ELIDA — Elida knew there would be nights when Dakota Mathias wouldn’t knock down 40 points.
And Friday was one of those nights.
So instead of waiting on magic from Mathias, Elida’s Marquevious Wilson flew to the rescue.
Wilson’s putback and free throw clinched the 66-62 Elida victory over Bath before close to 2,500 fans at the Elida Fieldhouse.
Wilson finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He hit 8 of 11 from the field.
Bath’s Taren Sullivan scored 11 points and broke the Bath boys career-scoring record held by Brad Davis at 1,066 points. Sullivan now has 1,075.
“It definitely takes a weight off my shoulders,” Sullivan said. “I think now we can concentrate a little bit more on winning since we got that out of the way.”
Elida is 17-3 and remains tied for first place in the Western Buckeye League with Celina and Defiance, all at 7-1. Bath is 14-4 and 6-2 in the WBL.
With Elida clinging to a 63-62 lead with 14 seconds left, Mathias went to the foul line to shoot 1-and-1. He missed the first, but Wilson scooted inside and flipped in the follow shot and was fouled.
“I knew I had to get the ball,” the sophomore Wilson said. “Dakota can’t do it all for us. Someone has to help him out. (At the foul line), it was a matter of having confidence in myself. … Offensively, I had to be aggressive tonight.”
Elida coach Denny Thompson added, “That was big. If they rebound that missed free throw, who knows what happens? It was a game-changing play for us. He (Wilson) played a pretty complete game tonight.”
When Wilson made the free throw, Elida’s lead was 66-62 with 12 seconds left. Bath missed a final shot and Elida was able to hold off a late Wildcats’ charge.
Elida led the whole way and by as many as 15, 35-20, with 45 seconds left in the second quarter.
Colin Gossard led Bath with 21 points, while Hayden Atkins had 12. Andrew Renner scored 10 with four steals.
Mathias, who came in averaging 28.4 points per game, averaged 40 points in two games last weekend. He finished with 19 points, six assists and five rebounds. Louis Gray had 10 points.
Elida led 16-12 after the first quarter and 35-22 at the half.
Mathias guarded Sullivan the whole way and Sullivan struggled to get an open look. He entered the game needing three points for the scoring record.
With 3:14 left in the third quarter, Sullivan hit a 15-foot fadeaway jumper for the record. At the next dead ball, former-record holder Brad Davis and Bath coach Doug Davis presented Sullivan with the ball.
That relaxed Sullivan and the Wildcats, but Bath still trailed 51-41 after three quarters.
“After that, everything was going easy,” Sullivan said.
Bath’s sticky man-to-man forced 17 Elida turnovers and helped the Wildcats outscore Elida 21-15 in the final quarter. Elida was also 4 of 9 at the foul line in the final quarter, which gave Bath plenty of life in its up-tempo game.
“I’m proud of the way we battled back in the second half,” Davis said. “We could have folded our tent and gave up at halftime. The guys didn’t do that. They came out and competed in the second half and got themselves back in the game. … We had our chances to possibly win it and hopefully we’ll learn from it.”
Both teams had 29 boards. Elida shot 46 percent from the field, but was 7 of 14 at the foul line. Elida hit 7 of 16 on 3-pointers. Bath shot 46 percent from the field, but was 2 of 14 on 3-pointers.
Elida can clinch a share of the title next week with a win over Celina.
“Win next Friday, we have a share,” Thompson said.