O-G fans faced with a choice

By Lance Mihm - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

Ethan White

Ethan White

Randy Boss | Boss Images

Kylie White

Kylie White

Randy Boss | Boss Images

OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf High School basketball fans found themselves faced in an interesting predicament Tuesday when they went to buy basketball tickets for Thursday’s tournament games.

In a basketball crazy town, it is a welcome predicament.

Tickets went on sale at the high school Tuesday for the Titan girls basketball team, a team that has made a return trip to the state basketball tournament. They take on Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Schottenstein Center in a state semifinal game. The problem is, the boys team is making a little noise of their own. They are scheduled to play at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Bowling Green State University. According to Google Maps, the 117.1 mile trip between the two sites is a two hour, five minute drive. In other words, there is no way to make both.

Tyson McGlaughlin, both the boys basketball coach and athletic director at the high school, said it is a nice problem to have.

“The boys team has had some success lately,” McGlaughlin said. “The girls team made a good run last year. Everyone is excited.”

As daunting as the task has been for some on deciding which game to go to, the choice had to been the hardest for Terry and Sandy White. Their daughter Kylie, a junior, has been the starting center for the Titans all season long. Kylie started also in the state final against Versailles last year, when the team finished just three points short of the state title.

However, their son Ethan, a freshman, is now dressing varsity for the Titans. While he is unlikely to see much if any playing time, he is gaining valuable experience as a team member of championship-caliber team and tournament game preparation. The Whites will be attending the girls game Thursday, but will also be wishing their son’s team the best of luck in Bowling Green.

“Kylie is playing a starting role so we will be at that game,” Sandy White said, “but we hope the boys win too.”

White said the tournament trail has been good for both her children.

“Ethan absolutely loves it,” White said. “The older kids have been good to him and he is having a great time. He is getting valuable experience.”

She added that the girls team has a message for all comers.

“They are a determined group of kids,” White said. “Their minds are set. They are not happy just to be there. Kylie told me after the region final game, ‘Mom, we’re doing it this year.’”

Girls basketball coach Troy Yant said Ohio high School Athletic Association and school officials both tried to do what they could to work the schedule out so fans could attend both games, but it just was not in the cards.

“The administration went to great lengths but didn’t think it could be adjusted,” Yant said. “They did as much as they could. I realize they did what they could because sports means a lot in a small community. It is a great predicament to be in. It is a little easier to work those kind of things out at the district level.”

Ottawa-Glandorf was one of six other schools that managed to put a girls team in the state tournament and a boys team in the regional tournament. The others were Marion Pleasant, Kettering Archbishop Alter, Willoughby Cornerstone Christian, Jackson Center and Solon. Of those six, only Alter and Ottawa-Glandorf faced the dilemma. Alter at least received a consolation prize, playing in their hometown an across-town school Kettering Fairmount.

However, the schedules were able to be adjusted so that Ottawa-Glandorf fans can make both games Saturday. The girls would play in the state finals at 2 p.m. Saturday and the boys would play for the regional title at 7:30 p.m. in the same locations should they win Thursday. In that scenario, as a desk clerk at the Ottawa YMCA put it, “Ottawa will be closed.”

Melissa Crumrine, 21, said nobody would be home in the small town. She said she last attended a state tournament game when the boys team won the title in 2013. She added that the Car-E-It Bar will undoubtedly have a large crowd.

“That is where everyone gathers to celebrate and show their support for the entire community,” Crumrine said.

Jeremy Kaufman, 19, will miss the boys game Thursday, but not because of choosing between the two. He has an exam Thursday and will miss seeing his brother, Jay Kaufman, play for the Titans. However, he plans to be there Saturday should they win.

“Everyone goes,” Kaufman said. “Everyone would like to go to both games and it would be nice if they could. It will be great if they both win.”

The boys team will undoubtedly take the same approach as they did when they won state titles in 2004, 2008 and 2013. The girls team is just going to remain pressure-free and do what they do.

“Our main goal was to win a WBL championship, and we were fortunate to do that,” Yant said. “There is no added pressure. We are staying relaxed and playing loose. We are not going to put pressure on each other.”

Ethan White
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2016/03/web1_Wapak-0061.jpgEthan White Randy Boss | Boss Images
Kylie White
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2016/03/web1_RegionalSemi-0110.jpgKylie White Randy Boss | Boss Images

By Lance Mihm


Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm

Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter@LanceMihm

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