Lima Central Catholic versus Ottawa-Glandorf.
These two boys basketball programs have a rich history with each other. And on Wednesday, the two programs will add another chapter to what has become one of the best rivalries in the area when they meet at Bowling Green State University in a Division III regional semifinal game. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
Last season, O-G defeated LCC 44-38 in the regional championship game to advance to the state tournament, where the Titans were defeated by Portsmouth in the state semifinal 74-66.
In last season’s regional final, LCC led O-G 31-29 after three quarters, before O-G took over in the fourth quarter. Michael Rosebrock and T.J Metzger combined for 13 of O-G’s 15 points in the final period to lead the way.
The Titans have all five starters back from last year’s squad. Tre’on Johnson is the only LCC starter back from last season. However, Darius West, Martyce Kimbrough and Cory Stewart all played significant minutes for the T-Birds.
During the regular season, LCC went on the road and defeated O-G 51-48.
LCC (23-2) is coming off a hard-fought 66-60 victory over Spencerville in its district championship game. O-G (22-3) pulled away from Tinora for a 56-34 win in its district title game this past weekend.
“It’s going to be another game of protecting the paint and protecting the ball,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “With their size and experience, our work will be cut out for us. The good thing is that we went on the road once and beat them. We’re going to have to work even harder this time. O-G’s tradition is pretty strong against LCC now”
O-G isn’t taking anything for granted this season.
“It’s one of those things. …We’re back in the regionals,” O-G coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “I tell our kids sometimes of how spoiled we are. We’ve got a great thing going. We got great tradition, a great fan base. The support we get from our school board and administration is phenomenal.
“These guys have worked extremely hard. And I don’t think people realize how much pressure that has been put upon them, since last year’s state run. I got home from the state tournament and people were telling me, ‘You have to go out there and get the state title’.
“But, these are 17-, 18-year-old kids. It’s not as easy as it looks. These guys have battled that all year and they continue to fight and continue to get better. The thing that I like is that they’re very happy with getting to the regionals. But at the same time, they realize we have some ball to play still.”
The history of these two programs goes back many years.
In 2010 and 2011, the two programs played each other in district title games, with LCC winning in 2010 and O-G victorious in 2011. They faced each other nine times in the either the sectionals or districts in the 1970s and 1980s before O-G moved up to Division II. In those nine games, plus the recent three games, O-G has an 8-4 advantage.
Tre’on Johnson, who dressed for LCC in the 2010 state tournament as a freshman, is looking forward to playing O-G.
“It’s a great game, it’s a big rivalry. They’re good and people say we’re good,” he said.
Johnson isn’t looking past O-G, but he does have aspirations of returning to the state tournament.
“That would be great to get my team in another one and two for me,” he said.
O-G senior, Michael Rosebrock also is looking forward to the rematch.
“It’s always fun playing LCC. It’s a big rivalry between us two and it’s fun going into that game. You can get really excited and both crowds like to get into it. It’s a fun atmosphere to play in,” Rosebrock said.