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Ottoville moves on to state finals

COLUMBUS, OH – Buckeye Central started fast Thursday afternoon but it was the Big Green who finished often and late as they dispatched the Buckettes 44-25 and clinched a spot in Saturday morning’s Division 4 Finals.

Trailing 5-0 in the games early moments the Big Green utilized a 10-0 run punctuated by a pair of fast break buckets by Brynlee Hanneman to take the advantage and never looked back as they used their stifling defense to propel them into a State Finals rematch with the Minster Wildcats on Saturday.

Bridget Landin led the Ottoville offense as she poured in 21 points and added 11 rebounds to her total. The future Findlay Oiler dominated the game in spurts on the perimeter and down low in the paint as she was able to utilize her 6’0 frame and mobility to set up not only baskets for herself but also teammates. On Monday afternoon Landin became just the second Ottoville player ever (Karla Wenzlick) to be named to the All-Ohio 1st team in two different seasons.

Of the games 32 minutes the Big Green would find themselves trailing for just 3:36 early on and playing from in front for nearly 28 minutes.

Despite the fact that a normal part of the Ottoville scoring arsenal is the three pointer, the Big Green hit on just one from outside, a triple from Kasey Knippen in the second quarter to push the lead to 8 at 17-9.

Buckeye Central standout Jenna Karl, the Co-Northwest District player of the year with Ottoville’s Landin was held to just 4 first half points but thanks to a strong third quarter of 8 and a deep three pointer in the games closing minutes she would finish at her average of 15 points per contest in the defeat. Karl was shaded on the day by the strong defensive effort from Haley Hoersten.

Four players scored in the game for Buckeye Central while 7 dented the scorebook for Ottoville.

Ottoville finished the game 19/44 from the field and outscored their opponents 36-10 in the paint while also picking up 20 points off turnovers and 17 on second chance attempts.

Buckeye Central (26-2) suffers their first loss in 20 games while Ottoville improves to 27-2 which ties the school record for wins set by the 2013 squad.

Saturday at 10:45am the Big Green will take on the Minster Wildcats in a rematch of a game won by Minster in January.

Box Score:

Ottoville (44):

CJ Kemper 6
Brynlee Hanneman 4
Bridget Landin 21
Haley Hoersten 2
Quinley Schlagbaum 2
Amber Miller 2
Kasey Knippen 7

FG: 19/44
3PT: 1/7 (Knippen)
FT: 5/8
REB: 27 (14 offensive/13 defensive)
TO: 7

Buckeye Central (25):

Jenna Karl 15
Taylor Ratliff 3
Courtney Pifher 3
Lexi Evak 4

FG: 10/27
3PT: 2/6 (Karl, Ratliff)
FT: 3/6
REB: 17 (5 offensive/12 defensive)
TO: 17

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Scourge dominate Ravens to win first OFL title

GIRARD, OHIO – The Western Reserve Scourge are the 2015 Ohio Football League Champions as they dispatched the River City Ravens by a 42-13 score Saturday night in front of a big crowd at the home of the Girard Indians.

After Kareem Johnson’s interception of a Maurice Lovett pass and return to the River City 7, the Scourge’s Derrick Maddox opened the scoring of the contest as he rumbled into the endzone to give his team a 6-0 lead early. A busted play on the ensuing two point conversion would fail and result in an incomplete pass to keep the game at 6-0.

Trailing by the aforementioned score, the Ravens utilized their rushing and passing game to perfection upon getting the ball back and flew 60 yards to take the lead at 7-6 when Lovett tossed his 5th touchdown pass of the season to speedster Khalid Ali for a 20 yard score.

Mike Bell, the OFL recordholder in interceptions with 8 this season pilfered a pass from Scourge QB Mike Witherow near the goal line early in the games second stanza, but gave the home team new life as they forced and recovered a fumble at the Ravens 18 yard line to take possession once again. With new life on the drive it would only take the OFL North Conference Champions 5 plays to go 18 yards as Glenn Owens found himself the recipient of a strike of 12 yards from Witherow to give his team the lead at 14-7 after an Ed McElroy 2 point conversion run was successful.

Following a short kickoff that was fumbled away by the Ravens, James Williams would cash in on his first of two touchdown runs on the night from 14 yards out to send his team deep into the quarter with a 21-7 advantage. Williams’ jaunt capped off a quick two play drive that lasted a mere :55 on the stadium scoreboard.

With a Tevin Redmond fumble recovery setting them up at the Scourge 10, the Ravens offense quickly went to work but were almost as quickly stopped by the Western Reserve defense, a unit that forced six turnovers on the night. OFL All-Star Punting selection Mitchell Jet would miss on his attempted field goal of 30 yards as the half wound down to keep the score at 21-7 Scourge.

Chris Williams began the scoring for the Scourge in the games penultimate stanza as he caught a ball from Witherow and used his speed to outrun the defense 40 yards to push the lead to 28-7.

A second 14 yard touchdown run from James Williams of the ballooned the lead in the contest to 35-7, where it would stay for just one drive until Lovett rushed in from a yard out. The ensuing two point conversion however was no good and kept the score at 35-13 with 7:35 remaining.

With no other choice but to kick onside and try to recover the ball quickly and get another score in the endzone, the Ravens would attempt an onside kick. Unfortunately for the visitors however, their ball took a perfect bounce into the hands of the aptly named Tim Goforth who sprinted down the sideline untouched 41 yards for the games final scoring play.

River City finishes their inaugural season at 7-6 overall, but as champions of the OFL South and having gone on the road to knock off the defending North Champion Zanesville Jets and top seeded Ohio Crush just to advance to this contest.

Western Reserve ends their 2015 campaign at 13-2 and joins the Ohio Golden Knights (2013), and Southern Ohio Buckeyes (2014) as the first three champions in Ohio Football League history. For more information on the Scourge please be sure to check out their website at www.wrscourge.com

OFL North and OFL League Trophies
OFL North and OFL League Trophies
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OFL Championship Game Broadcast

Live from Cincinnati, Ohio it’s the 2nd Ohio Football League Championship will take place as the Zanesville Jets, winners of the OFL North Conference will take on the Southern Ohio Buckeyes, winners of the OFL South Conference. Live coverage from Woodward High School begins at 7:15pm with Michael Hirn and Steve Wiener on the call.

If you’re at the game and would like to listen in, just download the tunein application on your smartphone and search for Zsportslive.


Live streaming video by Ustream

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Titans Survive and Advance

Columbus – Survive and Advance, the motto of one Jim Valvano and his 1983 North Carolina State Wolfpack became the credo of Ottawa Glandorf this morning.

For the second straight year the Titans came into the State Semifinals but unlike last year they will advance to play for a Division 3 State Championship after surviving multiple runs from Ironton to win 61-60 in overtime.

After the first quarter Ironton led 19-12 behind 7 points in the opening stanza by Fighting Tigers 6 foot 7 power forward Trey Fletcher. Following a jumper and layup to open the second quarter from Fletcher to make it 23-12 in favor of Ironton the Titans responded with a 16-5 run to finish the quarter led by 9 points in the quarter and 17 in the half by TJ Metzger to tie at 28 heading into the break.

In the first half the Titans shot only 39.3% from the field (4-11 from 3) while Ironton shot 55% from the field (3-6 from 3). Neither team got to the free throw line that much in the first half as the Titans went 2-3 and the Fighting Tigers 3-4 from the charity stripe.

When the second half began, both teams had clearly changed their strategy from looking to shoot on the wing to a more post balanced draw the foul and get to the line oriented gameplan. Nobody was better from the free throw line in the second half than Ironton’s duo of Trey Fletcher and Trevor White who combined to finish 12-16 in their opportunities.

Ottawa Glandorf won the 3rd quarter 13-10 and lead after three 41-38. With both teams going to the ground and pound attack inside, the fouls began to mount up in bunches. The first casualty of the game came near the end of the half when Senior Trevor White fouled out for Ironton and finished his day with 14 points on a 3-3 from the field and 8-10 from the line performance in his last game for the Fighting Tigers.

With White gone the Titans went down inside to Rosebrock (3-13 shooting, 8 points 9 rebounds in 33 minutes) and Noah Bramlage(4-11 from the field, 8 points 4 rebounds in 34 minutes of work) to counter Fletcher’s unquestioned brute strength in the paint on offense.

The big guys down low may have been getting all of the looks on offense and from the refs, but it was Matthew “Chewey” Kaufman who was the most important “little” guy when it mattered as his layup with 2 seconds on the clock in regulation in which he knifed down the lane between three Fighting Tiger defenders pulled the Titans even at 56 heading into OT.

If the first half was all about the perimeter shooting(or supposed lack thereof) for both teams and the second half was all about the post players, the overtime was about how well each team could shoot from the free throw line. Ottawa Glandorf on the season only shoots 60.8% as a team from the charity stripe but didn’t show signs they aren’t the best in the state at it as Metzger iced the 61-60 win by hitting one of two free throws with 1 second remaining on the clock.

TJ Metzger finished the game with 25 points on 7-14 shooting (4-10 from 3), but it was fellow Senior Chewey Kaufman who stole away the player of the game award with his 11 point 6 assist 5 rebound performance. Kaufman came up huge all night long both in protecting the basketball and holding 1st Team All-Ohio guard Zac Carter of Ironton to 12 points on 4-16 shooting.

With the win the Titans up their record to 25-3 while the Fighting Tigers season ends at 23-3.

Who is next for OG you ask, well that would be none other than Midwest Athletic Conference’s 4th place regular season team in the 23-5 Versailles Tigers. Versailles defeated Leavittsburg Labrea 64-52 behind 21 points apiece from Damien Richard and All-Ohio selection in Sophomore Kyle Ahrens.

For Ottawa Glandorf to win their third state title overall and first since 2008 they will need to beat a very fast and streaky shooting Tigers squad much like themselves averaging 62.2 points per game.

Listen live to the game on www.zsportslive.com channel z1 on Saturday as pregame will begin around 10:20am with myself and Steve Wiener on the call. Can Ottawa Glandorf finish the mission? Tune in on Saturday to find out.

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Titans return to state, Leipsic earns first birth since 1925

For the second straight year the OHSAA State Basketball Championships will feature a team from Putnam County……or two.

Joining the Ottawa Glandorf Titans in Columbus will be the Leipsic Vikings and Coach Scott Maag. Leipsic utilized their pressure and outstanding play from D4 All-Ohio First Team selection Devin Mangas to earn the schools first state birth since Calvin Coolidge was President of the United States. 5 of the 16 schools involved in the tournament the last time the Vikings made it are no longer in existence even.

Can Mangas continue the sensational run he has been on as of late in which he has put up multiple 30 point games en route to leading Leipsic to a 24-4 record and a spot in the Division 4 State Semifinals on Friday? To get his team to state and a possible matchup against likely Cleveland area powerhouse Villa Angela St Joseph he will need some help from his teammates, most notably Austin Brown and Aric Schroeder to apply the pressure to advance past 25-2 Lancaster Fairfield Christian. The Knights are led by Steven Carpenter, a 6-3 junior averaging 20 points per game, and 6-7 senior center Justin Potochnik who is averaging 18.4 points per contest. The contest will take place at 2pm from Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio and can be head on www.zsportslive.com channel z1 with Rudy Lomeli and Dave Boninsegna on the call.

Both teams starting lineups:
Leipsic:
G   3  Devin Mangas, 6-0, Sr., 18.0 ppg
F   5  Derek Steffan, 6-3, Sr., 5.4 ppg
F 10 Austin Brown, 6-3, Sr., 12.5 ppg
G 14 Caleb Barrera, 6-2, Sr., 6.3 ppg
G 24 Aric Schroeder, 5-10, Sr., 4.3 ppg

Fairfield Christian:
G 10 Zach Sullivan, 6-0, Sr., 7.5 ppg
G  11  Steven Carpenter, 6-3, Jr., 20.0 ppg
C   3  Justin Potochnik, 6-7, Sr., 18.4
F  14  Nick Spurgus, 6-4, Jr., 7.6 ppg
F  24  Tyler Stevens, 6-1, Jr., 3.9 ppg

Ottawa Glandorf’s 2011-2012 season ended in disappointing fashion as the Titans fell short of their goal of reaching the State Championship as they lost in heartbreaking fashion to Portsmouth.

OG comes into the game this year with a renewed focus and a ton of experience at the state level as they return senior and Northwest District Player of the year and D3 All-Ohio First Team selection TJ Metzger, as well as classmates and starting 5 members in Matthew “Chewey” Kaufman, Caleb Siefker and Michael Rosebrock. Experience will not be a problem for this Titans team as their starting 5 in completely intact from last season, something rare in Division 3 teams.

Matthew Kaufman cutting down the net

After getting a measure of redemption against LCC who beat them earlier in the season, the Titans dispatched a very strong shooting Bloom Carroll Bulldogs team that up to that point had only incurred one loss on the season 60-56  in OT to up their all-time record in tournament at BG to 25-4. Noah Bramlage led OG with 15 points/9 rebounds while Rosebrock and Metzger each poured in 13. Kaufman handed out 6 assists in the win, but was most dominant on defense by playing the point in the 3-2 Titans defense that was able to force Isaac McGlone (headed to Eastern Kentucky and had 30 in the game) to taking bad shots late in preserving the victory and sending Ottawa Glandorf back to Columbus.

Headed to OG in BG

OG(24-3) will face Ironton (23-2) whose only two losses this year took place at an early season tournament in Florida. Here’s a look at both teams starting lineups:
Ironton:
G  30  Zac Carter, 5-9, Sr., 23.9 ppg
G  34  Josh Glover, 5-10, Sr., 3.4 ppg
F 44 Trey Fletcher, 6-6, Sr., 20.4 ppg
F  42  Trevor White, 6-4, Sr., 9.2 ppg
C 45 Aaron Stephens, 6-4, Sr., 3.0 ppg

OG:
G 4 Matthew Kaufman, 6-0, 4.6 ppg
G  24  Caleb Siefker, 6-4, Sr., 6.0 ppg
F 23 Michael Rosebrock, 6-4, Sr., 12.9 ppg
F  31  Noah Bramlage, 6-7, So., 10.5 ppg
G  32  T.J. Metzger, 6-1, Sr., 16.1 3 ppg

Listen to the Zsportslive Postgame Show with myself and Rudy Lomeli as we interviewed Kaufman, Rosebrock and Noah Bramlage after the big victory: http://chirb.it/0aLIHh

OG after cutting down the nets

Ottawa Glandorf and Ironton will tipoff from the Value City Arena in Columbus at 10:45am on Thursday morning as myself and Steve Wiener will bring you the action live on www.zsportslive.com on channel z1.

 

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Columbus Grove, Leipsic, Ottoville advance

Tournament season is one of my favorite times of the year and this season has been one of the wildest in recent memory. I’ve been fortunate enough to call some absolutely fantastic games the past week next to Steve Wiener and here’s a recap of them for you to enjoy.

Liberty Benton High School, the home of Ohio State Buckeye point guard Aaron Craft provided a backdrop Tuesday night for a pair of Putnam County League boys teams trying to advance to play each other for a District Championship this weekend. Leipsic’s Vikings led by high scoring guard Devin Mangas came out for Game 1 against Arlington which took control early. Led by Blanchard Valley Conference 1st teamer Michael Blunk it was the Red Devils who jumped all over the high octane Vikings offense and led 7-4 about six minutes in. That is where things changed as Leipsic ended the quarter on a quick nine point run to make it 13-7 after the first stanza. Caleb Barrera, Austin Brown and Mangas took control of the game in the second quarter as the trio helped Leipsic jump out to a 37-15 halftime lead on the strength of a 10 of 12 shooting output. Despite their own hot shooting in the third quarter, the Red Devils had no answer for Mangas who proceeded to blow by Arlington defenders on his was to 11 third quarter points. Just how good was Mangas in the game with the ball in his hands? 9 of his 12 points came on layups, many in which the closest defender to him was left rubbing his sore ankles at the three point line as his layup went through the net. While Michael Blunk finished with 24 for the Red Devils it was not enough to overcome the deficit that was built early as the Vikings advanced with a 71-50 win behind the Mangas, an easy selection for player of the game who finished with 32 and needs just 8 points to break the 1,000 point barrier for his career tonight in his contest.

Leipsic during the National Anthem

Columbus Grove rolled up north looking to meet their PCL mates Leipsic in the District Finals, but first they would need to defeat the Vanlue Wildcats and University of Toledo commit Zach Garber. Garber, the BVC leading scorer and player of the year stands at 6ft10 and is joined on the front lines for the Wildcats by 6ft5 Josh Clymer. Beating Vanlue would be no small task for Derek Rieman(6 foot 3), Will Vorhees(6 foot 6), and Brady Shafer(6 foot 3) as they were given the task of slowing down and bottling up the aforementioned duo. Garber put his team up early in the first quarter as he hit two three pointers and finished the quarter with 8. Vanlue got a questionable putback at the end of the quarter to put them on top 16-13 after one. In the second quarter the Bulldogs showed flashes of brilliance themselves when at times it was the Collin Grothaus show as he dazzled the capacity crowd with his fantastic dribbling skills and jump shots that put his team ahead 23-20 at the break. In the third the stifling Wildcat defense held the Bulldogs to only 5 points while going into the final stanza leading 36-31. Vanlue shot 1-5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter but got the lead with 51 seconds remaining off a perfect backdoor cut by Nick Hagerty with an assist over the top of the defense from Garber. Columbus Grove found themselves with the ball and a chance to win as the clock ticked down to around 12 seconds, but Grothaus couldn’t get a shot to go as he was fouled. 6.5 seconds remained on the clock as Grove coming out of a timeout inbounded underneath their own basket to their point guard Grothaus who proceeded to slice through the Wildcat defenders and hit the game winner as time expired to give his team a 47-45 win and a shot at a District Title on Friday night against Leipsic. Grothaus finished with 22 but none bigger than the last shot of the game, Garber finished with 15 in the last game he will ever play for Vanlue.

Listen to the end of the game with myself and Steve Wiener here: http://chirb.it/bxp2vG

Final score after Grothaus game winner

Listen to the game between Leipsic (21-4) taking on Columbus Grove (17-7) on www.zsportslive.com with Dave Boninsegna and Rudy Lomeli from Liberty Benton with coverage starting at 7pm. Leipsic won the matchup between the two teams earlier this season 64-52.

 

Switching gears from boys to girls action it was the Ottoville Lady Big Green (25-0) and the Leipsic Lady Vikings (17-8) taking center stage last night at Elida’s Fieldhouse. Could the Vikings get even with the Big Green for defeating them earlier in the season or would this be just another notch in the belt of the #1 team in the state on their way to another Regional Finals appearance? Leipsic and coach Gary Krienbrink were making their first ever appearance in the Regionals while the Big Green were making stop #12 with the matchup.

Ottoville got on the scoreboard first as Taylor Mangas continued her white hot shooting as of late by burying a three on their first possession, and they never looked back. After the first quarter the Big Green led 19-6 and Leipsic never got any closer as Ottoville used a handful of big runs including a 12-1 run in the second to lead at the half 30-20. One of the adjustments that Leipsic made in attempting to close the gap in the second stanza was to switch from a zone defense that had been giving up three pointers by the bushel to a man defense that forced 6 quick turnovers. Ottoville came out determined in the second half of the game, looking to avoid a second straight year in which their season ended in the Regional Semi-Finals by making their foul shots and just about every other shot they put up to run their lead to 42-24 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter the Big Green got three of their starters into double figures as before being taken out for good Turnwald dropped in 12, Beining 10, and Mangas 10. Abby Siefker and Nicole Vorst both just missed double digits as they each scored 9 to go along with Vorst’s 6 steals in the 52-29 win. All 5 of Leipsic’s points in the fourth quarter came from the free throw line as they were held scoreless for most of the second half at the hands of the stifling Ottoville defense which not only doesn’t allow you to score at times but doesn’t let you even attempt a shot when they don’t want to it seems.

Ottoville improves to 26-0 on the season and now has 2 more wins than the previous single season record for wins that was set in 1995-96. Leipsic finishes a fine season with their first Regional Semi-Finals appearance at 17-9 behind 7 points from Shaylyn Moorman.

Ottoville moves on

Saturday night’s Regional Finals will feature the Big Green taking on Arcadia (23-2) who got a big night from Senior guard Miranda Palmer who finished with 18 to dismiss the Pettisville Blackbirds in Game 1 of the night. Arcadia did not hit a shot until almost 2 minutes left in the 1st quarter but used a 14-0 run in the second quarter to take control for good and cruise to a 46-36 win in which they hit 6 deep balls and only committed 10 turnovers.

Panorama inside the fieldhouse during Arcadia’s win

Ottoville and Arcadia can be heard live as it happens from the Fieldhouse in Elida on www.zsportslive.com channel z1 with myself and Steve Wiener with the winner playing either Tri-Village or Fort Loramie in Columbus next week.

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