KALIDA — With only one senior on the roster, it would seem the Ottawa-Glandorf girls basketball program might be a year away from success.
Don’t tell that to Archbold, the No. 3 team in the final Division III state rankings, who struggled mightily before besting the Titans 40-37 in district final action Saturday afternoon at Kalida. Archbold had also won a 53-51 regular season contest against Ottawa-Glandorf.
The Titans actually held the lead at 37-36 with only 2:10 to play before the Blue Streaks ran off the final four points of the game to grab the win and the right to advance to the Ohio Northern regional.
The two teams battle back-and-forth early with the Titans grabbing a first quarter lead of 11-10 that they stretched to 18-15 at the half.
O-G (16-9) was aggressive going to the basket in the first half while sophomore Ellissa Ellerbrock was charged with guarding Archbold’s leading scorer Cassidy Wyse. Ellerbrock was all over Wyse and held her to only four points in the first half.
Both teams came out in the third period intent on picking up the offensive pace of the game and each achieved success.
O-G went on to score 15 points in the third quarter while Archbold added 13 and the Titans looked good going to the fourth period with a 33-28 lead.
But something, maybe nerves, maybe youth, maybe a 24-1 opponent took over and the Blue Streaks outscored the Titans 12-4 in the last quarter to come from behind and grab the win.
Wyse finished with game-high scoring honors with a hard-earned 12 points while Taylor Coressel added eight points to the Blue Streaks’ total.
Junior Kristen Miller led the Titans with her 10-point effort and Ellerbrock chipped in with seven points for O-G.
“Molly (Closson, the lone O-G senior) was our leader,” Ellerbrock said. “We have a good, strong team coming back and we will get them next year.”
Both teams missed opportunities to take advantage at the free throw line and were unable to convert and take control. Archbold finished 11-of-22 from the line while the Titans finished 12-of-23, including 2-of-7 in the decisive fourth quarter.
First-year Titans coach Troy Yant was disappointed with the outcome but looking forward to next season.
“Those missed free throws hurt us and four points in the fourth quarter didn’t help,” Yant said. “We might be a year away and are still learning how to finish games. But hats off to Archbold, they did what they had to do.”
The Blue Streaks will return to action at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Ohio Northern regional.