OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf was determined to get back on track after suffering a tough loss to St. Marys last Friday on its home court.
With Bath coming to O-G on Friday night with an opportunity to notch its first Western Buckeye League title in 43 years, the Titans were more than determined to make sure it didn’t happen on their home court.
In a game of many runs on Friday, O-G had the last spurt as T.J. Metzger hit a shot at the buzzer to give O-G a thrilling 55-54 win over Bath in boys basketball action.
With the loss, Bath (16-4, 7-1 WBL) is tied for first place with Elida (13-8, 7-1) in the WBL. Elida defeated Celina 79-55 on Friday to keep pace with Bath. O-G improves to 16-3 overall and 6-2 in league play.
On Friday, Bath plays host to Celina, while Elida welcomes in Defiance in their final league games.
Metzger finished with a game-high 24 points, which included six 3-pointers. He missed a 3-point shot attempt in the final seconds of the game, but got his own rebound and then got off a 15-foot shot that went in with time running out.
Metzger said he wanted the ball down the stretch.
“Every time I shoot, I think it’s going to go in. When you play good teams like Bath, you have to be confident when you shoot, because they play good defense. I’ve had confidence throughout the whole season,” Metzger said.
O-G coach Tyson McGlaughlin said he also has confidence in Metzger down the stretch.
“There are guys who want the ball at the end of the game. …Then there are guys who really want the ball at the end of the game. T.J. is one of those guys who wants that last shot,” McGlaughlin said.
Metzger was on fire in the first half, hitting 6-of-7 from the field, all 3-pointers en route to 18 points in the first 16 minutes.
Michael Rosebrock scored 13 points on the night for O-G, including seven points in the fourth quarter.
With 5.5 seconds remaining to play, Rosebrock was fouled before a shot attempt, below his own basket. Metzger’s game-winning shot then came on the following inbounds play.
“Coach drew up a play for me to hit the three at the end,” Metzger said. “I left it a little short. But then when it hit the front of the rim, it fell back into my hands. I tried to get an open lane and tried to get it out to the rim as fast as I could. I just thank God that it went in.”
Bath led 19-14 at the end of the first quarter. By halftime, the game was knotted at 32.
And the second half played out the same way as the two teams headed into the fourth quarter tied at 42.
But late in the fourth quarter, the momentum swung to O-G’s favor in a hurry.
Bath looked to be in control with 3:01 left to play, leading 53-47. However, within the next two minutes, Bath turned the ball over three times, which led to quick transition baskets for the Titans. With 1:02 left in the game, the Titans tied the game, 53-53, on an inside move by Rosebrock.
“It’s one of those things where basketball is a crazy game and momentum is a crazy thing, especially when you’re at home and you have a packed house,” McGlaughlin said. “It’s in the back of your mind. The last thing you want to do is turn it over and our guys were able to get a couple deflections. And the big thing was that we turned those defections into baskets. Our guys needed that. …They deserved that. It’s been a rough couple of weeks and we’ve been on them very, very hard. And they responded.”
Bath coach Doug Davis pointed to the last couple minutes of the game as the turning point.
“That whole game was a game of big runs. It started in the first half and we kept having runs in the second half. In their last run, we didn’t take care of the ball. We had some turnovers, some were basically unforced turnovers, which allowed them to get back and tie the game up again. It was a little uncharacteristic on the way we did not take care of the ball there in the last couple of minutes,” Davis said.
For the game, Bath committed just nine turnovers. However, four of those turnovers came in the final period.
Taren Sullivan led Bath with 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Sullivan scored 13 of his points in the first half. Logan Rockhold scored 17 points, including three shots behind the arc.
The Titans are now trying to build momentum for the postseason.
“We want a league title every year. But, our focus is playing our best basketball in March, and we weren’t playing our best basketball (the past couple of weeks),” McGlaughlin said. “We would play well for two quarters then we would get lethargic for two quarters.”