OTTAWA — Columbus Grove came into sectional play on a five game winning streak while their opponent, Cory-Rawson, was on a 7-of-8 streak of its own.
The Hornets extended their streak to 8-of-9 as they knocked off the Bulldogs 62-39 in Division IV sectional play at Ottawa-Glandorf’s Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium.
The two teams started off evenly and the score was 15-11 in favor of the Hornets after the first period of play.
Cory-Rawson (13-10) would score the first six points of the second quarter to go up 21-11 and the Bulldogs, who had trouble scoring points all season, were in big trouble.
“They got the momentum and we couldn’t throw it in the ocean.” Bulldogs coach Chris Sautter said. “They hit shots and we didn’t.”
Grove would manage only six points in the second period of play and found itself down 28-17 going to the half-time break.
Columbus Grove (9-14) came out in the third quarter and tried to apply pressure but the Hornets maintained the lead and outscored the Bulldogs 14-12 to take a 42-29 advantage into the final period.
Cory-Rawson pulled away on the strength of a 20-10 fourth stanza to account for the final score.
“It is what it is, they got 13 wins and we struggled to score all year long.” Sautter said.
The Hornets got balanced scoring and were led by Bryce Tuttle with 15 points while Blake Abell and Eric Ritter each chipped in with 13 points.
The Bulldogs started the contest trying to concentrate on Tuttle and Ritter but Abell stepped up with 11 first half points. Once they were able to locate Abell in the second half Tuttle and Ritter each scored nine points in the second half to keep Columbus Grove at bay.
“They did a nice job of guarding Tuttle but Abell is a play maker and gives us another dimension.” Cory-Rawson coach Dean Birchmeier said. “We got a few transition buckets that gave us some space plus our defense was pretty solid, I was happy with our effort.”
The Cory-Rawson defense held Columbus Grove’s Rece Roney to only three points in the game. Senior Caiden Grothaus poured in a game-high 17 points to pace the Bulldogs attack. He was the only Bulldog to reach double digits in the game.
The offensive struggle for the Bulldogs was reflected in the shooting statistics for the contest. Columbus Grove only managed 29 percent from the field on 14-of-48 from the field, including 2-of-17 on three-point attempts. Cory-Rawson countered with a 52 percent effort as the Hornets connected on 24-of-46 from the floor in the game.
Columbus Grove committed 15 turnovers compared to 16 for the Hornets while Cory-Rawson took the rebound battle by a 27 to 26 margin.
Cory-Rawson moves on to face number one seed Delphos St. Johns at 6:15 p.m. Friday night at Ottawa-Glandorf for the right to move on to the Elida District.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0468.