SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — For the first eight minutes of Thursday’s Western Buckeye League girls basketball encounter with Ottawa-Glandorf, Shawnee did what it needed to do.
Shawnee battled toe-to-toe with O-G early on and was down just 15-11 by the end of the first quarter.
However, in the following eight minutes of action, it all fell apart for the Indians.
Shawnee committed a total of nine turnovers and O-G outscored the Indians 22-4 in the second quarter, as O-G went on to defeat Shawnee 60-33 at Lappin Gymnasium.
For the game, Shawnee committed 27 turnovers.
O-G’s Kadie Hempfling (5-foot-8, freshman), who split time between junior varsity and varsity Thursday, led the Titans (9-2, 2-1 WBL) with 11 points. Hempfling also had four rebounds and three steals.
Danielle Schroeder scored 10 points and made two steals for the Titans. Teammate Kylie White added nine points and had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Rachel Evans led Shawnee (4-8, 1-3) with 16 points, including three 3-pointers in the third quarter. Evans also came away with six rebounds.
“I think the girls were a little nervous, or just agitated in the first quarter,” O-G coach Troy Yant said. “We allowed them to play with us a little longer than what we thought they would.
“I thought we could get out and pressure them. We kind of doubled the effort in the second quarter, and saw who they were and saw what they were going to do to us. I think our defense tightened up a little bit. We were able to get some transition points.”
For the game, O-G shot 38 percent from the field. Shawnee countered with 34 percent shooting from the floor.
At the free throw line, O-G made 11-of-21 (52 percent), while Shawnee connected on just 3-of-14 (21 percent) from the charity stripe.
O-G won the battle of the boards, 39-30.
Yant was pleasantly surprised by the effort of Hempfling, who came off the bench and gave her team a boost in the first half.
“We’ve been resting her on the bench, quite a bit,” Yant said. “We keep thinking she’s good enough to play varsity, and in tight games we haven’t been putting her in. We knew, coming in today, that she would get some quarters. She came out and played hard in the JV game. So, we got her into the varsity game. Unfortunately, she only had two quarters (left to play on the night). She played well.”
For Shawnee, it came down to how it handled the second quarter.
“Our will is not tough enough as a team to battle any adversity,” longtime Shawnee coach Jeff Heistan said. “We did battle back in the third quarter. But, at a critical time of the game, we just gave the ball away.”
O-G led 51-29 by the end of the third quarter. In the final stanza, the Titans outscored the Indians 9-4. In the fourth quarter, O-G was just 4-of-12 from the floor.
“In all, it was a nice effort, but we have a lot of things to work on,” Yant said.