Crestview survives, Big Green roll to District Finals matchup

It may have said February 28th on the calendar, but it March Madness was definitely in full effect last night at Lima Senior. The Northwest Conference champion Crestview Knights brought their 21-2 record into yesterday’s District Semi-Finals against the 15-8 Kalida Wildcats in hopes of returning on Saturday night to play for a chance at a District Championship and walked away with a 53-47 Double Overtime win, but it’s how they earned it that makes the story unique.

Lindsey Motycka, a 1st Team All-NWC selection led her Knights early as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first quarter but were matched as a run by the Wildcats closed the gap to 12-10 after the first stanza. A 10-5 second quarter run gave Kalida a 20-17 lead at the break and set up what would be a fantastic second half. For the next two quarters Kylie Osterhage for Kalida and Emily Bauer of Crestview waged a war underneath that had both picking up buckets and fouls along the way. After 3 quarters had elapsed the scoreboard shows Kalida ahead by 1 at 29-28. Both teams were able to put a lot of points on the board in the fourth quarter from the field and especially the free throw line where the Knights were able to make a killing. In the final minute of the game it was Summer Holtkamp who put the Wildcats up 43-40 with her coast to coast layup that left only 5 seconds on the clock. During the ensuing timeout there is no doubt that Coach Adam Huber told his players in emphatic fashion DO NOT FOUL THE THREE, but that is exactly what happened as the Knights stepped to the line with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game needing Mackenzie Riggenbach to hit all three just to tie, which she did. Kalida got one final heave from halfcourt that came up short to send the game to overtime.

In the first overtime neither team was really able to do very much as they only hit one bucket each to send the exhausted players to a second overtime tied at 43. Overtime #2 was all Knights however as they outscored Kalida 8-2 to move on to face the winner of Ottoville and Lincolnview on Saturday night and improved to 22-2 on the season. With the loss Kalida’s season ended at a respectable 15-9 and will no doubt have them hungry next season for a return trip to Districts.

Crestview defeats Kalida in 2OT

The second game of the night had a LOT to live up to as the #1 team in Division IV and top seeded Ottoville, sporting a 23-0 record laced up their sneakers against the 18-5 NWC representative Lincolnview Lancers. Prior to the game much had been made about the star studded matchup in PCL 1st Team and Player of the Year Abby Siefker, PCL Coach of the Year Dave Klemen and the Big Green’s matchup with 1st Team NWC selection Katie Dye and Coach Dan Williamson’s Lancers.

Lincolnview jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the game and seemingly had Ottoville staggered early, but as they have done all season Ottoville quickly responded and led 13-12 after one. Most teams who have a bad quarter are usually staring down the barrel of a blowout, those who have two like Lincolnview did in the middle two quarters and are outscored 36-5 during that stretch had better begin planning for next year. Ottoville led 33-14 at the half. At the break the Lancers had turned the ball over 16 times and only scored 14 points, a surefire recipe for disaster against an average team, let alone a team like the Big Green who thrive on others mistakes and can turn them into quick points behind Nicole Vorst, Taylor Mangas and Rachel Turnwald.

After three quarters Ottoville led 49-17, but Abby Siefker the future Bowling Green State University Falcon had outscored Lincolnview 19-17 herself. Coach Dave Klemen and his staff pulled their starters with about 7 minutes to go in the fourth for good, but even the reserves got into the act as Nicole Kramer buried two 3 pointers to extend the lead. Never a squad to throw in the towel however the Lancers never gave up as they continued to try to battle back by scoring 10 points in the stanza to make the final 62-27 Ottoville. Siefker was the games leading scorer with 19 while her teammate Taylor Mangas chipped in 11 after battling back from an apparent ankle injury in the first half. Claire Dye was the only player in double figures for Lincolnview with 10 in the loss.

The Big Green upped their record to 24-o on the season while ending the Lancers 2012-13 campaign at 18-6. Ottoville will meet Crestview on Saturday night at Lima Senior for a chance at another District Championship, but will need to shore up their ballhandling as they committed 25 turnovers in the contest, a number that undoubtedly can not happen against a very stout Crestview defense if the Big Green look to advance to Regionals at Elida’s Fieldhouse next week.

Ottoville advances

The audio from both games is posted at http://www.michaelhirn.com/media/audio/

 

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Leipsic throttles North Baltimore

OTTAWA – The old adage about a game being close until tip-off was never proven more true than at Robert J Hermiller Gymnasium on Wednesday night. After Leipsic won the opening tipoff Devin Mangas went to work for the Vikings, hitting a three pointer to give his team a 3-0 lead just seven seconds in that they would never relinquish.

Leipsic utilized a tenacious press in the first quarter to steal any pass North Baltimore attempted and vaulted out to a 29-8 lead as the first stanza buzzer sounded. If you were one of the handful of Tiger fans it did not get any easier to stomach what happened next as the much bigger and faster Viking lineup put up 31 second quarter points to lead at the half 60-23. As the teams headed into the locker-room for a ten minute break the scoreboard showed the fans in attendance that Leipsic had four players in double figures.

Third quarter action was not very kind to the Tigers either as the only offense they were able to muster on a consistent basis came from Jacob Frost who chipped in a team high 14 once the smoke cleared. Heading into the final 8:00 there were only two questions remaining, could the Vikings hit 100 points for the third time this season and would every Viking get into the scorebook? Both of those questions were answered in the affirmative as a jumper by Oscar Lopez put the Vikings over the century mark with about two minutes to go. Derrick Bennett for the Vikings was the last player on his team to get points into the scoring column when he hit a runner to give Leipsic a 107-39 lead.

Leipsic with the win upped their record to 19-4 and will be back at Ottawa Glandorf on Friday night to play Cory Rawson at 8pm. North Baltimore with the loss saw their season end for the second consecutive year at OG, the site of a 71-12 loss last season and will finish 3-20. In the win Austin Brown led the way with 20 for the Vikings, Devin Mangas hit a trio of 3’s to finish with 19, and Zach Kuhlman with 16, very balanced scoring led the way for Leipsic in the win as Coach Scott Maag talked about after the game: http://chirb.it/ELN0qw

 

A look at the scoreboard after the game:

Leipsic wins big

Thursday night please tune in to hear myself and Steve Wiener as we will have two fantastic girls matchups as the 15-8 Kalida Wildcats will take on the 21-2 and top seeded Crestview Knights at 6:15pm from Lima Senior High School. Game #2 of the night will follow approximately 30 minutes after the first as the 23-0 Ottoville Big Green led by Abby Siefker will do battle with the 18-5 Lincolnview Lancers. All of the action from both games can be found on www.zsportslive.com channel z1 with pregame for the first contest starting at 5:50pm.

 

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Game Recap/Previews for this week

Tuesday night I had a chance to see Ottoville absolutely dismantle Perry and Kalida come back from a close first half to end the Fort Jennings Musketeers season.

Ottoville and Perry tipoff
Ottoville and Perry tipoff

Ottoville jumped out to a 25-1 lead during the first quarter and ended the stanza 28-5 after Perry hit a 22 foot three pointer with 9.8 seconds left in the first for their only bucket from the field in the quarter. The second quarter went a little better for the Commodores as they shot far better from the field, Ottoville still outscored them for the quarter however 27-20 to lead 52-25 at the half. 15 more Perry points in the third quarter including some NBA range three pointers propelled them to a decent quarter, but it was still all Ottoville at the end of three, 74-35. With their season on the line the Commodores never gave up on both ends of the floor, but in the end the Big Green were too much for Perry as they rolled to a 93-46 win to pick up their 22nd win on the season.

Going forward, Ottoville will next take on 5-18 Columbus Grove on Saturday night at 6:15 pm. You can hear the game live as it happens with myself and Steve Wiener on www.zsportslive.com channel z1 as the first of our two tournament games we will be covering that night. When these two programs hooked up on January 5th of this year it was a going away win for Ottoville as they prevailed 57-14. Will Saturday be a chance at redemption for the Bulldogs or more of the same for the Big Green?

Ottoville has relied most of the season on their Senior duo of future Bowling Green Falcon Abby Siefker and Rachel Beining. Those two along with superb shooting from Nicole Vorst, Rachel Turnwald and the injured Tonya Kaufman has propelled Coach Dave Klemen’s squad to a perfect regular season, a 22-0 record and a fourth consecutive Putnam County League title. Can they keep up the pressure not only on their opponents but also themselves as teams start doubling down low and scouting them harder in an attempt to dethrone them in what could be their last run at a state title? Well I guess time will tell, but right now I honestly can’t see anyone being able to hang with them for the foreseeable future. One of the key matchups that probably won’t get enough attention in my opinion beforehand is Ottoville’s Rachel Turnwald and Taylor Mangas defending speedy Grove guard Sidney McCluer, however if Beining and Siefker are dominating in the post like they did in game one between the two this year it might be a moot point.

Ottoville blows out Perry
Ottoville blows out Perry

Kalida’s Wildcats came into Tuesday night’s matchup with Fort Jennings having already have beaten the Musketeers handily at their place in December by a 50-27 score. Both teams didn’t have their best offensive nights early, but it was Kalida who got a spark near the end of the first half when Julia Vandemark hit a 3 near the buzzer to put the Wildcats ahead 24-22 at the break. Whatever the speech Kalida coach Adam Huber gave his team at the half must have been one for the ages as his Wildcats came storming out of the locker room in the third and took over with a 20-4 quarter that included two separate 10-0 runs to blow the game open. Kristi Honigfort added a pair of treys as well as a steal and a bucket during the second run to finish off her personal 8-0 run to end the third stanza and put Kalida ahead for good as they rolled to a  49-31 win for their 15th victory of the season.

Kalida ends Ft Jennings season
Kalida ends Ft Jennings season

With the victory the Wildcats will come back to Bluffton to play Continental on Saturday night at 8pm. Taylor Williamson and her Pirate teammates were not very good Valentines Day dates for Kalida as they came into the palace and brutalized the Cats and survived late while giving themselves the gift of a 32-26 PCL victory. Just as it was during their first meeting, the key matchup in this game will likely be in the point guard matchup as Taylor Williamson of Continental will once again lock horns with the speed and tenacious defense of Wildcat leader Summer Holtkamp.

Tournament season is one of my absolute favorite times of the year and with just two games under our belt already, I can see that this season is shaping up to be something special as we inch closer and closer to Columbus.

Please be sure to check out the audio page as you can hear these games on demand whenever you would like to.

Have a great day and an even better tomorrow.

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