SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Ottoville coach Todd Turnwald knew his team would be outnumbered heading into Friday.
Despite the Big Green’s lack of depth, they were still able to pull out a 55-53 overtime victory in a nonconference game against Shawnee at Shawnee Lappin Gymnasium.
“I’m extremely proud of these guys,” Turnwald said. “They worked their butts off, and we’ve been talking so much about execution down the stretch and tonight we were able to do that.”
Ottoville (3-6) got off to a hot start to begin the game. Brandt Landin scored Ottoville’s first five points as his team jumped out to a 7-0 lead.
Shawnee answered back on their next possession as Thomas Nolte was able to beat Ottoville’s tough matchup zone and drilled a three.
The two teams battled back and forth for the rest of the period, with Ottoville leading 13-9 after one.
The Indians began to get some momentum as they began the second quarter. Thad Vernon scored seven unanswered points in a row to give Shawnee its first lead at 16-15 with 5:49 left in the half.
Shawnee outscored Ottoville 16-11 in the half and Shawnee’s Josh Bishop was able to drill a deep 3-pointer as time expired for the half, making the score 25-24 in favor of the Indians.
Bishop picked in the third right where he left off in the second. The junior connected on two more three’s and Shawnee led 40-35 after three.
Shawnee extended its lead to 45-37 with just over three minutes left in regulation. Ottoville was able to capitalize off Shawnee’s turnovers and clawed their way back to tie the game up at 45 after Landin drilled two free-throws with 49.2 seconds remaining.
After another Shawnee turnover, Landin went to the hole once again. However, this time Shawnee’s Cole Pohjala was waiting for him and blocked his shot to end regulation.
To begin overtime, Pohjala tipped in a Casey Mulcahy miss to give Shawnee a 47-45 lead to begin the extra period.
That is when Ottoville began to get to the line.
Luke Schimmoeller nailed two free-throws to tie the game up at 47. After a missed Trey Brock free-throw, Landin was fouled and a Shawnee player drew a technical foul. Landin hit one of his free-throws and Ryan Honigford drilled the two technical foul-shots.
Since it was a technical, the Big Green got the ball back and Austin Honigford drilled another two free-throws, making the score 52-47.
Ottoville connected on 8-of-10 at the charity stripe in overtime and pulled out the win.
“Our kids work extremely hard,” Turnwald said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys. What we lack in quantity, we make up for in quality.”
Ryan Honigford led all scorers with 21 points. Brandt Landin added 10 while Derek Schimmoeller and Luke Schimmoeller both had seven.
“We’ve been working really hard at practice to get over that hump and win some ball games,” Honigford said. “I was in the zone, just one of those nights. Everybody did their part.”
Shawnee (1-5) had eight free throws compared to Ottoville’s 24. Coach Dick Heath realized his team had plenty of chances, is was just unable to come out on top.
“I tip my cap to Ottoville,” Heath said. “They battled hard and they didn’t fold the tent. We helped them because we kept fouling them and they made their shots. We had an abundance of opportunities and we squandered most of them.”