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.
CJ Kemper 6
Brynlee Hanneman 4
Bridget Landin 21
Haley Hoersten 2
Quinley Schlagbaum 2
Amber Miller 2
Kasey Knippen 7
3PT: 1/7 (Knippen)
REB: 27 (14 offensive/13 defensive)
Buckeye Central (25):
Jenna Karl 15
Taylor Ratliff 3
Courtney Pifher 3
Lexi Evak 4
3PT: 2/6 (Karl, Ratliff)
REB: 17 (5 offensive/12 defensive)