Late push leads O-G past LCC, into state semis

First Posted: 3/16/2012

BOWLING GREEN — The rematch and the big prize went to Ottawa-Glandorf.

The Titans (19-6) dominated the fourth quarter to beat Lima Central Catholic 44-38 in the Division III boys basketball regional championship at Bowling Green State University on Friday night to earn a trip to the state tournament.

Junior forward Michael Rosebrock scored nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and junior guard T.J. Metzger got four of his game-high 16 points in that quarter.

Rosebrock’s offensive rebound with 47 seconds to play broke a 38-38 tie, then Metzger finished it with four free throws in the final 23 seconds.

LCC (22-3) had won the regular-season meeting between the two teams 54-42. But the Thunderbirds found themselves playing from behind much of the night on Friday.

“Coming into the game, we talked to our guys about the importance of having to play hard for 32 minutes. We had to be almost flawless. We had to defend them and limit them to one shot,” Ottawa-Glandorf coach Kevin McGlaughlin said.

The Titans might not have been flawless at defending and rebounding, but they were very, very good.

“Any points against LCC, you have to earn them,” McGlaughlin said. “We, as coaches, thought 40 points might win but 45 was going to be that magic number. If we could hold them below 45, we could win this game.”

LCC (42 percent) outshot O-G (35 percent), but the Titans had a 32-21 rebounding edge.

Metzger had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and got O-G off to a good start with two 3-pointers in the early going. Caleb Siefker and John Lammers also delivered big 3-pointers in the third quarter when O-G built a five-point lead, 29-24, before LCC scored the final seven points of the quarter to take a 31-29 lead into the fourth quarter.

Darius West scored 10 points to lead LCC. No other Thunderbird hit double figures.

“Michael Rosebrock was just dominant in the second half and we didn’t have an answer for him,” LCC coach Frank Kill said. “The better team won tonight.”

LCC played several stretches of the game without 6-foot, 3-inch senior post player Tyler O’Connor, who picked up his second foul early in the second quarter with LCC leading 16-9, got his third just over two minutes into the second half and was whistled for his fourth with 2:50 left in the third quarter.

O-G took the ball inside early, thinking that possibly it could get LCC’s strongest inside presence into foul trouble.

“When we got a couple fouls on him, that was a green light, and we were going after him on every possession,” McGlaughlin said.

LCC led 20-17 at halftime and was in front 31-29, heading into the final quarter.

Ottawa-Glandorf led 38-34 with 2:23 to play after a hoop by Rosebrock. But a pair of free throws by John Kidd and a bucket by O’Connor tied the game with 1:44 to play.

While Ottawa-Glandorf hit 14 of 18 free throws, including 9 of 10 in the second half, LCC was 3 of 12, all in the second half.

The Titans earned the school’s sixth trip to the boys state basketball tournament and their first since 2008, when they won the Division III title.

They have won nine of their last 10 games. So, obviously, they are a different team than LCC saw the first time around.

“The first game came early in the year. We were trying to find out who was going to do what, who was going to play where,” Rosebrock said. “We knew what we had to do. We talked about it all week. The focus was straight on LCC and we did the job.”

O-G will play at 8:30 Thursday in a Division III state semifinal against the winner of a game tonight between Portsmouth and Ironton.

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