Tag Archives: matthew kaufman

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.


Titans ground T-Birds

BOWLING GREEN – Remember the Titans.

You can be sure that LCC will as Wednesday night it was the Titans from Ottawa Glandorf who avenged an early season 51-48 home loss to the same Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds 60-52 in front of a sell-out crowd of 4,700 in Bowling Green at the Stroh Center.

Sell out crowd

OG improved their all-time OHSAA tournament record to 24-4 in games played in the city of Bowling Green with one of the best 2-3 zone defenses they have played all season. “We went with the 2-3 zone because we thought it would alter some of the things they like to do. (But) did I think it would get us a 15-point cushion at the half … I did not,” Titan coach Tyson McGlaughlin said after his defense stifled every LCC shooter not named Tre’on Johnson who finished his brilliant T-Bird career with a 26 points output. Johnson was especially on fire in the fourth quarter as he dazzled the crowd with fantastic dribbling and deep shots while connecting on 6 of 9 shots from beyond the arc.

After jumping on the athletic T-Birds early the Titans poured it on in the first quarter to lead 17-7 as the clock hit zero. The second stanza was just as cold and unforgiving as the Titans opened the quarter on an 11-0 run and led at the break by a 31-16 score. One of the big keys going into the game was that it would need to be the inside play of OG that would have to have a big night against the undersized T-Bird defenders. Michael Rosebrock and Noah Bramlage responded for the Titans as they led paint points by a 10-0 margin as the two squads headed to their locker rooms for a breather and some words of encouragement from their coaches.

With OG able to key on Johnson they could continue to sit back in their 2-3 zone and wait for the shooters to come to them in the second half as they held every other shooter for LCC to 7 points or less in the game. As fouls began to mount in the second half they began to take their toll on the LCC starting lineup as Martyce Kimbrough picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth and was relatively ineffective for the rest of the game as he finished with only 4 points, well under his almost 14 points per game average on the season.

Following a third quarter in which both teams scored 11 points the fans who didn’t head for the exits early were treated to a fantastic back and forth quarter that saw the veteran Thunderbirds take on the personality of their Coach Frank Kill when he played and won a state title with Lincolnview in the 90’s by never giving up and cutting it to as low as 3 before the Titans pulled away for good. TJ Metzger who finished with a team high 23 points iced the game late as he knifed through the lane, hit a spinning reverse layup and the ensuing free throw to give his team a 57-50 lead with just 50 seconds remaining. “TJ is the Northwest District Player of the Year for a reason. He’s a baller,” Kill said.

In addition to the 23 from Metzger, his teammate Caleb Siefker finished with 21 to go along with his 10 rebounds. OG outrebounded LCC 37-30 in the game, but got the big rebounds when it counted too.

With the win the Titans improve to 23-3 on the season while ending LCC’s 2012-2013 campaign at 23-3.

Titans Advance

Saturday night Ottawa Glandorf will look to sell out the Stroh Center once again as they head north to BG to take on the 26-1 Bloom Carroll Bulldogs at 7:30pm for a chance to play next weekend in Columbus for a State Championship. Bloom Carroll defeated Huron 62-54 to win their first Regional Semi-Finals game since 2005. The Bulldogs will be led by Joey Schmitz who scored 26 in the win.