OTTOVILLE — Delphos St. John’s lost Ottoville long-range shooter Josh Thorbahn early in the third quarter.
And once the Blue Jays found him, they struggled to contain him.
Thorbahn had a double-double night to power Ottoville to a 63-45 boys basketball victory over Delphos St. John’s Saturday at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.
Thorbahn, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, tossed in 30 points with 10 rebounds and three blocks. He was 4 of 6 on 3-pointers.
Thorbahn scored 15 of his points in the critical third quarter in which the Big Green outscored the Blue Jays 22-11.
“We knew they were tough and we tried to play good defense and wanted everyone to play their roles,” Thorbahn said.
Ryan Suever had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Big Green.
Jared Wurst had 12 points for St. John’s, while Lucas Metcalfe scored 10.
Ottoville is 7-2. St. John’s is 6-1.
“They were quicker than us at both ends,” St. John’s coach Aaron Elwer said. “Credit to them. They took it to us tonight.’’
Both teams were coming off Friday night wins over Western Buckeye League teams.
Ottoville knocked off Elida 55-45. St. John’s defeated Van Wert 48-38.
The Big Green came in with a height advantage with a 6-7, 6-5, 6-4 front line.
But while Ottoville started three sophomores, St. John’s countered with four seniors in the starting lineup.
“They are a heck of a team and we knew this was a barometer game for us,” Ottoville coach Keith Utendorf said. “We had one last night (in a win over Van Wert) I think our kids grew up a little bit more tonight. It was a good moment for our young pups.’’
Ottoville went inside to Suever early and led 13-3 and 17-8 after the first quarter.
St. John’s got within 27-21 at the half.
But any chance of a St. John’s third-quarter charge was quickly turned away by Thorbahn.
Ottoville started the second half on a 17-8 run to pull out to a 44-30 lead with 1:46 left in the third.
Of the 17 Big Green points, Thorbahn had 15 of them.
“We lost Thorbahn,” Elwer said. “He got a couple really good looks and that got him going. The flood gates opened from there.’’
During the run, Thorbahn sank three 3-pointers.
Then, he moved inside and started dropping 8-footers.
“We always say win the first three minutes (of the half) and I think we did that,” Thorbahn said. … (Later in the third) I saw I had a smaller player on me and I wanted to take him in the post. And when I got in the post, it opened up more spacing. People were cutting and we were kicking it out.’’
Suever then got loose inside.
“We talked about getting the ball inside and understanding how they were playing us, especially in the post,” Utendorf said.
By the close of the third quarter, the Big Green led 49-32.
Ottoville won the boards 35-26, including 11-6 on the offensive end.
“We’re not pretty, but we do it our way and we’re starting to develop our identity,” Utendorf said.
Defensively, Ottoville rotated defenders on St. John’s 6-4 Wurst.
“Jared (Wurst) is a great player and I thought the ability for us to put different guys on him throughout the game and give him different looks, and still have the same length for him, was huge for us,” Utendorf said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.