OTTAWA, OH – A strong team defensive effort Thursday night powered the OG Titans past Route 65 rival Columbus Grove 47-19 in non-league action.
Columbus Grove came into the contest already without their big gun Paige Bellman who is out for her senior season, but were dealt a second blow when they were unable to utilize the services of junior guard Rylee Sybert who missed this contest due to injury as well.
Outside of the first quarter when three players, Carlee McCluer, Lauren Schroeder, and Abby Gladwell each hit from the field, the Bulldogs were held to just a trio of makes from the field the rest of the game.
Despite both teams giving away the basketball at a frantic pace in the first period, the scoring was plentiful as the two teams battled for the first stoppage lead down to the buzzer. Columbus Grove pulled within a point at 11-10 when a long two point shot trickled through the net as the horn sounded.
Ottawa Glandorf’s stifling full court team defense reared its head in the second stanza as the Titans forced a handful of Bulldog mistakes with their relentless pressure and surged out to a 26-12 halftime advantage behind a 15-2 quarter. The only basket of the second period came for the visitors when Lauren Schroeder who finished with a team high 7 points was able to drop one through the net.
Against a 2-3 and at times 3-2 zone defense the Titan attack was able to connect on a pair of shots from behind the arc from Carri Johnson and Ashley Schroeder, but would do most of their damage from inside behind senior Kadie Hempfling who finished the first half with 10 markers to lead all scorers.
Unable to score for most of the games penultimate stanza the Bulldogs nailed back to back shots in a span of the final :26 of the period when the duo of McCluer and Schroeder connected from well behind the right wing arc. Schroeder’s triple came with the buzzer ringing out inside Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium and represented the last make from the field of the ballgame for Grove.
Second half three pointers from Ashley Schroeder and a pair from Brianna Schimmoeller helped Ottawa Glandorf begin to salt away their sixth straight win in the series and seventh in the eight games since the series between the two schools was restarted in 2010.
For the game the Titans (8-1) were paced by Hempfling’s 12 points as she continues her quest to become the fourth Ottawa Glandorf player to reach 1,000 career points. Joining the future BG Falcon in double digits was the teams second leading scorer on the season in Schroeder who chipped in 10 for her sixth straight double digit effort.
Columbus Grove (5-5) featured just four players registering points including Danielle Bame who connected on one of two from the line in the fourth quarter for the only Bulldog points of the final eight minutes.
OG will travel to take on the Liberty Benton Eagles on Saturday night in Findlay while Columbus Grove will be off until January 6th when they take on Putnam County League rival Ottoville. Both games can be heard on WZOQ Radio.
Ashley Schroeder 10
Kelsey Erford 2
Carri Johnson 5
Paige Sutter 4
Erin Kaufman 6
Brianna Schimmoeller 8
Kadie Hempfling 12
3PT: 5 (Schroeder 2, Schimmoeller 2, Johnson)
Columbus Grove (19):
Danielle Bame 1
Carlee McCluer 6
Lauren Schroeder 7
Abby Gladwell 5
3PT: 4 (McCluer 2, Schroeder, Gladwell)
JV: 41-39 Ottawa Glandorf was victorious as Mylee Utrup hit a shot at the buzzer to give the Titans the victory.