ELIDA — Hopewell-Loudon’s 6-foot-4 Makayla Elmore has caused havoc for defenses all year.
The athletic freshman averages 25 points per game.
But Ottoville wouldn’t let her touch the ball.
Ottoville forced 24 Hopewell-Loudon turnovers in the Big Green’s 62-46 victory over Hopewell-Loudon in the Division IV girls basketball regional semifinals Thursday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
“With the girls making it down to state last year, I think we had the experience,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said.
Ottoville (25-2) advances to the regional finals against Putnam County League foe Leipsic (23-3) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Elida.
Wayne Trace ends its year 22-4. Hopewell-Loudon ends the year 22-5.
In the first regional semifinal game of the night, Leipsic outscored Wayne Trace 24-9 in the second quarter to post a 55-43 victory over Wayne Trace.
Heather Lammers led the Vikings with 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and six rebounds.
This will mark Leipsic’s first regional final in girls basketball.
C.J. Kemper led the Big Green with 20 points and seven rebounds.
Bridget Landin had 16 points and five rebounds.
Ottoville’s 1-2-2 full-court press simply swallowed up the Hopewell-Loudon guards.
They struggled to get the ball up the floor. If they did cross halfcourt, they struggled to get the ball moving in the offense without a turnover.
Ottoville led 5-0 lead and at that point had forced four turnovers.
The Big Green got its running game in order and pulled out to a 13-1 lead.
Ottoville led 24-6 at the end of the first quarter.
“I thought we were very good with the ball in the first half, finding the open people and getting the steals,” Kleman said. “Give them credit for coming back in the second half.
“We did not want them to get into a halfcourt so they could find ways of getting her (6-4 Elmore) the ball. She is the real deal.’’
The Big Green held a 32-11 lead before Hopewell-Loudon got back in the game with a 9-0 spurt.
Ottoville went into halftime with a 34-20 lead.
Landin had 11 points at the half, while Kemper had nine.
By halftime, Elmore had only three points and had attempted only one shot.
Elmore scored 12 in the second half, but the Big Green’s defense continually made it difficult for HL to run its sets.
Ottoville won the boards 28-26.
Leipsic 55, Wayne Trace 43
Leipsic’s 3-2 locked down on the Wayne Trace long-range bombers and the Vikings posted a convincing victory over the Raiders.
“It was there from the beginning and I was confident,” Lammers said about her 18-point night. “I’m a shooter. That’s what I do.
“We pride ourselves in our defense. Getting behind early we weren’t too concerned,’’
Kierra Meyer had 14 points and five rebounds and Carlee Siefker had nine points and six rebounds also for Leipsic.
Leipsic forced 17 turnovers. The Vikings finished with 10 blocks. Lammers had four blocks and Claire Rigle had three.
“We’re not real tall but we are fairly long,” Leipsic coach Gary Kreinbrink said. “That has helped us all win. As long as we can rebound, we can give teams a hard time.’’
Leipsic’s length in the zone caused havoc in the second quarter and the Vikings outscored Wayne Trace 24-9 in the second quarter.
That gave Leipsic a 31-21 halftime lead.
Wayne Trace canned three 3-pointers in the first quarter over the Leipsic 2-3 zone. That helped the Raiders run out to an 11-3 lead.
Wayne Trace led 12-7 after the first quarter.
Kreinbrink admitted he thought of coming out of the zone.
“I did think of coming out of it and going man to man, but instead we changed from our matchup zone and went to a 3-2 and that helped us get out on the shooters on the perimeter.’’
In the second quarter, Leipsic’s 3-2 zone tightened down, got in the passing lanes and forced turnovers. Wayne Trace had 13 turnovers at the half.
“It took us a while to get settled in. They hit us hard there at the beginning of the game with several threes,” Kreinbrink said. “We didn’t panic.
“In the second quarter our defense was pretty smothering overall. We didn’t give them many good looks, managed to get some run outs and tried to get some easy buckets.’’
Once the Vikings got the turnovers, they charged down the floor and converted at the other end.
Leipsic ran off a 16-4 run in the second quarter to pull out to a 27-19 lead.
The Vikings led 31-21 at the half.
Claire Sinn led Wayne Trace with 13 points.
Leipsic shot 49 percent from the field and was 7 of 19 on 3-pointers.
Wayne Trace shot 25 percent from the field and was 9 of 27 on 3-pointers.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.