MANSFIELD, OH – In what is becoming a regular occurrence the OG Lady Titans once again found themselves making school history at the end of their 51-34 Regional Finals victory over Norton on Friday night.
Not only will the Titans be making their third consecutive trip to the State Semifinals at the Schott, OG became just the second girls team in Putnam County history to record 27 wins in a season. In joining the 1988 Kalida Wildcats who were the first to not only win 27 games but to also win a State Championship the Titans made history of their own as they became the winningest single season squad in school history eclipsing the 26 win mark set each of the past two seasons.
Early on the Titans were forced with a relentless pressure from the Norton Panthers and were unable to handle it at times as they committed a dozen first half turnovers. As she has done a myriad of times this season Kadie Hempfling helped her team jump out to a lead as she hit for seven first quarter points and helped put OG ahead at the quarter stoppage 11-9.
After hitting a pair of threes and turning a 7-1 disadvantage on the scoreboard in the first into an 11-11 tie at the start of the second quarter the Panthers were unable to hold onto the basketball as their opponents held the PTC Champions to a seven point quarter and a 24-16 halftime advantage for OG.
Kylie White spent a majority of the second quarter in foul trouble and on the bench with a pair of fouls before her coach Troy Yant rolled the dice on bringing her in midway through the period. With the defense now keying inside on White, the Titans were able to space the floor and get open shots from the trio of Carri Johnson, Lexi Schroeder, and Hempfling who tossed in 11 points in the middle two quarters collectively.
Ashley Schroeder, a 5’4 guard and starter for the Titans connected on 3/4 charity stripe tosses in the games penultimate period as well as a basket that helped push the Ottawa Glandorf advantage to 38-31 heading into the final 8:00.
White, who entered play Friday night 21 points behind her mother Sandy (Buddlemeyer) White for 2nd all-time in OG history with 1038 career points hit on four out of eight in her trips to the line along with a trio of tough baskets underneath to finish with a dozen on the night.
On the evening the Titans who had connected on just 58.7% of their shots from the line on the season ended this night by hitting 17/28 and holding their opponents to just a single three pointer from Jordan Bird in the fourth quarter en route to their win and a State Semifinal berth in Columbus next Thursday.
Before fouling out Bird was joined in leading her team with 11 by 5’4 Sophomore guard Bryana Housley with one shy of a dozen.
Hempfling led the Titans in scoring with 13 points to go along with her 7 rebound, 5 assist effort.
Ottawa Glandorf (27-0) will take on the team that ended their championship bid in last seasons finals in Kettering Alter who features Braxtin Miller, an Oklahoma State signee. Norton bows out of the tournament at 22-6.
Ashley Schroeder 9
Carri Johnson 3
Erin Kaufman 5
Lexi Schroeder 9
Kylie White 12
Kadie Hempfling 13
3PT: 2/6 (Johnson, Hempfling)
REB: 25 (Hempfling 7)
AST: 9 (Hempfling 5)
Jordan Bird 11
Bryana Housley 11
Logan Favor 2
Sarah Shearer 2
Abbey Murawski 4
Jimi Howell 4
3PT: 4/16 (Bird 3, Housley)
REB: 6 (Howell 6)
AST: 5 (Housley 2, Hosey 2)