Tag Archives: Tournament

Toledo advances in Legion Tournament

OTTAWA, OHIO – The Toledo Hawks Legion team didn’t need any hits in the early innings but were still able to push across a pair of runs as they jumped on the Ottawa Fighting 63rd early in their 6-1 win.

The home team on the scoreboard by virtue of winning a coin flip, the Hawks leadoff hitter Chase Lawniczak (Toledo Whitmer) reached first base on an error by Ottawa first baseman Ben Dietering to open the bottom half of the first. Another error, this time by third baseman Brad Stolly and a pair of fielders choices by Colin Boerst and Ryan Moebius would later bring to the plate the two runs.

Tristan Faunce (Central HS) would throw six strong innings in the game, and not give up his first hit until a single by Ottawa centerfielder Tristen Becker (St. Marys) as the second batter of the sixth inning. Becker would be caught attempting to steal second before Jared Davis walked and later came around to score on an Adam Purdy single to bring the Toledo lead down to 2-1.

Brad Croy (OG/BGSU) would find himself in trouble in the bottom of the same inning, move over to shortstop as he was replaced by Columbus Grove alum and 1st team NWC/PCL selection Elisha Jones on the mound. Despite being in the middle of the infield now, Croy would be charged with a pair of runs in the inning as two runners he had seen reach on an error and a double came around to score to push the Toledo advantage to 4-1. Designated Hitter Joe Dandino (Central HS) would also come around to score in the inning to make it 5-1, but he was charged to Jones.

The last run of the game would come in the bottom of the 7th inning as Boerst was driven home on a single by Moebius after successfully stealing second base on the previous at bat.

Following Tristan Faunce’s departure after six strong innings, future University of Michigan left hander Preston Due would take over on the bump and toss three scoreless innings against Ottawa. In his time on the mound, Due would surrender just one hit, a single by Stolly.

Toledo with the win advances to play Napoleon at 6pm tonight in Ottawa with the winner of that game meeting the winner of the Findlay vs Pemberville contest on Saturday at Findlay High School.

Ottawa drops to 8-11-1 on the season with the loss and will meet the loser of tonight’s aforementioned Findlay/Pemberville contest on Friday night at Flag City Field at 7pm, a game that can be heard live on www.zsportslive.com.

Box Score:

Ottawa 1-4-3
Toledo 6-8-1

WP: Tristan Faunce: 6.0 IP, 6K, 2 Walks, 1 run allowed
LP: Brad Croy: 5.1 IP, 4K, 3 Walks, 5 Runs allowed (2 earned)



Becker 1-4
Davis 0-3, Walk
Croy 1-4
Purdy 1-3, Walk, RBI
Fitzgerald 0-4
Dietering 0-3, Walk
Stolly 1-3
Warnecke 0-1
Jones 0-3
Kersh 0-1
Dockery 0-2, Walk
Sheperd 0-1


Lawniczak 1-5, Walk, SB, Run
Denman 1-5, Sac Bunt
Kaucher 0-5, SB, Run
Boerst 0-4, Walk, Run
Lankard 0-3, Walk
Moebius 1-4, RBI, Run
Neary 2-4, Run
Dandino 1-4, Run
Grady 2-3, RBI, Walk


OG, Coldwater win Sectional Championships

Saturday night at Wapakoneta High School two Sectional Championships were handed out as Ottawa Glandorf and Coldwater posted wins to claim their respective trophies and advance to play one another next Thursday night. OG downed Elmwood by a 66-33 margin in the opener while Coldwater used overtime to end the Bulldogs season 60-56.

Ottawa Glandorf jumped on Elmwood early and often in the first quarter as they used buckets from five different players in the opening stanza to lead 19-3 heading into the second quarter. Dani Ellerbrock scored the first points of the game for the Titans and assisted on the second, a score by Kadie Hempfling that OG up 4-0. Elmwood got on the scoreboard with 6:11 to go in the first period when Ashley Veryser connected on one of two free throws. Mattison Hilliard would score the only field goal of the quarter for the Royals at the 1:09 mark of the stanza to cut the OG lead to 12-3.

23-3 would be the Titans lead before the Royals were able to dent the scoreboard in the second quarter for 2 of their 9 period points to cut the lead to 23-5 when Samantha Ervin’s layup found her way through the net.

Turnovers would help the Titans end the first half with a 45-11 lead as they procured 24 Elmwood miscues, and turned many of those into fast break opportunities.

Elmwood’s best scoring quarter would be the third as they would put 13 markers into the scoring column and trail 56-24 heading into the final period of action.

With a significant lead in the fourth quarter the Titans began to work in and out their starters and combine them with their younger players in order to get both playing time. The strategy paid off in the last 8:00 as Mackenzie Meyer, Kianna Siefker, and Sydney Heitmeyer came off the bench to score a combined 7 points and help the Titans secure the win 66-33.

The Titans are now 21-2 on the season and were led by Erin Basinger who finished with a game high 13 points to lead 11 Titans in scoring.

Elmwood ends their season at 11-13, they were led by 11 points from Rebecca Harvey in the loss. The Royals committed 24 turnovers in the first half.


OG (66):

Dani Ellerbrock 2
Elissa Ellerbrock 12
Mackenzie Meyer 4
Anna Bellman 9
Erin Basinger 13
Danielle Schroeder 8
Kianna Siefker 2
Kylie White 6
Lexi Schroeder 2
Kadie Hempfling 7
Sydney Heitmeyer 1

Columbus Grove ended Coldwater’s season last year 51-49 in OT when Julia Wynn nailed a pair of free throws in their Sectional Semifinals matchup. This seasons matchup again took overtime, but it was the Cavaliers who would walk out winners this time as they used balanced scoring and a big night from Brooke Welsch to win 60-56.

Both teams came out looking to light up the scoreboard in the first quarter as they accounted for 35 combined first quarter points. Coldwater got on the scoreboard first on their opening possession of the game when Brooke Welsch drilled a three pointer from the wing to put her squad on top 3-0. Following a Columbus Grove bucket the Cavs jumped out to a 6-2 lead as they again utilized a deep ball for a score. Grove finished the period with a trio of players, Jade Clement, Lynea Diller, and Paige Bellman each having 4 apiece.

Jade Clement would score 6 points in the second quarter for Columbus Grove, but none were more important than the three pointer she connected on to end the first half as it pulled her Bulldogs within a pair at 31-29 heading into the lockerroom. Grove finished the first half shooting 10/26 from the field while Coldwater finished 12/29 overall in the opening half, but just 4/10 from the free throw line.

Three pointers helped Coldwater in the third quarter as Bridget Dues connected on a pair of shots from behind the arc en route to 10 points in the contest. Coming out of the halftime break the Bulldogs tied the game at 31-31 on their first possession of the quarter, but soon found themselves trailing by 7 at 42-35 mainly in part to the aforementioned triples by Dues.

When the final period of regulation began, the Cavaliers found themselves with what most would have considered a commanding lead at 52-39. Columbus Grove and their fans however would not part of that group who counted the game as all but over, and they would be rewarded for their faith as their team scratched and clawed their way to just a three point deficit with 3:44 to play.

Stifling defense in the 4th quarter would help the Bulldogs sniff the lead as they held the Cavs to just 3 points over the final 8:00 of the first four quarters. With just :53 seconds on the clock, Columbus Grove got a late basket to tie the contest at 53. Following timeouts by each team and failed attempts at game winners, the contest headed to overtime once again.

Grove’s first lead of the game came :14 into the 5th period of the night as Lynea Diller gave her squad a 55-53 advantage. Columbus Grove’s lead would last for just :20 however as the Cavaliers, a Senior laden group would tie the game at 55 and eventually go ahead at 57-56 with 2:14 remaining. Free throws added the final difference for the Cavs as they advanced with a hard fought 60-56 win.

Coldwater (13-10) was led in scoring by Brooke Welsch, a 1st team MAC selection this season with 18. Columbus Grove finishes their season at 14-8 and was led by a game high 21 from Sophomore and 1st team NWC selection Jade Clement.

The Cavaliers will next take on Ottawa Glandorf on Thursday night at 6:15pm inside the confines of the Elida Fieldhouse on Thursday, March 5th in a game that can be heard live on www.zsportslive.com.


Coldwater (60):

Maura Hoying 6
Erica Sudhoff 9
Brooke Welsch 18
Hanna Bruns 2
Leah Homan 2
Bridget Dues 10
Sarah Kanney 6
Lauren Leugers 6
Denise Schwieterman 2

Columbus Grove (56):

Kyrah Yinger 6
Jade Clement 21
Brooke Hoffman 2
Mackenzie Wurth 3
Lynea Diller 10
Paige Bellman 8
Carlee McCluer 6


Bulldogs run to District Finals

ELIDA, OHIO- Sometimes it’s not how you start it’s how you finish that matters.

Following a slow start in which they were touched for 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, the Columbus Grove Bulldogs struck back in the 3rd and 4th innings against Miller City to take a 3-2 lead in the Division 4 District Semifinals at Elida on Wednesday night.

Stymied early by Wildcats starter Ross Lehman who entered the game with a 7-1 record for the PCL Champions, the Grove offense responded in the middle portion when catcher Riley Brubaker was driven home by Josh Verhoff to cut the lead to 2-1 after 3 innings. Columbus Grove scored 2 more runs in the top of the 4th off of Lehman to run the lead to 3-2 for the Bulldogs before he gave way to Jackson Lammers on the mound in the 5th for Miller City.

Lammers was simply incredible in his 6 innings of work as from the 6th through the 8th innings he was lights out as he struck out 7 consecutive Bulldog hitters. Despite being tagged with the loss at the end of the night, Lammers struck out 12 with an array of pitches against at times bewildered Grove hitters.

Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Wildcats tied up the game with a sacrifice fly from catcher Hunter Berner to drive in Lammers who had started off the inning with a triple to right centerfield.

With the first contest between the two a month ago going 9 innings, the fans in attendance at Ed Sandy Field knew they were in for a spectacular finish as this one ventured into extra baseball as well.

The most exciting or painful moment (depends who you were rooting for) in the game came in the 7th inning right before extras as Miller City had the bases loaded with no outs and were not able to push across the game ending run. Corbin Niese who would finish 2-4 with a walk in the game grounded to Zach Shafer at 3rd base where Shafer would fire a bullet home to get the force and then see his catcher Brubaker get the 5-2-3 doubleplay at 1st base before a strikeout from Jared Fuka ended the Wildcat threat.

The final run of the game came on a double steal attempt by Columbus Grove in the top of the 11th inning as Riley Brubaker got caught in a run down between first and second base that allowed Zach Shafer to put across the winning run. Miller City facing Verhoff on the mound in the bottom of the 11th went down in order 1-2-3 as Niese struck out to send the Bulldogs to their first District Finals appearance in 18 years.

With the loss the Wildcats and coach Dusty Pester finish 18-7 this season while the Bulldogs and coach Cory King advance to play on Friday at 5pm against Patrick Henry in Elida (2-1 winners in the early game over Holgate) and up their record to 16-12.

Josh Verhoff got the win for the Bulldogs while Jackson Lammers took the loss despite a great outing in relief on the mound.

Hear the game on Friday on www.zsportslive.com with myself and Tyler Deitering between Grove and Patrick Henry.

Game Broadcast:


Red Devils advance

Tipp City, Ohio – One team entered the game with a nine year playoff pedigree while the other entered for the first time since 2004 just looking to continue their season.

For the Tippecanoe Red Devils Week 11 of the OHSAA football season is nothing new and they showed it tonight as they dispatched the Kenton Ridge Cougars 42-7 on their home field.

Kenton Ridge and Coach Joel Marratta were both making their second playoff appearance and at times their inexperience showed on the field where the Red Devils took advantage of their mistakes to get on the scoreboard on their first offensive drive. Sean Ford capped off a long drive for Tippecanoe by diving into the endzone to put his team on top 7-0 on a beautiful 22 yard run to get the scoring started.

Cameron Johnson added his first touchdown of the night on a screen pass from one of the two quarterbacks utilized in the first half by the Red Devils in Zack Blair from 15 yard out to put his team on top 14-0 early in the second quarter.

After the ensuing Kenton Ridge possession stalled at the Tippecanoe 30 yard line, the Red Devils once again took advantage with 2 minutes left in the half to go 70 yards and up 21-0 as Sean Ford got to paydirt once more, this time on a Blair 7 yard pass to put his squad on top 21-0 at the half.

Tippecanoe took the second half kickoff and upped the score to 28-0 as Sean Ford added the hat trick to his touchdown total by rushing up the right sideline past the entire Cougar defense for the score with a handful of beautiful cuts on the Tipp City Park grass.

Senior standout Jacob Hall who came into tonight’s contest as the CBC’s leading rusher with over 1600 yards made sure his team got to play in at least one more game before he heads off to Brown rushed in virtually untouched from 25 yards on the next Red Devils possession to put the score even further out of reach at 35-0 half way through the 3rd quarter. Hall finished with 123 yards on the night and now has 1,745 on the season which is his most in a season, eclipsing last years 1648 mark. The senior also has 31 touchdowns on this year.

Starting quarterback Ben Hughes got into the scoring action for Tippecanoe late in the 3rd quarter as he floated a perfect throw to Jarret Wasson that allowed him to outrun everyone in his path before punching it in from 26 yards out for the final Red Devils score of the evening that made it 42-0 heading into the 4th.

The lone Kenton Ridge score came on a punt by Hughes that Cougar punt returner Casey Turner who had been on the verge of taking one to the house all night long did just that from 48 yards out to give his team their first points of the game and make it 42-7.

Tippecanoe’s defense came in averaging just 7 points per game and showed why all night long as they held Kenton Ridge to 50 yards rushing and 7 points. The Cougars were forced to throw the ball 50 times but only completed 14 of their attempts and on a cool crisp night had a plethora of drops by their wideouts that did them no favors in big situations.

Cougar Quarterback Mitchell Schnieder at the half had 10 carries for 14 yards.

With the win Tippecanoe improves to 11-0 and will take on Thurgood Marshall at a yet to be determined site next Friday night while the Kenton Ridge Cougars will end their season with a 7-4 record and reeling with three losses in their last three games.

“We’ll watch film tomorrow and then take a month off before we hit the weight room to get ready for next season”, Cougars coach Joel Marratta said of his team after the game.


Wapakoneta vs Shawnee Preview

One of the big games in the OHSAA playoffs will take place Friday night in Wapakoneta where Division 3 Region 10 play will kick off between the 9-1 Wapakoneta Redskins and the 9-1 Springfield Shawnee Braves. Kickoff is slated for 7:30pm at Harmon Field located at Wapak High School with the winner moving on to play either Franklin or Trotwood Madison next Friday night.

While it will be the first time these two teams have ever met on the gridiron, it won’t be the first time Shawnee has met a WBL school in the playoffs, as they stand at 2-1 with wins against Kenton (05) and Elida (2011) after losing to Bath in 1996. Wapak has never played a member of the Central Buckeye Conference (CBC).

Six previous times the Braves have made the OHSAA playoffs, winning 10 of their 16 games and making it to the state finals in 2011.

Shawnee, the 6th seed will travel north to Wapak but they will be bringing their main weapon in Senior tailback Jalen Nelson. Not only a star on the basketball court but also on the gridiron, Nelson has rushed for over 1400 yards on the season. Capping off a brilliant senior season, the Braves runner amassed 308 rushing yards just a few weeks back against Bellefontaine en route to finishing 2nd in the CBC in rushing yardage.

In addition to Nelson, the Braves rely on dual threat Sophomore Saalih Muhammad who finished 5th in the CBC in passing yards with 1154 and 5th in rushing with 954 yards.

The only setback for Shawnee this season came last week as they were defeated by Division 3 Region 10 #1 seed Tippecanoe 21-7. The 7 points were the lowest the Braves had scored in a game all season, and the only time they were held under 20 points in a game this year.

The offense averages 48.6 points per game (second to only Tippecanoe at 49.4), while the defense which is led by Kohlton Sine (5.5 sacks, 2nd in cbc) and Zach Avery (5 int’s, 1st cbc) leading the 3rd lowest scoring defense in the CBC by giving up just 17.2 points per contest.

Wapak enters the game on the back of an 8 game winning streak with their last loss being in Week 2 at the hands of the 10-0 Kenton Wildcats who have outscored everyone this season with their frantic high paced offense.

A second straight 9 win season for Coach Doug Frye and his Redskins has propelled them into the playoffs at the 3rd seed. This is Wapak’s 6th all-time playoff berth, they are 2-5 in those games.

Offensively the Redskins rely on Senior fullback Zach Schmerge who leads the Western Buckeye League in rushing yards per game with 129.3. Last week in a 49-13 win over the Shawnee Indians, Schmerge carried the ball 7 times for 144 yards and a 55 yard touchdown run. Sophomore Cameron Lauck returned the opening kickoff 95 yards to put Wapak on top 7-0, and they never looked back as they trounced the Indians on their home field. Coach Frye has to be happy with his offensive unit as they lead the WBL with 299.8 rushing yards per game and finished 2nd in points per game by putting up 39.9 per contest.

Defensively the Redskins have been lights out as they are +25 in turnovers, have only given up 16.2 points per game and have pitched a pair of shutouts (Bath/Elida).

Both teams went 1-1 this season against playoff teams who will also be in action this weekend. In the previous 9 meetings between a CBC and a WBL school, the WBL has walked away with 5 wins.

Last season in the playoffs of the 28 lower seeded teams to beat higher seeds, 10 of those were #6 seeds defeating a #3 seed. Will Shawnee begin another run at the finals or will Wapak send them packing? Head out to Harmon Field in Wapak and see one of the best first round matchups in the state and find out, tickets are just $9 at the door.

Follow @michaelhirnpbp on twitter for all of your score updates this weekend.


Leipsic vs St. Johns Preview

LEIPSIC – It’s hard to believe but the 2013 OHSAA football regular season has already come and gone.

The calendar may say that it’s the first week of November, but it certainly hasn’t felt like it outside the past couple of weeks as both Leipsic and Delphos St. Johns made their final runs at the postseason.

Mostly cloudy, 52 degrees and a 10% chance of rain is on the forecast for Saturday night when the Vikings and Bluejays hook up on the gridiron. Who will that benefit, that remains to be seen.

Coming into the game the Delphos St. Johns Bluejays are sporting a 6-4 record and are seeded 8th in Region 24. Led by Senior tailback and 1,000 yard rusher Tyler Jettinghoff, the Jays will look to run the ball and run some more against the Vikings defensive front. On the season the Jays have rushed for 2,162 yards while only passing for 510 yards mainly on the arm of Nick Martz.

Across Ohio it is well known that the Midwest Athletic Conference is one of the toughest around, and this year is no different as the MAC will send three teams (DSJ, Coldwater and Marion Local) to the playoffs where the conference has already accounted for 28 state championship trophies.

Despite losses in three of their first four games of the season, the Jays responded nicely as they finished the season on a four game winning streak to sneak into the playoffs. Last week in their regular season finale the Jays trailed 21-14 heading into possibly their last quarter of the season before riding the legs of Jettinghoff for three scores in the final stanza en route to defeating Minster 35-28. After being shredded for almost three hundred yards in the first half, Delphos made some adjustments for the second half to slow down the Wildcats:
“Defensively, assistant coach (Steve) Recker spent a lot of time at halftime, making adjustments,” St. John’s coach Todd Schulte said. “Those were great adjustments by our defensive staff. Then our kids went out and executed it…That’s pretty darn good.”

Up the road in Leipsic, this years Vikings will look to do something that no previous team has been able to do in beating the Bluejays. Seeded #1 in the region at 8-2, it has been a great season for Senior Quarterback/Safety Zach Kuhlman who has thrown for 20 touchdowns, but won’t mean a thing if his team cannot avenge last seasons playoff loss to Delphos.

One of the biggest weapons that Kuhlman will have against the St. Johns defense will be his runningback and 1,200 yard rusher in Jordan Chamberlain. Chamberlain has accounted for 21 touchdowns this season and will look to use his agility to take advantage of a Bluejays defense that is giving up 351 yards per game along with 6 yards per play.

Under coach Joe Kirkendall, the Vikings have made the playoffs four straight years and are putting themselves in position to be an annual BVC power as they chase only the third state championship in Blanchard Valley Conference history (Hardin Northern and McComb).

Who will prevail? Will it be the Vikings and their balanced offensive attack or the Bluejays and their smashmouth style?

Tune in Saturday night at 7pm on www.zsportslive.com with myself and Rudy Lomeli to find out who wins and gets one step closer to the state championship.

Don’t forget to get your scores and game notes from us on twitter @michaelhirnpbp or @zsportslive.


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 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:
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:
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

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.



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.



Ottoville defeats Arcadia

Elida – Is the 5th time the charm?

Ottoville will head to the OHSAA State Semi-Finals on Friday afternoon following a thrilling 52-37 win over the Arcadia Red Devils Saturday night at the Elida Fieldhouse in front of a sell out crowd.

Sell out crowd

For Big Green coach Dave Klemen this was also a huge night. Not only will he take his 27-0 squad to Columbus to face Fort Loramie after they dispatched Tri-Village 69-43, but he also picked up his 400th career win “I felt like I was a pitcher throwing a no hitter towards the end as nobody would talk to me” he quipped during his postgame interview.

After Arcadia took an early 3-0 lead behind Senior guard and 1st team all Northwest District selection Miranda Palmer it was all Ottoville as they promptly responded with an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to build an 18-10 first quarter lead. The challenge for most teams who face  Ottoville is the same, which players do you key on and try to stop? Arcadia attempted to answer that question with Abby Siefker (9 points 8 rebounds) and Rachel Beining (11 points 3 rebounds). While the Redskins were successful at times flustering the aforementioned duo in goading them into 7 total fouls in the game and relegating them to the bench for long stretches of time they were not near as successful in stopping Rachel Turnwald. Turnwald, a Senior guard was the Big Green leading scorer on the night with 16 including big shots from the free throw line where she went 9 of 10 in the fourth quarter alone.

Palmer was able to hit some big shots in the game keep her team close as she finished with 19 on 6-16 shooting, but couldn’t get enough help from her teammates as the man to man defensive pressure from Nicole Vorst and Taylor Mangas proved to be too much for the Redskins to handle.

All of Putnam County will surely be in attendance as the #1 seeded Big Green will play 25-3 Fort Loramie on Friday afternoon at 3pm just as they have been throughout this entire historic post season run. Last season’s pursuit of a state title ended with a loss in the same building as Saturday night’s win at the hands of eventual state champion Arlington, something that Ottoville remembered and used as motivation for this season, “I think everybody would have been crushed (if we didn’t make it to state). It would have been the fourth year of getting so close. It feels great” said Siefker after the game.

After they got done cutting the nets down I was lucky enough to get to talk to Nicole Vorst, Taylor Mangas and Coach Klemen, take a listen to that interview here: http://chirb.it/Own9ah

Coach Klemen cutting down the nets and flashing a rare smile on the court

If you can’t make it to Columbus on Friday afternoon to the Schott grab your cellphone and download the TuneIn ap or head over to www.zsportslive.com z1 to hear the broadcast with myself and Dave Boninsegna to hear Ottoville and Fort Loramie do battle for a chance to play for a state championship on Saturday night.