LIMA – It is a year to the day, Ottawa-Glandorf was ousted from the postseason and that has served as a strong motivator for the Titans this season and into the tournament.
Paulding learned that the hard way after the Titans dominated the Panthers 82-38 in the Division III district semifinals Thursday night.
The Titans advance to the district final against Coldwater at 7 p.m. Saturday. Note this is a change from the original 1:30 p.m. start The time change was made to allow the Titans’ fans to attend the girls regional final at Lexington at 1:30 p.m.and still support the boys’ squad. Paulding ends its season with a 15-12 mark.
Titans head coach Tyson McGlaughlin said the team came in determined to write a better ending to this year’s postseason.
“I think last year it sent a message that we didn’t end the year like we wanted to,” McGlaughlin said.”I think it was a year ago today that we went in that locker room devastated and it took about a month for some of these guys to heal and that is a lasting message in their minds and they wanted to make sure the next year it wouldn’t happen again.”
From the opening tip, the Titans came out like a team on a mission. A smothering full-court press coupled with some precision perimeter shooting allowed O-G to break out to an 8-0 lead to open the game and by the five-minute mark of the first period, the Titans owned a 15-3 lead.
The Titans continued their uptempo offense that was accentuated by their smothering defense and by the end of the first period, O-G led 31-10. In the first eight minutes, the Titans forced five turnovers and Paulding was 2 of 6 from behind the 3-point arc. Conversely, the Titans were 4-of 6 from treyland.
Thanks to the Titans’ defense, Paulding could never get its outside shooting game going and by halftime the score was 50-22. The Titans’ defense also produced a number of easy transition buckets.
There was no let up at the start of the second half and after the Titans reeled off 11 straight points the running clock came into play.
“We hit a couple of shots early and I thought our defensive pressure was good” McGlaughlin said. “They were trying to beat us down the floor with the pass on the inbounds pass which feeds into what we want so it was one of those things that worked for them a couple of times but our tempo starts to wear on people.”
Paulding head coach Brian Miller said they wanted to throw over the press but that strategy backfired when the Panthers failed to hit their outside shots.
“We wanted to out shoot them from the beginning,” Miller said. “We have some pretty good shooters and we went stone cold and they hit six in a row it seemed like. We knew it was going to be tough. We thought to combat their aggressiveness we would be aggressive.”
Eleven different Titans scored baskets. Jake Dible and Jay Kaufman led the O-G scoring parade with 15 points each.
This marks the fourth straight game O-G has scored 80 or more points. In their two playoff games, O-G has outscored its opponents 169-80. It also marks their third time in four games they have held their opponents to under 42 points.
For Paulding, Jaret Miller scored 15 points.
Coldwater 65, Fort Recovery 55
Coldwater held off Fort Recovery in the district semifinals.
Up 32-26 at halftime, the Cavaliers produced a modest 9-1 run to up their lead by 14, 41-27 and the Indians never recovered.
Coldwater’s Jacob Wenning scored 22 points followed by Marcus Bruns with 18 and Cole Frilling chipped in 14. For Fort Recovery, Clay Schmitz scored 16 followed by Grant Knapke with 15 points and Ryan Braun with 13