DELPHOS — Abby Siefker first swatted the ball away. A second later she ripped down the rebound.
With that, the 6-foot-2 Ottoville senior joined a rare club.
Siefker pulled down her 1,000th career rebound to join the 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds club in a convincing 42-18 victory over Delphos St. John’s on Saturday at Robert Arnzen Gymnasium.
For the game, Siefker had 22 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. She hit 9 of 12 from the field.
Siefker became the first player in Ottoville girls history to record 1,000 rebounds.
“For me coming into my senior year, one goal was to get the (1,000) rebounds because that’s more determination than the points,” Siekfer said. “That was one of my main goals so I’m really happy I’m able to get that.”
Siefker has averaged more than 10 rebounds for her career to get the mark. She said had an idea a few weeks back that she might be getting close and asked coach Dave Kleman about it.
“Whenever I signed (with Bowling Green) they told me how many (rebounds) I had and ever since then I knew how many I was averaging,” Siefker said. “I knew I was getting close, but I wasn’t sure of the exact number. I asked coach and he told me I needed four more before this game.”
Ottoville stands 20-0, while Delphos St. John’s is 8-12.
The Big Green came out pressing and led 12-6 after the first quarter. Siefker had nine points in the opening quarter on 4 of 4 shooting.
She pulled down rebound No. 1,000, and her fourth of the game, with 5:34 left in the second quarter. She blocked a shot, then pulled down the board.
By the half, Ottoville led 23-9. At that point, Siefker was in complete charge of both ends of the floor with 16 points and eight rebounds.
“No girl has ever had 1,000 rebounds here and we’ve had some pretty good post players,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said. “But it takes a special person and a special situation that you can walk in as a freshman and play right away. As a freshman, she averaged a double-double in rebounds and points.”
Kleman said he’s seen plenty of improvement from Siefker over the course of her career.
“She’s a very hard worker and very diligent,” Kleman said. “She’s a great athlete. She’s a pleasure to coach.”
Siefker’s best play of the night came off a steal in the backcourt. She picked off the pass, dribbled up the floor and went end-to-end finishing with a layup.
Rachel Beining, a 6-foot senior, added eight points and five rebounds for Ottoville.
Jessica Recker led St. John’s with nine points.
Ottoville won the boards, 36-23, including 11-3 at the offensive end. Ottoville shot 39 percent from the field. St. John’s shot 14 percent.
With guard Tonya Kaufman out for the year with a knee injury, Ottoville is now starting Taylor Mangas, who scored five points. Kleman feels his team is close to ready for the tournament.
“We’re getting there,” Kleman said. “I thought we were really close, then we lost Kaufman so we had to do some readjusting. Our bench isn’t nearly as deep, but Taylor Mangas has stepped up her game, as well as the other kids. And our bench is getting better.”
For Siefker, this will be her final tournament run.
“I think we’re finally ready to go full bore and make the run we’ve been wanting to make the last four years,” Siefker said. “Everybody’s really excited and we’re really determined to do it this year.”