COLUMBUS — Ottawa-Glandorf’s defense never gave Proctorville Fairland any chance to breathe.
The Titans totally smothered Fairland from the opening tip.
Ottawa-Glandorf dominated Fairland 55-27 in the Division III girls basketball state semifinals Thursday at Ohio State’s Value City Arena.
Ottawa-Glandorf (26-2) advances to the state championship game against the Versailles (25-4) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Ohio State.
“We wanted to set the tempo with our defense,” O-G coach Troy Yant said. “Our message to them was let’s come out and grind it out on defense first, and let the offense as it comes to us.”
Elissa Ellerbrock led the Titans with 11 points and nine rebounds. Erin Basinger had 10 points. Kyle White had eight points and four boards. Danielle Schroeder had seven points and three boards.
The Titans ran out to a 13-3 first-quarter and lead and were never challenged the rest of the way.
“I thought we did (control it) from the beginning I thought we had a good hold on it,” O-G’s Erin Basinger said. “We came out hard and established our tempo.”
By halftime, O-G’s lead grew to 27-10.
By then, O-G’s defense was way too much for Fairland to even run its halfcourt offense.
“We want to attack them before they attack us,” Yant said. “I thought the girls did a great job.”
As usual, the Titans’ man-to-man defense, both in the press and the halfcourt, was all over Fairland. The Titans forced 10 first-half turnovers and held Fairland to 2 of 14 shooting at the break.
Dani Ellerbrock and Danielle Schroeder covered Fairland’s top scorer, 5-foot-3 Caitlin Stone (15-point average, close to 100 3-pointers) and held her scoreless in the first half.
Stone ended up with three points on 1 of 10 shooting and 1 of 6 on 3-pointers.
“It was their defense,” Stone said. “We couldn’t handle the ball and we couldn’t make shots. It was all because of their defense.”
Yant said of his defense on Stone, “We wanted to keep her from touching the ball. We wanted to keep her from hitting any threes and the easiest way to keep her from hitting any threes was keep her from touching the ball.”
Fairland got as close as 32-17 with 3:15 left in the third quarter. The Titans then ripped off a 10-0 run to make it 42-17.
And most of the Titans’ offense came from its defense.
O-G ended up forcing 17 turnovers and held Fairland to 22 percent shooting, including 1 of 12 on threes.
“Our offense really starts with our defense and we establish our tempo with our defense and try to get our transition,” Elissa Ellerbrock said.
The Titans won the rebounds, 36-23. O-G shot 43 percent from the floor.
“We play against athletic kids throughout our schedule, but top to bottom the eight kids they can put on the guard, they guard well at every position and did a very good job of defending,” Fairland coach Jon Buchanan said. “It’s kind of different style than we’re maybe used to playing against and you can’t simulate that in practice and in games it’s a little too late to deal with that.”
In the first Division III regional semifinal, Versailles knocked off previously unbeaten Doylestown Chippewa, 54-43.
For Versailles, Findlay-bound Christa Puthoff had eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Lauren Bruns had 12 points and six rebounds. Taylor Winner had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Versailles shot 48 percent from the field, while Chippewa shot 31 percent. Versailles won the boards, 34-23.
Chippewa ends its year 28-1.