WAPAKONETA — If Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant worried his team would be sluggish following a pre-tournament layoff, his team wiped those concerns away in a hurry Saturday.
The second-seeded Titans blew past Elmwood 66-33 in a Division III sectional championship game at Wapakoneta to advance to the district tournament.
O-G (21-2) will take on Coldwater (14-10) at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Elida in the district semifinals. Coldwater beat Columbus Grove 60-56 in overtime in the second sectional final game at Wapakoneta on Saturday.
The Titans opened the doubleheader with a furious, swarming full-court defense that suffocated Elmwood. O-G forced 21 turnovers, 11 from steals, in the first half alone and regularly finished at the other end, hitting 19-of-37 field goals for 51 percent while turning the ball over just once.
It was 19-3 after the first quarter and 45-11 by halftime.
“The first game of the tournament, you never know how the girls are going to respond,” Yant said. “We’ve been working all week to make sure we didn’t come out flat, so we’re real happy with the way they responded.
“We wanted to set the tempo and send the message that we thought we were the better team, more athletic. We wanted to get out quick and get up and down the floor and see how they responded.”
Although Elmwood fared better in the second half, Ottawa-Glandorf mostly sat its starters and cruised to the win with a balanced offensive attack in which 11 players scored.
Elissa Ellerbrock scored 12 points for the Titans, Anna Bellman had nine points and Danielle Schroeder scored eight points. For the game, Elmwood committed 33 turnovers to O-G’s 10. The Titans made 25-of-59 field goals (42 percent) while Elmwood hit 11-of-32 (34 percent).
The victory was Ottawa-Glandorf’s 14th straight win.
Coldwater 60, Columbus Grove 56 (OT)
Sharp shooting and tough defense helped Coldwater build a 52-39 by the early part of the fourth quarter. But Grove (13-7) fired back in a big way in the final quarter of regulation, outscoring Coldwater 14-3 in the period.
The Bulldogs bolted for a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 52-49 with 3:47 remaining then finally tied the game on Lynea Diller’s bucket at 53-53 with less than a minute left in regulation. Diller then put her team up 55-53 with the first score of overtime, but Coldwater regrouped and outscored the Bulldogs 7-1 the rest of the way for the win.
“We’re a young team so when you get down 11 going into the fourth quarter, you get worried as a coach,” Grove coach Brian Schroeder said. “But I’m proud of the girls, they showed a lot of grit and toughness.”
Jade Clement scored a game-high 21 points for Grove while Diller added 10 points. Brooke Welsch scored 18 points for the Cavaliers while Bridget Dues had nine points.
“Our defense wasn’t quite playing like it normally plays in the fourth,” Coldwater coach Connie May said. “We kind of freak out when things don’t go our way. But our seniors (Welsch and Sarah Kanney) hit free throws in overtime and we started grabbing the rebounds that needed to be grabbed.”