OTTAWA — There’s a fever spreading in Ottawa and Glandorf.
Ottawa-Glandorf School district and communities are showing off their support of the Ottawa-Glandorf Boys basketball team as they prepare to travel to Columbus Thursday to play in the state semifinals at Value City Arena.
"I knew these guys when I was a senior at Ottawa-Glandorf," said Ross Heringhaus, a 2011 graduate of Ottawa-Glandorf. “I knew then how great they were going to be.” He said he was not surprised at all when the O-G team qualified for the second year in a row to play in the state semi-finals.
Joe Laudick said he hopes the parents of the team members can enjoy the game.
“The parents will probably be the most nervous of anyone,” Laudick said. He speaks from experience. His son Matt was on the O-G team that lost in 2002 to Lebron James’ No. 1 Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary team in the regional final, 77-58.
“I think it’s wonderful they are going to state,” said retail owner Tom Gustwiller. “There’s a lot of excitement in the community.”
Gustwiller said the players have worked hard all season and it’s great to see them go this far.
His words were echoed by Jim Heringhaus, who also enjoys the excitement the community is feeling.
“I like the excitement we see at the game and when the team returns to town,” Heringhaus said.
The excitement was also evident at the high school.
"Titan Tournament" was painted on the windows of the cafeteria. Posters lined the walls. In the front foyer, students were busy buying “Final Four” T-shirts.
“Business has been really brisk,” said Katie Imm, with Imm-Broidery. She said they started selling the shirts at the store Monday.
“We have all ages coming in to buy their shirts,” she said.
Mary Lou Herman from Phantasms said they are also busy selling special shirts for the tournament.
“We started selling yesterday at the store and today at the school,” she said. “It’s been keeping everyone busy, but it’s exciting.”
With a 60-56 overtime victory over Bloom-Carroll in the Division III boys basketball regional championship at Bowling Green State University’s Stroh Center, O-G returns to the state tournament for a second consecutive season. The Titans will play No. 3-ranked Ironton (23-2) at 10:45 a.m. Thursday in the state semifinals at Value City Arena.
A year ago, with an all-underclassman starting lineup, Ottawa-Glandorf played its way into the state tournament but lost in the semifinals to Portsmouth.
There will be a State Send-Off for the Boys Basketball Team at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday in the high school parking lot. They are asking that you show up prior with your signs, balloons and Titan spirit.