their first three shots of the game before Cole Miller grabbed an offensive rebound and scored. That started a 13-0 run which included a three point play by Miller, five points from Devin Kortokrax, a Luke Langhals basket and a free throw by Randy Zeller. P-G went 2-of-9 from the field in the opening quarter as their other basket was scored by Seth Schmenk with 2:05 left in the quarter. Neither team scored after that as the Wildcats had a nine point lead going to the second quarter.
“One of the keys you hope to have is a good start,” Kalida veteran coach Dick Kortokrax said. “I was very appreciative of the fact we forced them to use an early timeout with us up 13-2, then the rest of the night that was basically it. They (P-G) fought very hard, which we thought they would, and as a result it was our start that was the key to the game.”
While the Rockets offense started to click in the second quarter, the Wildcats were able to add to its first quarter lead with a 17-10 scoring advantage.
Schmenk opened the second quarter scoring for P-G before Kortokrax scored four straight points for Kalida, two coming on a steal. Schmenk added two baskets to the P-G score, but Zeller helped Kalida add to its lead draining a pair of three-pointers. After a Colin Fenstermaker bucket for P-G, Kortokrax drained two free throws and Zeller picked off a backside rebound and scored giving Kalida a 28-12 lead. Another basket by Schmenk and two free throws from Luke Langhals had the Wildcats up 16 points at the break.
The Rockets were 7-of-28 from the floor in the opening half and didn’t shoot a free throw although they were trying to push the ball inside. Meanwhile Kalida shot nine free throws in the opening half making eight of them.
“We started in our zone and I think we lost our discipline in the zone. We let Zeller get loose a couple of times for two big three’s and we let Kortokrax get open on the wings for three’s. which were momentum killers,” P-G coach Logan Smith said. “We struggle scoring, so to give up 30 points the first half was tough. The bad thing was we had eight or nine shots around the rim the first half that we couldn’t convert. We did a little better the second half, but we weren’t able to get to the line.”
The third quarter was a battle between Zeller for Kalida, while Schmenk and Fenstermaker combined for all 13 of the Rockets points. Zeller had nine of Kalida’s 11 points in the quarter as he had a pair of putbacks and a three-pointer. Schmenk had nine points for P-G in the quarter, that included a three, while Fenstermaker had four. Trent Gerding scored the Wildcats other two points as Kalida was up 41-27 after three periods.
The fourth quarter saw the Rockets make a run behind the play of Schmenk. The senior had seven straight points for the Rockets, including a three-pointer, that pulled P-G within 45-36 with 4:13 left. Kortokrax ended a long Kalida scoring drought with a basket that Fenstermaker matched. Another Kortokrax basket and one by Cole Miller gave the Wildcats a 13 point lead before two free throws by Kortokrax and two by Adam Langhals iced the game for Kalida.
“We want an inside-outside game and at times we had trouble with that,” coach Kortokrax said. “Plus they had one young man (Schmenk) that could score for them and help their cause. It was a question as to whether we could answer with some balance. We don’t want one to score, we want three guys to score and its hard to find that third guy at times. Another thing I felt we were in control was the foul line and when you hold your opponent to four chances you have a good chance to win because I felt we were getting there a lot more.”
Kortokrax had 20 points and five rebounds for Kalida, while Zeller had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Miller had nine points and six rebounds. Luke Langhals also had six rebounds for Kalida.
Schmenk led the Rockets and all scores with 26 points and he had 10 rebounds. Fenstermaker chipped in with 10 points and four rebounds.
“Being down 16 at the half against a quality team, that is fundamental and runs their sets and is going to get a good shot is tough to beat,” Smith said. “They were able to get a lot of easy stuff in transition. They did a good job of getting backside rebounds. Their post players are not great shooters, but they know how to find the open spots to keep the ball alive. Seth is a very streaky shooter, but he did a great job getting to the basket and he made some three’s. I told our coaches if the ball is in his hands, make or miss, we were going with that. Colin did a great job getting into the lane and posting up harder the second half.”
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Pandora-Gilboa 17-46 3-4 39: Jacob Wauters 0-0-0; Seth Schmenk 12-0-26; Brian Schneck 0-0-0; Hunter Hovest 1-0-2; Alex Osborn 0-1-1; Jared Tousley 0-0-0; Colin Fenstermaker 4-2-10.
Kalida 19-50 12-15 55: Grant Unverferth 0-0-0; Adam Langhals 0-2-2; Austin Swift 0-0-0; Luke Langhals 1-2-4; Devin Kortokrax 6-6-20; Randy Zeller 7-1-18; Trent Gerding 1-0-2; Logan Roebke 0-0-0; Cole Miller 4-1-9; Brandon Verhoff 0-0-0.
Pandora-Gilboa 4 10 13 12 - 39
Kalida 13 17 11 14 -55
Three-point goals: Pandora-Gilboa 2-10 (Schmenk 2); Kalida 5-21 (Zeller 3, Kortokrax 2).
Rebounds: Pandora-Gilboa 23 (Schmenk 10); Kalida 33 (Zeller 10).
Turnovers: Pandora-Gilboa 14, Kalida 10.