OTTOVILLE — It doesn’t get any better than this when it comes to winning league titles.
With a 67-45 win over Leipsic on Saturday night, Ottoville’s girls basketball team won its fourth straight Putnam County League title, all of them without losing a game in the league.
Its four seniors — Abby Siefker, Rachel Beining, Rachel Turnwald and Nicole Vorst — will leave without a PCL loss in their careers.
No. 1-ranked Ottoville (19-0, 7-0 PCL) jumped out to a 15-2 lead on Leipsic in the game’s first 4 1/2 minutes and never looked back.
Taylor Mangas scored 18 points and hit four of the 10 3-pointers Ottoville had in the game. Turnwald scored 14 points and Vorst scored 11. Haley Gerten had 11 points for Leipsic (13-5, 4-2 PCL).
“That’s kind of been their goal this season,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said about his team’s fourth undefeated title in a row. “I thought we came out very focused but this team is focused every night.”
So focused that some of the players have reminded themselves of this goal and others every day, Siefker said.
“I think a lot of us have our goals up on our mirrors where we look at them every day when we’re getting ready,” she said.
Leipsic’s goal was to limit Ottoville’s big players, Siefker and Beining, who combined for only 13 points — nine by Siefker and four by Beining. Siefker’s first points didn’t come until just over a minute before halftime and Beining had only two points in the first two quarters.
But Ottoville was up 38-22 by halftime after Mangas, Turnwald and Vorst hit 10 of 15 shots in the first two quarters. Ottoville’s defense also forced 14 first-half turnovers, 11 of them in the first quarter.
Ottoville opened the game by hitting 6 of its first 8 shots and creating turnovers on 7 of Leipsic’s first 9 possessions.
“You have to give up something and we decided early we were going to give up a little on the perimeter, but they hit 10 threes. When they do that, they’re almost impossible to guard,” Leipsic coach Gary Kreinbrink said.
Siefker said, “Tonight they decided they were going to really double down on us and not let the post players have it, so the guards had the threes. They can hit those.”
The lead grew to as many as 27 points early in the fourth quarter as the Big Green completed its 28-0 run in the PCL. They also have won 47 regular-season games in a row.
“We just came out ready and on fire and just focused on what our goal was,” Vorst said.
Turnwald said, “Everyone was just ready to go. You could tell we just wanted it so bad.”
Ottoville’s 3-point shooting was nothing new, Kleman said. “We’re all capable of doing that. We know teams are really going to jam the inside on us. We work on it every night to get better on 3-point shooting. We’ve got kids who can knock them down.”
Like its 3-point shooting, winning a PCL title was nothing new, but something that never gets old.
“No. Never,” Beining said, when asked that question. “It’s a dream come true for us, ever since we were little,” she said.