COLUMBUS — There’s something to be said about being tournament-tested.
The Ottawa-Glandorf boys Division III state championship basketball team is living proof.
The O-G squad that defeated Versailles in Saturday’s state title game has 13 players on the roster who competed in a fall sport.
Out of those 13 athletes, seven competed on the gridiron, four played soccer, one ran cross country and one played golf. The other athlete on the roster played baseball in the spring.
The O-G football program has been in the playoffs the past eight seasons. The soccer program has been to the regional finals three out of the past four campaigns.
The O-G basketball team has been to the state tournament the past two seasons, three times in the past six years.
So, the O-G seniors have truly been tested.
“These kids are winners. ..They are simply winners,” O-G coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “You look at their individual records — not their individual accolades — from their sophomore, junior and senior seasons. You look at their soccer records; you look at their football records and look at their basketball records. …It’s pretty impressive.
“And it’s not just one guy. These guys all play different sports. We have all-state players in different sports. They come together and they care about one thing, and that’s to win. This senior class is full of winners. They’re going to be very successful in whatever they do, because of all of the hard work they put into it.”
Senior T.J. Metzger, who is a two-time all-Ohio selection in soccer, as well as an all-state selection in basketball, pointed to his teammates’ desire to win as the key factor for their success.
“It just says so much about our teammates on how much we want to win,” Metzger said. “With Caleb (Siefker) in football, they came really close. In soccer, we were really close (to going to state). We got here twice (in basketball). We lost last year, but we came here again. We only had one thing on our mind this year and that was to win a state championship.”
Metzger led all scorers in Saturday’s state championship game with 36 points.
Metzger said that after last season’s loss to Portsmouth in the state semifinals, the team’s focus was to not only get back to the state tournament, but to win the title.
“Coming back on that bus ride (after last year’s state tournament), we were thinking, we have five starters coming back. …We’ve got something special going on here. We wanted to get back and win it,” Metzger said.
Another one of those multi-sport athletes for O-G is senior Michael Rosebrock. The 6-foot-4 forward scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds against Versailles.
“I wasn’t really too nervous coming into the game because I knew we had to come out and play hard,” Rosebrock said. “I think soccer helped that, with us going that far and then last year (basketball) coming that far. So, we didn’t get the jitters as much. We just came out and played our best.”
The one common thread for the eight O-G seniors is the comradery amongst each other.
“We always played together in tournaments as kids in both soccer and basketball,” Rosebrock said. “The eight seniors, we are all great friends with each other.”
Metzger said the team had a different mindset heading into this season’s state tournament.
“What sets it apart from last year is that we came in with more of a business-like attitude. We were here to win. We were focused all week and we came in and got the job done,” he said.
COACH McGLAUGHLIN A MULTI-SPORT ATHLETE
Coach McGlaughlin was a standout basketball player at O-G in the late 1990s and went on to play basketball at the University of Findlay.
During the fall seasons in high school, however, McGlaughlin could be found wearing his blue and gold on the soccer field for the Titans.