January 25, 2008
OTTAWA – Ottawa-Glandorf’s Brittany Kiracofe took the inbounds pass and was driving until someone stopped her.No one did.Kiracofe drove the right side of the lane and knocked in a 7-footer with 1.3 seconds left to lift Ottawa-Glandorf to a 79-77 girls basketball victory over the No.1-ranked Bath on Thursday at Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium.As the ball hit the net, the O-G fans poured onto the floor and set off a celebration.With the game tied at 77 with 8.1 seconds left, the Titans’ Jenna Ellerbrock inbounded the ball to Kiracofe on the side.“Coach (Lori Smith) said do your best to drive to the basket,” Kiracofe said. “One of the post players set a pick for me and she said drive, and hopefully it went in and it did tonight.”Smith said, “We wanted it in Brittany’s hands. Brittany has had two games where she had chances to win it at the end and just fell short and when you have someone like that, give it to them again. It’s one of the plays where it’s do or die.”Bath, which came into the game ranked No. 1 in the state in Division II, is 16-1, 6-1 in the Western Buckeye League. The Titans are 12-4, 6-1 in the WBL.Kiracofe led the Titans with 16 points, while Chelsea Maas had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Danielle Hershberger contributed 12 points and four rebounds off the bench.Stefanie Mauk led Bath with 25 points and two 3-pointers. Rachel Mauk scored 24 with five 3-pointers. Stephanie Sanders scored 12.The difference came on the inside, where O-G outrebounded Bath, 41-23 overall, and 15-10 on the offensive end. The 6-foot-1 Maas, 6-2 Madalyn Shalter (four points, six rebounds) and 5-10 Hershberger continually pounded the ball inside.“We allowed the ball to get to the basket way too many times,” Bath coach Greg Mauk said. “I don’t know how to explain that. It’s not something we’ve allowed all year long and it did happen tonight.“We didn’t rebound, we allowed the ball to the rim and then we didn’t check out and we allowed them to continue to crash the boards and that hurt us the entire game.”Kiracofe scored 10 in the first quarter to help the Titans take a 24-17 lead at the end of the first quarter. Rachel Mauk countered with 17 in the first half, as she dropped in four straight 3-pointers. That helped Bath close the gap to 40-38 at the half.Hershberger began taking control down on the blocks in the third quarter. She scored eight in the quarter to help the Titans take a 58-48 lead.“They have more experience at the guard spot, especially from a shooting standpoint, but I thought we had the advantage inside,” Smith said. “I think, considering the pressure situation, this was by far her (Hershberger’s) best effort.”O-G led 75-65 with two minutes and 35 seconds left when Bath’s press and fast-break 3-pointers took control. Bath went on an 12-2 run to tie the game at 77 with 40 seconds left. During that run, Rachel Mauk and Stefanie Mauk both hit a 3-pointer, with Rachel hitting the game-tying basket. Stefanie scored seven during that burst, while Rachel had five.“At every timeout, I told the girls, “They are going to shoot a three,” Smith said.Bath’s press forced 24 O-G turnovers. Bath had 12 turnovers. O-G shot 59 percent from the field, while Bath hit 40 percent.Celina entered the night still unbeaten in the WBL and now O-G and Bath have one loss.“Beating any team is great, but getting us back in the WBL race is amazing,” Kiracofe said.