KALIDA — It took about four minutes for Ottawa-Glandorf to shake off its first game jitters against Kalida and once the Titans started to put it all together, the Wildcats were overwhelmed and fell 63-29 in the season opener for both teams Friday night.
The Titans’ trademark smothering defense was the key to Ottawa-Glandorf recording the lopsided victory.
“Obviously we wanted to come out and push on them a little bit,” Titan head coach Troy Yant said. “I didn’t think we made some buckets early and it kind of led to us being as tired as they were … and finally some shots fell and we were able to do some different things.”
Yant added that win was something to build on as he brings in some new players to the starting lineup.
“We graduated Katie so we wanted to see who stepped up. We wanted to see who would be a leader on the floor and how they would react and play full court,” Yant said. “I thought our five starters did a good job after they got started.”
Ottawa-Glandorf shot 44 percent from the floor and the Wildcats were 30 percent from the field.
Kalida head coach Adam Huber said he is playing some younger players this year and it showed early.
“We did the things we said we wouldn’t do and that is to throw the ball to them in a panic.,” Huber said. “We gave them easy layups and we dug ourselves in a huge hole we could not dig out of the whole game.”
Huber added that it is tough to run plays against such a physical and talented team like O-G.
“We did stood tonight and did not pass and cut,” Huber said. “They took us out of most things and once they got us out of most things they took us out of most things we stopped trying a little bit.”
Both teams struggled to put points on the board in the first four minutes of the game and at the 3:30 mark, the Titans held a slim 5-2 advantage.
That would be as close as the Wildcats would get as the Titans’stifling defense began to pay dividends. Thanks to some Kalida turnovers I the final three minutes, Ottawa-Glandorf closed out the first quarter with a 6-2 run to own a 11-4 lead after one quarter.
The Titans continued its pressure defense into the second stanza and the Wildcats wilted and it would spark a 17-0 run to open up 28-4 advantage with 3:26 left in the first half and give Ottawa-Glandorf control of the contest.
By the time the buzzer sounded for halftime, Ottawa-Glandorf held a 34-8 lead.
The Titans scored 14 points off turnovers.
A Titan 14-4 run to open the second half would quash any chance of a Wildcat comeback.
In the decisive first half, the Wildcats had 21 turnovers with many resulting in easy transition buckets.
“This what we were kind of hoping for and we worked on it,” Yant said. “We wanted them (Kalida) to play a little out of their comfort zone. At times we looked good. At times not so much.”
Ten different Titans got in on the scoring. Kasey Ellerbrock led O-G in scoring with 17 points, including hitting four 3-pointers. Teammate Brianna Schimmoeller added 10.
Kalida’s Grace Klausing finished with 10 points.
Huber told his team that Kalida never eases into a season and they have plenty of time to improve but it will be tough in the early part of the season with a number of tough teams awaiting the Wildcats.
“We have a lot of young girls playing varsity for the first time so they are going to have to handle that pressure,” Huber said. “We played O-G and then have St. Marys, another Western Buckeye League team and Minster next Saturday so we just have to get better everyday.”
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.