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Columbus Grove Girls 2017-18 Season Preview

COLUMBUS GROVE, OH – Columbus Grove lost 6 seniors who were a part of their 2016-17 squad that won both the NWC and the PCL and recently learned they will have an even bigger challenge replacing their punch from last season.

1st team All-Ohio selection Paige Bellman, a senior who is committed to play her college basketball at Detroit Mercy will likely miss all of this upcoming season as she deals with a possible torn ACL. Last season Bellman averaged 17.2 points per game and was named Player of the Year in both the Northwest Conference and the Putnam County League while helping the Bulldogs to a 23-2 mark.

Graduation hit the Bulldogs hard in the offseason as they lost not only 1,300 point scorer Jade Clement who is currently playing for Huntington University in Indiana, but also one of their best three point threats in Macy McCluer.

This season the success for Columbus Grove will rely heavily on how much the returning core of letter winners that includes seniors Carlee McCluer and Lauren Schroeder, alongside junior point guard Rylee Sybert who collectively averaged 16.0 points per game last year.

Grove mentor Brian Schroeder who sports a 75-23 record and an appearance in last seasons District Finals has high hopes for his squad and mentions a handful of promising newcomers in his season media notes such as senior forward Teyah Sautter, junior guard Amy Vorst, sophomores Angel Schneider, Abigail Gladwell, and Emily Watt along with freshman guard Erin Downing as those to watch.

“This team will have a lot of new players filling new roles and learning how to play with each other. As long as we continue to work hard and improve each week, we hope to be much better at the end of the year than we are at the beginning” Schroeder remarked on his outlook for the upcoming campaign.

The Bulldogs kick off their season on Tuesday, November 28th when they travel to Lima to take on the Shawnee Indians in a non-conference clash before beginning their home slate on Saturday, December 2nd against the Bath Wildcats.

2017/2018 Schedule
Tue Nov 28 @ Shawnee
Sat Dec 2 Bath
Tue Dec 5 Continental (PCL)
Thu Dec 7 @ Crestview (NWC)
Tue Dec 12 Patrick Henry
Thu Dec 14 Paulding (NWC)
Sat Dec 16 @ Elida
Tue Dec 19 Kalida (PCL)
Thur Dec 21 @ Lincolnview (NWC)
Thur Dec 28 @ Ottawa Glandorf
Sat Jan 6 Ottoville (PCL)
Thu Jan 11 Spencerville (NWC)
Sat Jan 13 Leipsic (PCL)
Sat Jan 20 @ Miller City (PCL)
Mon Jan 22 @ Ft. Jennings (PCL)
Thu Jan 25 @ Bluffton (NWC)
Tue Jan 30 @ Liberty Benton
Thu Feb 1 @ Delphos Jefferson (NWC)
Thu Feb 8 Allen East (NWC)
Sat Feb 10 @ Arlington
Thu Feb 15 Ada (NWC)
Sat Feb 17 @ Pandora Gilboa (PCL)

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Leipsic, Grove secure Sectional Finals matchup

OTTAWA, OH – Columbus Grove and Leipsic will meet for the second time this season Friday night in Ottawa as both were victorious in their Sectional Semifinals matchups on Wednesday night. Leipsic opened the pair of games at the Supreme Court with a 61-57 come from behind victory over Continental while Columbus Grove won the nightcap with Antwerp 57-41.

Continental Junior Guard Trevor Williamson was his teams lone scorer in the first quarter but gave his team a 12-8 lead after the first stanza and he connected on a pair of shots from behind the arc and three inside for a dozen of his game high 23 markers.

Leipsic did not procure their first lead until the waning seconds of the first half when Isaiah Lomeli’s theft and score put the Vikings on top 29-28. The Pirates finished the first half with just three scorers denting the scoring column led by Williamson’s 16.

Four makes from the field is all that Leipsic would be able to find themselves able to muster, but superb defense held Williamson to no points in the period as the visitors on the scoreboard Continental lead going to the fourth 40-38.

Five players got to the foul line for the Vikings in the fourth quarter but none had a better line than Matt Schroeder who connected on all four of his charity tosses in the quarter. Grant Schroeder hit on 5 of his 8 free throws in the quarter as the Vikings scored 12 of their 20 in the period from the line to wrap up the four point win. Continental’s Caleb Olds deep three pointer at the buzzer provided the final tally for the Pirates but it was not enough as they fell 61-57.

Jordan Brown led the BVC Champions (19-4) with 18 points in the game while Williamson was the high man for Continental who sees their season come to an end at 7-14.

Scoring:

Leipsic (61):

Matt Schroeder 11
Grant Schroeder 14
Ross Mangas 6
Isaiah Lomeli 10
Jordan Brown 18
Ross Schroeder 2

3PT: 2 (M. Schroeder, G. Schroeder)
FT: 18/25
TO: 10

Continental (57):
Tyler Brecht 3
Trevor Williamson 23
Wade Stauffer 17
Caleb Olds 14

3PT: 8 (Williamson 3, Olds 4, Brecht)
FT: 9/12
TO: 14

In game two of the night the Columbus Grove Bulldogs jumped out to a 15-8 lead behind seven points from Baily Clement and buckets from four teammates.

As was the case in the first game, a player named Williamson did the damage for the visiting team on the scoreboard as Antwerp Senior Sam Williamson tossed in 15 of his team high 18 on the night in the first half. Caiden Grothaus and Xavier Aguirre put up nine of the Bulldogs eleven second quarter points as they helped their team lead at the half 26-19.

With their leading scorer in Williamson held to just a pair of baskets the Archers looked to Matt Jones and Josh Longardner for points to pull within one of their opponents at 37-36 heading into the final period.

Much like the first game of the night the home team got it done from the free throw line in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs connected on 11/12 charity tosses including a perfect performance from Logan Diller who was successful on 5/5 attempts to help his team pull out the 57-41 victory. Columbus Grove jumped out to an 11-0 lead that lasted midway through the quarter before their opponents were able to sink their first basket to cut into the lead.

Columbus Grove sees their season record improve to 11-11 with the win and will meet Leipsic, a team they defeated back in January on Friday night at Ottawa Glanforf at 8pm for the right to move into District play next week at Elida.

Antwerp’s 2015-16 campaign comes to an end at 10-13 overall. The Archers were led in scoring by Williamson’s 18 points on the evening.

Scoring:

Columbus Grove (57):
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Baily Clement 11
Gabe Stechschulte 7
Xavier Aguirre 8
Caiden Grothaus 9
Logan Diller 11
Rece Roney 10

FG: 21/37
FT: 11/12
TO: 10

Antwerp (41):
Matt Jones 6
Trey Mills 2
Sam Williamson 18
Josh Longardner 13
Keaton Altimus 2

FG: 18/42
FT: 3/6
TO: 5

Hear Friday night’s Sectional Finals between Leipsic and Columbus Grove live on Zsportslive.com.

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Bearcats storm past Bulldogs

COLUMBUS GROVE, OH – For the second straight game the Columbus Grove Bulldogs found themselves with an opposing team player in double figures early. Spencerville Junior Damien Corso scored 11 of his 15 points in the opening quarter and his team would never trail as they walked away with a 73-47 conference victory Friday night.

In addition to Corso the Bearcats finished the contest with three other players in double figures as Dakota Prichard (20), Mason Nourse (14), and Zach Goecke (12) finished with big games to help the visitors push their NWC record to 5-1 on the year and stay just a game behind league leader Lincolnview.

Spencerville found the net on 13 of their 29 first half shots and 4 of 7 from the free throw line as they found themselves on top by a 35-22 score. Columbus Grove was held to 9/24 in the opening two quarters and with just four players able to dent the score column.

Gabe Stechschulte connected on a trio of three pointers in the third quarter and finished with 13 points overall, but with Rece Roney in foul trouble throughout the game the Bulldogs were unable to keep the Bearcats out of the lane and from scoring on the fast break especially.

With the win the Bearcats (13-2, 5-1) have now defeated the Bulldogs (6-9, 0-5) four straight times and lead the overall series 29-23. Spencerville will play host to league foe Crestview on February 5th while Columbus Grove dips their toes into Putnam County League play as they are set to entertain Continental Saturday night.

Scoring:

Columbus Grove (47):
Baily Clement 7
Gabe Stechschulte 13
Xavier Aguirre 4
Grayson Flores 2
Logan Diller 11
Logan Ridenour 1
Rece Roney 6
Cody Johnson 3

FT: 4/6
3PT: 5 (Stechschulte 3, Clement, Diller)
TO: 13

Spencerville (73):

Mason Nourse 14
Damien Corso 15
Jacob Meyer 2
Zach Goecke 12
Gage Goecke 3
Dakota Prichard 20
Bailey Croft 7

FT: 5/8
3PT: 10 (Nourse 4, D. Corso, Z. Goecke, G. Goecke, Prichard 3)
TO: 5

JV: Columbus Grove 27-26

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Bulldogs stay perfect in NWC

SPENCERVILLE, OH – The Columbus Grove Bulldogs put four players in double figures Thursday night as they routed their NWC rivals Spencerville 72-41 to remain as the Northwest Conference’s only unbeaten squad in league play.

Columbus Grove won the games opening tip and wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Jade Clement tossed in a three pointer with just :06 gone in the first quarter. While Clement would score 9 of her game high 18 points in the opening quarter, teammates Macy McCluer, McKenzie Bame, Lynea Diller and Paige Bellman combined to score 15 points and give the visitors a 24-12 lead after the first period.

While the Bearcats were able to muster just 7 points in the second stanza, the Bulldogs again found themselves with a handful of players turning their opponents miscues into points and led 38-19 heading to the lockerroom for the halftime break.

Jenna Henline was the big scorer for the Bearcats on the evening as she finished with 14 points on the night. Henline’s big quarter came in the third stanza as she hit a pair of three pointers and a trio of shots from the free throw line to help her Cats cut into the Bulldogs lead. Columbus Grove’s low post duo of Diller and Bellman, each playing with a pair of fouls scored 10 of the Dogs 17 points and helped keep the home team out of the lane in the quarter.

With a big lead midway through the final period the Bulldogs pulled their starting lineup out of the game, but not until Clement connected on 5/6 free throws in the opening minutes and Diller tossed in her final basket to become the fourth players to reach double figures. Grace Schroeder, a 5’7 Junior accounted for all seven of her points including a three pointer from the wing to push the Grove lead to 30 at the time. When the clock reached zero the Bulldogs found themselves with their fourth straight defeat of the Bearcats and eighth win in a row.

Columbus Grove (17-1) will next take on Allen East at home in NWC play on February 4th and will await the tournament draw on Sunday where they likely will find themselves as a top seed and in line for a bye in sectional play.

Spencerville sees their record fall to 7-11 overall and 3-3 in Northwest Conference action. The Bearcats will return to action on Tuesday, Feb 2nd as they play host to New Bremen in a non-league tilt.

Scoring:

Grove (71):

Macy McCluer 11
Jade Clement 18
McKenzie Bame 9
Grace Schroeder 7
Hallie Malsam 2
Lynea Diller 11
Paige Bellman 14

3PT: 6 (McCluer 3, Clement, Bame, G. Schroeder)
FT: 12/17
TO: 17

Spencerville (41):

Jenna Henline 14
Jayden Smith 8
Tiffany Work 6
Jacey Grigsby 6
Allison Bowsher 2
Alex Carter 5

3PT: 3 (Henline 3)
FT: 8/12
TO: 22

JV: Columbus Grove 51-27

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Titans hand Grove 1st loss of season

OTTAWA, OH – Behind a career high 25 points from Junior Kylie White and key free throw shooting in the fourth quarter, the OG Titans were able to rebound from their first loss of the season and deal Columbus Grove their first defeat 61-58 in a non-conference matchup Monday night.

With Ottawa Glandorf leading 12-9 and just seconds left in the first quarter of play, Columbus Grove’s Brooke Hoffman found herself with no Titan guarding her at the top of the key and let loose and connected on a three pointer to even the game at 12-12.

A fast paced evenly played second quarter would see the Bulldogs take a 21-20 lead into the halftime break as they were fueled by Senior guard Kyrah Yinger and her five quarter points.

As the fouls began to mount for each squad in the games penultimate quarter, free throw shooting began to become a major element in how the games final score would be accounted for. Ottawa Glandorf connected on 5/6 tosses in the period while Grove would not find themselves at the charity stripe the entire period.

Grove Sophomore Paige Bellman took over the offensive load for the Bulldogs in the fourth period as she tossed in a dozen of her team high 20 points on the night and helped her squad keep pace with the Titans offensive barrage.

On the evening the Titans would connect on 24/29 free throws, as compared to the just 7/12 the visitors would shoot from the line, with 16 of those makes coming in the last period.

Ten of the 25 points on the night from White came in the games final quarter as she found herself thrice at the line looking to complete a three point play after having been fouled on her made layups.

In the waning moments of the game the score ebbed and flowed back and forth with OG leading by as much as five. Grove on two different occasions cut the Titans lead to just a pair with a steal and a score, but would see their final shot of the contest blocked as the buzzer rang out with OG on top of the scoreboard.

Along with the 25 from White, the Titans (8-1) got strong contributions from Freshman guard Erin Kaufman (8 points), Sophomore Mackenzie Meyer (9 points), and Senior forward Lexie Schroeder (9 points) in the win. Ottawa Glandorf will travel to Findlay on Wednesday night as they take on the Liberty Benton Eagles in a contest that will begin at 7:30pm and broadcast live on Titan Basketball vs LB

Bellman was joined in double figures on the night from Junior Jade Clement’s 11 points for Columbus Grove (9-1) and will next travel to Ottoville on Saturday, January 2nd to take on the Big Green in an afternoon Putnam County League tilt.

Scoring:

OG (61):

Devon Warnecke 3
Carri Johnson 2
Dani Ellerbrock 5
Erin Kaufman 8
Mackenzie Meyer 9
Kylie White 25
Lexi Schroeder 9

FT: 24/29
TO: 10

Grove (58):
Macy McCluer 8
Kyrah Yinger 9
Jade Clement 11
Brooke Hoffman 5
Lynea Diller 5
Paige Bellman 20

FT: 7/12
TO: 14

JV: Columbus Grove 35-11

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Bulldogs outshoot Bearcats

Columbus Grove jumped out to an early 7-0 lead in the opening minutes of their contest Thursday night and never looked back as they downed visiting Spencerville 68-44.

Despite falling behind in the first couple of minutes of the game the Bearcats kept shooting the ball and used a 12-6 run after trailing 7-0 find themselves down by just 4 at 18-14 as the first stanza came to an end.

The Bulldogs have been on a tear lately scoring and were able to stave off 8 first half turnovers en route to 37 first half points, led by freshman Carlee McCluer’s 14 first half points. Sophomore guard Jade Clement, the Bulldogs leading scorer on the season would add 9 points in the first two quarters as well.

With two of their top scorers (senior Schylar Miller and junior Caitlyn Propst) both out due to knee injuries, the Bearcats have turned to other players this season to help provide scoring. One of those players is freshman Jenna Henline who was receiving her first career start and scored a pair of points for the Cats offense.

Spencerville would find themselves unable to defense the perimeter shot from Columbus Grove as four different Bulldogs connected from long range, led by three triples each from junior Kyrah Yinger (13 points) and McCluer (career high 22 points) who finished with 35 of the teams 68 points. Jade Clement would add 11 points in the Bulldog win and has now totaled 62 points in the last three contests for her squad.

Jacey Grigsby (15) points led three players in double figures for the Bearcats who see their record fall to 6-9 overall and 1-5 in the NWC. Spencerville will next travel to Kalida on Tuesday to take on the Wildcats in a non-conference matchup.

With the win the Bulldogs improve to 11-6 overall, and 4-1 in the NWC, they will be off until next Thursday when they hit the road to take on Allen East in NWC play.

Scoring:

Grove (68):

Carlee McCluer 22
Kyrah Yinger 13
Jade Clement 11
Mackenzie Wurth 8
Lynea Diller 6
Paige Bellman 4
McKenzie Bame 4

3’s: 8 (Yinger/McCluer 3 each, Clement, Wurth)
FT: 2/6
TO: 15

Spencerville (44):

Jacey Grigsby 15
Megan Miller 11
Emilee Meyer 10
Katie Merriman 4
Jayden Smith 2
Jenna Henline 2

3’s: 4 (Meyer 2, Grigsby, Miller)
FT: 11/18
TO: 17

JV: Grove 57-32

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OG Girls, Grove Girls, Kalida Boys post wins

Saturday was a big day in Putnam County for hoops as the Ottawa Glandorf girls downed Celina 70-37, Columbus Grove’s girls beat Miller City 69-46 and the Grove boys fell to Kalida 57-44.

In the first game of the day that tipped off at 11:30am at the Supreme Court in Ottawa, the Titans jumped out to a 23-13 lead after the first 8:00 and never looked back at they saw three players hit double figures in the win.

Five players for OG totaled 16 points for Ottawa Glandorf and held Celina to 9 while forcing the Bulldogs into double digit turnovers. Behind 13 total points from senior Elissa Ellerbrock, 11 from junior Dani Ellerbrock, and 12 from freshman Kadie Hempfling the Titans led from start to finish as they rolled in their makeup game against the overmatched Bulldogs who were led by 15 from Kelly Stahl.

OG is now 12-2 with the win, 4-1 in the WBL and will travel to Anthony Wayne on Tuesday. Celina is now 3-11 with the loss and 1-4 in the WBL.

Scoring:

OG (70):

E. Ellerbrock 13
K. Hempfling 12
D. Ellerbrock 11
A. Bellman 9
L. Schroeder 8
E. Basinger 6
D. Schroeder 4
K. White 4
C. Johnson 3

Celina (37):

K. Stahl 15
H. Heiby 8
J. Berry 8
M. Moorman 4
C. Reineke 1
T. Dennis 1

In a battle of girls PCL teams the Columbus Grove Bulldogs outshot the Miller City Wildcats in an afternoon contest by a 69-46 margin. Columbus Grove led 21-6 after the first quarter and saw sophomore Jade Clement lead the way for the Bulldogs with 25 points in the contest. Freshman Paige Bellman finished with 18 points and 7 boards for Grove as a dozen points led the way for Miller City from Amanda Simon in the loss (falls to 3-12 overall.)

Columbus Grove is now 9-3 overall and will be home on Monday night playing host to Fort Jennings in PCL action. The game can be heard on www.zsportslive.com with myself and Steve Wiener (@wienerman46).

Columbus Grove and Kalida’s JV boys programs put on a classic game before the varsity contest that saw the two squads head to overtime. With the Bulldogs trailing 13-2 after 1, 23-6 at the half, 37-19 after 3 the young Grove ballers knew they had work to do if they wanted to pull out a win. Columbus Grove outscored Kalida 23-4 over the games 4th quarter and OT to win 44-41 before a capacity crowd.

Trent Siebeneck scored 14 for Kalida in the loss, the JV Bulldogs were led in scoring by Caiden Grothaus who scored all of his game high 17 points in the second half and overtime in helping his team come back for the win.

Kalida would even things up in the varsity contest as they defeated Grove for the 9th time in the last 13 meetings between the two PCL rivals 57-44.

Devin Kortokrax, Grant Unverferth, and Trent Gerding sparked the Wildcat offense in the first quarter as they combined for 12 of the 17 Kalida points. The duo of Unverferth and Kortokrax would keep it going in the second quarter, but this time with 4 from Brandon Verhoff to lead at the half 28-17. Unverferth pushed the lead to 11 at the break as his jumper from 27 feet off of an inbounds pass with .4 left on the clock would find the bottom of the net.

The Bulldogs outscored Kalida 14-12 in the third quarter as they were paced by a pair of three pointers from Tanner From and a second three of the game from Joey Warnecke, but were never able to break the Wildcats as they fell by 13 and suffered their second PCL loss of the season.

With the loss the Bulldogs are 5-4 at home this season, 9-4 overall, and 1-2 in the PCL. Columbus Grove will hit the road on Friday to take on the Spencerville Bearcats (live on Zsportslive.com).

Kalida is now 9-4 on the season with the road win and were led by 15 from Grant Unverferth as well as holding Bulldogs leading scorer Jace Darbyshire (22 ppg) to just 5 points defensively.

Scoring:

Kalida (57):

G. Unverferth 15
B. Laudick 10
D. Kortokrax 10
L. Roebke 7
B. Verhoff 6
T. Gerding 6
D. Hovest 3

Grove (44):

G. Stechschulte 13
J. Warnecke 8
J. Darbyshire 5
T. From 5
D. Bogart 4
L. Diller 4
C. Grothaus 3
B. Sharrits 2

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OG Girls, Grove boys post Saturday wins

Ottawa Glandorf’s lady Titans outscored the visiting Bowling Green Bobcats Saturday afternoon in the first quarter 23-16 and held on for a 70-33 win in non-conference action.

Utilizing a different starting lineup and trying to generate a chemistry between his players, OG coach Troy Yant would see his gamble pay off as Dani Ellerbrock, Kylie White, Lexi Schroeder, Sydney Heitmeyer and Kadie Hempfling combined for all but four of the Titans 23 first quarter points. Elissa Ellerbrock, one of the usual starters for OG would come off the bench to score 4 of her game high 21 points in the opening period.

Behind the duo of Kendal Glandorf and leading scorer Livvy Dill, the Bobcats duo who combined for 18 points in the first half, Bowling Green would keep the score in single digits until late in the second quarter when the Titans would take over. Kylie White and Elissa Ellerbrock combined for 17 of the teams 21 quarter points to push their halftime lead to 21 at 44-23.

Bowling Green would manage just 6 points in the penultimate quarter with half coming on a late three pointer from Hailey Maas. OG led after 3 by a 61-29 score.

The game would unfortunately come to a halt with 3:53 remaining and the Titans on top 70-33 when a Bowling Green player was injured and taken away by the emergency staff to be checked out.

OG picked up win #9 on the season against just 2 losses and will travel to Defiance on Thursday to take on the Bulldogs. BG will be off until Tuesday when they face Bryan. The Bobcats are now 5-8 on the season.

Scoring:

OG (70):

Elissa Ellerbrock 21
Kylie White 16
Kadie Hempfling 11
Erin Basinger 6
Lexi Schroeder 6
Dani Ellerbrock 5
Danielle Schroeder 3
Sydney Heitmeyer 2

BG (33):

Livvy Dill 14
Kendal Glandorf 8
Hailey Maas 5
Adrianna Robinson 3
Bayley Bowers 3

In the second Hoops For Hope game of the day between the Columbus Grove Bulldogs and the Leipsic Vikings boys basketball programs, the Bulldogs came out on top with a 60-54 Putnam County League road win Saturday night.

Joey Warnecke came out hot for the Bulldogs as he dropped in a pair of threes in the opening quarter and doubled his season average of four in the stanza to lead his squad to a 17-12 advantage after the first 8:00.

Leipsic would fire back in the second period to keep the score close behind balanced scoring from five different players and a trio of shots from deep from Matt Schroeder and Nate Brecht. Grove got a runner from Jace Darbyshire to drop from just beyond the free throw line as time expired in the first half to lear 32-29 heading into the locker room.

The second half would be a battle for both teams as the competition would take itself to another level as the lead changed hands a multitude of times as well.

Grove would get a trio of triples in the quarter and a pair of free throws from Darbyshire and ballooned their lead to 47-38 heading into the last quarter of action. Leipsic used 6 points from Isaiah Lomeli to keep it within striking distance at 9 points for the Vikings.

With a handful of calls going against both squads and tensions boiling over, each team would find themselves striking back and forth but it was Columbus Grove who would get the 60-54 win. Jace Darbyshire in the fourth quarter went 8/8 from the free throw line and 11/11 overall from the charity stripe to finish with 25 points.

Leipsic was led in scoring by Jordan Brown who finished with 18 points, Lomeli added 11 in the loss. The Vikings are now 5-6 overall and will travel to Pandora Friday night to take on the Rockets before visiting Patrick Henry on Saturday.

Columbus Grove improves their record to 8-2 on the season and has now won 3 straight following back to back losses next weekend. Northwest Conference action is up next for the Bulldogs as they will entertain Paulding Friday night at home before Kalida comes to visit for a Saturday night PCL tilt (both games can be heard live on www.zsportslive.com).

Scoring:

Grove (60):

Jace Darbyshire 25
Joey Warnecke 10
Gabe Stechschulte 9
Logan Diller 8
Colton Grothaus 2
Bryce Sharrits 2
Tanner From 1
David Bogart 1

Leipsic (54):

Jordan Brown 18
Isaiah Lomeli 11
Ross Mangas 7
Matt Schroeder 6
Nate Brecht 5
Gavin Cupp 3
Ross Schroeder 2
Grant Schroeder 2

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Titans down Grove, pick up 7th win

There’s an old saying in sports, “it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish”. That old adage was proven true on Saturday afternoon at Columbus Grove as the Ottawa Glandorf Titans struggled to get things going in the first quarter but ultimately kicked it in to gear as they defeated the home Bulldogs 45-32.

Columbus Grove came into the game without the services of 6’1 Junior post Lynea Diller and Senior guard Sydney McCluer (injured knee in practice this week) but found an unlikely spark in 5’11 Freshman Paige Bellman. Bellman got the start for the Bulldogs and wasted no time repaying her coaches for their decision by putting in 6 first quarter points.

Ottawa Glandorf didn’t get on the scoreboard for the first couple of minutes of the game and found themselves trailing 5-0 before they were able to get the ball in the basket. OG would get a pair of shots to drop from deep later in the stanza however from Elissa Ellerbrock and Danielle Schroeder to close the Grove lead to 14-12 as time expired in the first stanza. Sophomore sharpshooter Jade Clement scored 5 of her 7 points on the afternoon in the quarter for Columbus Grove.

In the second quarter it was the Bulldogs who struggled from the field as they were only able to manage a pair of field goals from Bellman and trailed going into the half by a 24-18 margin as the Titans transition defense to offense forced 7 turnovers in the period and turned them all into quick layups by Ellerbrock and Lexi Schroeder.

If the second quarter was an exercise in offensive futility for the Bulldogs, the third wasn’t any better as again the Dogs struggled to get it going and only came away with 4 points in the games penultimate quarter. OG by contrast was on fire as they again posted a double digit quarter to stretch their lead behind buckets from five different Lady Titans.

With the Titans cycling through various zone defenses, the Bulldogs were not able to connect from long distance but just twice in the contest. Kyrah Yinger, a speedy Junior guard had one of the two connections on the day as she hit from deep for three of her teams ten fourth quarter points. Paige Bellman would add four more points in the final period but see her squad outscored 12-10 in the last stanza and fall 45-32.

Ottawa Glandorf improves their season record to 7-2 and will return home to the Supreme Court for a Tuesday night battle with Perrysburg that can be heard on www.zsportslive (click on the giraffe logo) and was led in scoring by Elissa Ellerbrock’s 15.

Columbus Grove’s loss puts them at 6-3 for the season, they will next travel to Lima on Thursday night to take on the LCC Thunderbirds in non-league action.

Scoring:

OG (45):

Elissa Ellerbrock 15
Dani Ellerbrock 9
Danielle Schroeder 7
Lexi Schroeder 4
Kylie White 3
Erin Basinger 3
Anna Bellman 2
Kadie Hempfling 2

Grove (32):

Paige Bellman 14
Jade Clement 7
Kyrah Yinger 5
Brooke Hoffman 3
Becca Endicott 3

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Flyers soar to finals

LIMA, OHIO – Marion Local turned in another dominating performance on their way to a 4th straight state title game at Spartan Stadium Saturday night as they downed Columbus Grove 55-7 in the Division 7 State Semifinals.

Hunter Wilker of Marion Local got the scoring started in the first for the Flyers as he threw his first pass of the season, a halfback toss to a wide open Kyle Homan to put his team on top 7-0.

Following a Wilker interception of Bulldogs Sophomore signalcaller Reid Stechschulte, the MAC Offensive Player of the Year Jacy Goettemoeller scored the first of his three touchdowns on the night from 44 yards out to put the defending champs ahead 14-0 just 1:08 after their first score.

Columbus Grove cut the Flyer lead to 14-7 with 3:16 to go in the first stanza as Stechschulte tossed his 15th touchdown pass of the season to Senior wideout David Bogart who outran the Marion Local defensive backs for a 66 yard score.

Goettemoeller would see his number called again on the ensuing drive for Marion Local as he capped off a 9 play 80 yard drive that used 4:39 with an 18 yard touchdown run, his 29th on the ground this season that pushed the margin to 21-7 Flyers with 10:37 to go in the first half.

After their 3rd three and out of the first half Grove was forced to punt the back to Marion Local who took over at their own 47 yard line. Touchdown number three on the night for Goettemoeller would follow for Marion Local as on the 5th play of the drive Jacy would add an 8 yard touchdown run to his impressive first half that saw him pick up 177 yards and 3 scores.

Both teams traded turnovers for the rest of the half as Flyer safety Dustin Rethman picked off a Stechschulte offering but saw his teams following drive stall on the 6th play as Enoch Jones and Andrew Nichols converged and recovered a fumble for the Bulldogs.

Grove was forced to punt after their 4th 3 and out of the half and saw Marin Local get a 35 yard touchdown pass from Rethman (his 25th of the season) to Wilder (2nd of the game, 10th of the season) and head to the break leading 35-7.

A gamble not to take the football after winning the toss and giving Marion Local the football to open the contest had paid off as the Flyers used just three plays before punting on their opening drive, this would give Columbus Grove the ball to start the 3rd quarter but unfortunately for the Bulldogs offense that came in averaging 24.5 points per game they were quickly forced to punt it away after securing just 1 first down. Joey Warnecke who was held to just 11 yards in the first half matched that total on the drive as he scampered for an 11 yard gain and the aforementioned first down.

Hunter Wilker picked up his 4th rushing touchdown of the game on the first play of the next drive for Marion Local as he scampered 69 yards to give his team a 42-7 advantage and cue the running clock with 9:54 to go in the 3rd quarter.

From their own 29 yardline, Columbus Grove elected to go for it on 4th and short but were unable to pick up the yard needed and turned the ball back over on downs to the Flyers. With some of the Flyer starters resting with a 35 point advantage, the backups began to get work with what was left of the first team offensive line. Using just under 3:30 the Flyers upped their lead to 49-7 on a 4 yard Jack Homan touchdown run with 3:25 left in the penultimate stanza.

The Bulldogs could only muster 4 yards of offense on their following drive with the football before Warnecke was forced to punt for the 5th time in the game. With the ball at their own 48 and :31 left in the 3rd, the Flyers offense would march 52 yards over 4:59 and put their final marker on the scoreboard as Nate Moeller finished off a 10 carry 60 yard half with a 6 yard plunge.

Marion Local with the 55-7 win improves to 14-0, sees their win streak reach 36 games and will play next Saturday at 10am for a chance at their 4th consecutive championship trophy inside the Horseshoe in Columbus against Norwalk St. Paul, 41-13 winners over Glouster Trimble.

Columbus Grove sees their season and 6 game winning streak come to an end as they finish the followup to a 2-8 campaign last season at 9-5 and as the schools 4th state seminifinalist in program history.

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