OTTAWA — Wapakoneta had to be thinking there were more than five Ottawa-Glandorf players on the basketball court at the same time.
It seemed like every time Wapakoneta attempted to take the ball inside, there were usually two or three sets of long arms disrupting the play.
O-G’s size and quickness paved the way for a 55-37 win over the Redskins at Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium on Friday night in Western Buckeye League boys action.
With the victory, O-G remains undefeated in the WBL at 5-0 and improves to 13-1 overall. Wapakoneta slips to 8-6 and 2-3 in league play.
Three players scored in double figures for O-G. T.J. Metzger led the Titans with 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Metzger also had eight rebounds and three steals. Caleb Siefker scored 12 points, including three shots behind the arc in the first half. Michael Rosebrock added 12 points and six boards.
“I thought defensively we were really good, especially in that first half,” O-G coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “It all starts in the middle with ‘Chewy’ (Matt Kaufman, two points, six assists). We really challenged Matthew Kaufman to get after (Alex) Greve (Wapakoneta point guard) and disrupt their offense. Greve ended up with five (points) and he only got two on “Chewy’. Defensively, he (Kaufman) is as good as any player I’ve ever coached.”
After being held scoreless in the first quarter, Travis Bertram poured in a game-high 22 points to lead the Redskins. For the game, Bertram made 11 of 14 shots from the free throw line.
Unfortunately for Wapakoneta, Bertram was about the only bright spot at the offensive end.
“It was good to see Travis attacking the rim,” Wapakoneta coach Matt Bradley said. “With him it was just a confidence thing. When he hit his first couple shots, it was like the weight of the world fell off his shoulders.
“In the post, I thought they physically manhandled us. We had a very hard time getting it in. They are a very good defensive team. They probably don’t get enough credit of being a good defensive team. But, we have to do a better job of getting guys open.”
Wapakoneta scored the first points of the game, an inside basket by Kodi Morgan.
O-G then went on an 11-0 run, ignited by two 3-pointers by Siefker and one by Metzger. The Redskins responded, closing it to 11-7 by the end of the first quarter.
The Titans opened the second quarter with an 8-0 run and eventually extended its lead to 25-12 by the break. Wapakoneta struggled from the field, hitting just 2-of-11 in the second stanza.
The Titans led 33-22 by the end of the third quarter.
In the final eight minutes of action, the Titans took the ball inside more and put themselves at the free throw line often. O-G was 12-for-19 at the stripe in the final period.
For the game, O-G was 17-for-27 at the free throw line. The Redskins were 14-for-18 from the charity stripe.
For the game, O-G shot 41 percent from the floor, while Wapakoneta shot 25 percent.
The taller Titans won the battle on the boards, 32-26.
“I thought we did a really good job of forcing them into contested shots, but we didn’t box out,” Bradley said. “We said all week that this is the best rebounding team that we’re going to play all year. They are relentless on the glass. And when we defended them well on the first shot, we allowed them a second shot. … More times than not, it would be a layup-and-one every time.”
McGlaughlin said when his team struggles at the offensive end, it will find a way to make up for it.
“Offensively, we really weren’t in sync. But, I thought we did a good job on the defensive glass, especially in the first half,” McGlaughlin said. “And we really defended their shooters well.”