LIMA — Sometimes experience pays. And other times it pays off like a slot machine, with bells and sirens going off in every direction.
No. 1-ranked Ottoville dominated Crestview from the beginning on its way to a 54-23 win in the Division IV girls basketball district championship game at Lima Senior on Saturday night.
The only way the Big Green could have been more in control early is if they would have grabbed the microphone away from the announcer and introduced themselves before the game.
Ottoville (25-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the game’s first four minutes, 43 seconds and Crestview (22-3) never got back into it.
It was 34-7 by halftime and the lead grew to as many as 34 points in the fourth quarter.
There was more than experience at work. But it certainly didn’t hurt that Ottoville started four seniors and Crestview had three sophomores and a freshman in its starting lineup.
Ottoville will play Leipsic (17-8) at 8 p.m. Thursday in a semifinal in the Elida Division IV regional.
Defensive pressure, which produced nine Crestview turnovers in the first quarter, and three 3-pointers by senior guard Rachel Turnwald before the game was five minutes old got Ottoville started.
“We wanted to hit them right from the start. We knew if we had a quick start we could keep rolling from there,” Turnwald said. “It definitely relaxed us a lot and then we could just play our game.”
Turnwald and 6-foot, 2-inch post player Abby Siefker each scored 15 points. Ottoville forced 25 turnovers and blocked five shots — three by Siefker and two by Rachel Beining.
Terra Crowle’s nine points led Crestview. Ottoville shot 59 percent (19 of 32) on field goals and Crestview hit 29 percent (8 of 28).
Siefker said, “Everybody was so excited for this game that we just came out fired up. With any tournament game, you come out and you’re really fired up. Sometimes that comes off as being a little nervous. But once we started hitting our shots we got into the groove of things and everybody started playing their game.”
Crestview coach Greg Rickard said, “A lot of it is they start — how many seniors— who have been to the district and regional and most of the time we had four sophomores and a freshman on the floor.
“You definitely could tell the difference in experience. They had it and we didn’t. Hopefully, it is a good learning experience for us in the future,” he said.
“They shot the ball well. We tried man, we tried zone. They’d go inside, they’d go outside. It was one of those things, it was just tough for us to stop (them) at the defensive end.”
Ottoville won 34-30 when the two teams played in November during the regular season.
“That was kind of a motivational thing for us,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said. “They played very well and we played kind of average. We told the girls we didn’t want it to get that point.
“We wanted to impose our will as seniors and take care of business right away and make sure it wasn’t going to be a close game at the end,” he said. “We said, ‘Let’s start out with a good first quarter and we’ll go from there.’”
“The seniors have been focused and still are focused and hopefully we can keep this train rolling.”