WAPAKONETA — Despite averaging around 20-point victories for most of the season, Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant didn’t expect anything near that at Wapakoneta on Thursday.
But instead of a nail-biter, the Titans cruised past the host Redskins 52-37 in a Western Buckeye League game.
“I fully expected to be in a close game and calling timeouts at the end and managing offense and defense,” Yant said. “I’m somewhat surprised that I’m just sitting back and telling them, have fun and play at our tempo.”
Yant’s surprise was justified. After all, the game featured two of the top teams in the WBL – O-G (17-2) is now second in the league at 6-1 while Wapak (14-4) is 5-2. Plus, the Titans had to combat Wapak’s post duo of 6-foot-0 Carly Buzzard and 6-1 Riley Culver with its best post player, 5-9 sophomore Kylie White, out with a wrist injury.
But following a 13-13 first quarter, O-G’s relentless defense and transition game picked up steam for a 26-19 halftime lead. Then, the Titans slammed the door with a dominating 21-9 third quarter for a 47-28 lead.
Senior forward Elissa Ellerbrock scored seven of her game-high 18 in the pivotal third after senior forward Erin Basinger had six of her 11 points in the second quarter.
“I thought Basinger did more than enough to defend their post,” Yant said. “In fact, that’s probably the best post defense we’ve played in three years, my time here as coach.”
O-G’s aggressive and quick defense barely allowed Wapakoneta to get off shots and when the Redskins did, the misses opened up the Titans’ transition game — which brought 18 points in the last three quarters.
“We got out in transition and they had a difficult time playing at our speed,” Yant said.
The Titans made 9-of-18 from the floor in the third after shooting 11-of-22 in the first half. Meanwhile, Wapak made just 2-of-10 in the third quarter, 7-of-19 in the first half.
Yant said he was concerned that in the second half, Wapak — a good free throw shooting team — would begin pounding the ball in the post and either scoring or feasting at the line. Instead, Wapak coach Rusty Allen went with a smaller lineup for a long time to try to keep up with the O-G speed.
“When you’re basically facing a five-guard offense, it makes it difficult to defend,” Allen said. “Once they got that lead, it created a huge disadvantage. We try to counter it and it really backfired.”
Dani Ellerbrock added 11 points for the Titans. Buzzard scored eight points for Wapakoneta while both Maddi Stiles and Megan Watt had seven points.