ADA — After overcoming adversity the whole season, Ottawa-Glandorf had to make yet another adjustment. Mother Nature struck once again and postponed the Division III regional semifinal from Wednesday at Bowling Green State University, to Thursday at Ohio Northern.
The Titans did not let the change of date or the change of scenery affect them as they cruised to a 63-45 victory over Huron in the Division III regional semifinal.
OG (16-10) will square off against LCC for the regional title at 7 p.m. Saturday at BGSU.
LCC defeated Worthington Christian 64-37 in the first regional semifinal game at ONU on Thursday.
OG coach Tyson McGlaughlin knew that the Titan fan base traveled well, and he was happy to see the number of Titan fans in the stands.
“Whether we play at Ohio Northern, BG or Columbus, we know that wherever it is, our fans will travel really well,” McGlaughlin said. “It’s very important to our community. Come tournament time we try to step it up a notch. It was nice to see that type of support because it gives you that much more motivation.”
OG got off to a hot start. Zach Kuhlman got the scoring started with a bucket off of a Huron turnover. Alex Schroeder followed him up with a basket of his own to give OG a 4-0 lead. The Titans eventually extended their lead to 16-8 after Noah Bramlage had his shot blocked but was able to get it back and put it in for a layup to end the first quarter.
Kuhlman continued to give the Titans an edge from there to begin the second.
Schroeder started the second quarter off with a bucket and Huron’s Cody Thompson followed him up with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 18-11 with 7:28 left in the period. Kuhlman answered back with a three of his own to give OG a 10 point lead.
Kuhlman had seven points in the second quarter alone and 11 points at halftime. The junior shot 5-5 from the field in the first half.
“We’re just playing hard all the time and I was just trying to do my best,” Kuhlman said. “Whatever coach asked me to do, I’d try to do it.”
Huron (19-7) began to chip away at OG’s huge lead. The Titans took a 35-18 lead after Cody Alt scored down low with 1:46 left in the second quarter. Huron then went on a 5-0 to narrow the deficit to 35-23 at halftime.
OG shot 15-28 from the field in the first half while Huron shot just 9-22.
Huron continued to chip away at OG’s lead in the third quarter. Adam Storer had seven points in the period and the Tigers outscored the Titans 14-10 in the third quarter. OG led 45-37 after three.
The fourth quarter proved to be too much for Huron because OG’s Tyler Zender began to take matters into his own hands.
The senior scored and drew a foul to begin the final period of play. He made the free throw and gave OG a 48-37 lead with 7:50 left to play.
After Huron narrowed the margin to 50-42 with 5:09 remaining, Zender drew another foul and made both attempts from the charity stripe. Zender finished with eight points in the fourth quarter as OG outscored Huron 18-8 in the quarter to put the game away.
“Making all of my free throws is something pretty different,” Zender said with a laugh. “It was really nice to knock those down. Once you make one basket the crowd gets you so hyped up. It makes you want to play that much harder.”
OG shot 23-45 from the field for the game. Huron shot just 15-23.
Bramlage led the Titans with 19 points and nine rebounds. Kuhlman chipped in with 14 points and eight rebounds while Zender added 12 points.
“We knew that they were a strong team and they were going to defend me well in the post,” Bramlage said. “Early on I got a few good looks down low. I realized that they weren’t going to step outside and guard me. When you’re that wide open you just have to have confidence to hit your shots.”
OG lost 64-44 to LCC on December 15. It was LCC’s third game of the season and OG’s fourth game of the season. McGlaughlin knows that his team has only improved since that game.
“We just have to play our game,” McGlaughlin said. “We understand that LCC is really good. Our guys are going to be ready to play. At the beginning of the year we had a lot of pieces to put together. Our guys have only gotten better. We’re playing for a regional title and if you’re playing for a regional title, you’re doing something good. We’re going to stick to our game plan and we’ll see what happens.”
At Ohio Northern
Ottawa-Glandorf 63, Huron 45
Tyler Zender 12, Noah Bramlage 19, Alex Schroeder 6, Matias Trampe-Kindt 1, Zach Kuhlman 14, Brad Recker 5, Blake Blevins 4, Cody Alt 2. Totals: 23-14-63.
Gabe Camella 4, Zach Souter 3, Keegan Bollenbacher 3, Cody Thompson 9, Adam Storer 18, Jack Springer 8. Totals: 15-8-45.
Score by quarters:
OG —`Bramlage 2, Kuhlman 1; H —`Storer 4, Bollenbacher 1, Thompson 1, Springer 1
Records:`Ottawa-Glandorf 16-10; Huron 19-7.