BATH TOWNSHIP — Ottoville’s Kasey Knippen strapped the Big Green to her back and pulled them to the finish line.
Knippen scored 22 points, 17 in the second half, to lead Ottoville to a 53-52 victory over Bath on Tuesday night.
But as well as Knippen played, in the final seconds, all she could do was watch.
Ottoville led 53-51 with 7.7 seconds left when Knippen missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Bath’s Madelyn Renner rebounded and went the length of the floor, drove the lane and was fouled attempting a layup with less than a second left.
Renner made the first, but missed the second foul shot to finish the game with Ottoville holding on for the 53-52 victory.
Ottoville is 11-2. Bath is 5-7.
Both teams spent most of the night running the floor and hitting 3-pointers.
Ottoville was 9 of 18 on threes. Bath hit 10 of 25 on 3-pointers.
“We’re all capable of shooting the threes, but no I didn’t expect us to shoot so many (threes) or make that many, or expect Bath to make that many either,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said. “But any given day.’’
Added Bath coach Greg Mauk, “We haven’t shot the ball well all year long. It was nice to finally get in a little bit of a rhythm and hit some shots.’’
Knippen had three 3-pointers with her 22 points. The Urbana-bound guard also had five assists and two steals.
“She’s our leader,” Kleman said. “She’s actually shooting 90 percent at the line. She’s a good shooter and we want her to have the ball.’’
Haley Hoersten had eight points, two 3-pointers, and five rebounds for the Big Green.
Ja’Dasia Hardison led Bath with 15 points. She was 5 of 7 on 3-pointers.
Chandler Clark had 10 points and two 3-pointers.
For Bath’s Renner, it marked the second game back for 5-foot-9 sophomore, who had been out with a broken foot she suffered during soccer season.
Renner had nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.
“She has a basketball I.Q.,” Mauk said of Renner. “It’s good to have her back in our mix.’’
Abbie Dackin had six assists.
Bath led 28-27 at the half.
The Big Green came out in the second half and found Knippen.
Ottoville started the second half on a 14-3 run to go out to a 41-31 lead with 2:02 left in the third.
“They want you to hurry up and take you out of your sets,” Kleman said. “In the second half, we did more of what we wanted to do to get our shots and we converted more. It was all about more patience.’’
Knippen had 11 of those 14 points, on two 3-pointers, a 17-foot jumper and a three-point play.
“He wanted us to get the ball reversed and instead of a good shot, get a great shot,” Knippen said. … “Lately we haven’t been hitting our threes. This is the first time in a long time that we’ve been hitting our threes.’’
Bath came back and got within 47-39 after three quarters.
The Wildkittens opened the final quarter on a 7-0 run to get within 47-46 with 5:10 left.
Again it was Knippen slamming the door on the Kittens.
Knippen had a one-handed runner and a driving 5-footer to push the Big Green out to a 51-46 lead.
Bath cut the margin to two twice, with Clark hitting a 3-pointer and Ruby Bolon hitting a putback.
“We were actually guarding some people in the fourth quarter and we were checking out and rebounding,” Mauk said. “Defense is what got us back into it.’’
After Bolon’s shot, Bath was within 53-51 with nine seconds to go.
That set up the final flurry.
Bath won the boards, 28-24.
Bath shot 41 percent from the field. Ottoville hit 50 percent.
It was Ottoville’s second straight win after a loss to Kalida.
“The loss to Kalida really made us change our mindset,” Knippen said. “That loss got to us. We said, ‘From here on out, we’re going hard every day.’ ’’
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