OTTAWA — The fans at Saturday afternoon’s top-10 state-ranked girls basketball matchup between Delta (ranked 10th in Division III) and Ottawa-Glandorf (fourth) got extra action as the game went into overtime.
The Titans (16-1) had the better of the proceedings in that extra four minutes, outscoring the 14-2 Panthers 13-6 to grab a 51-44 victory.
“We haven’t played many overtime games this year. We had to battle through adversity,” Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Troy Yant said. “We were missing a starting co-captain (Ashley Schroeder to an injury) and we had a couple of girls fighting through injuries during the game. We had to be creative with our depth today. We didn’t know we had it. Anna Siefker got her first start – she also started for the JV game – and did a great job on their top scorer, Abby Freeman. We also played another girl who is a JV player (Ella Okuley).”
Delta head coach Ryan Ripke was pleased with his team’s effort.
“We haven’t faced anyone that can put the kind of pressure on you defensively that Ottawa can. It took us a half to figure out how to handle it,” Ripke said. “You can talk about it all you want, you can scout it and watch it on film but until you see it up close, your girls don’t know it. I told the girls at halftime that we have to learn from the mistakes we made the first half and they responded well. I thought we did a better job the second half with handling their pressure and executing our game plan.”
Tied at 38 to begin overtime, the Titans’ scored first on a free throw from freshman Erin Kaufman at 3:55. Delta’s Brooklyn Green (10 points) countered with a basket at 2:45 but when O-G’s Kasey Ellerbrock (13 points) buried a 3-pointer at the 2:25 mark, that gave the Titans the lead for good. Ellerbrock and Kelsey Erford (12 points) hit a pair of free throws each around a pair of foul shots by Green to make it a 46-42 Ottawa-Glandorf lead. In the last 23 seconds, O-G finished it off by hitting 3-of-4 foul shots – hitting 8-10 of the overtime – to put the game away.
With an even matchup from the start, the defenses ruled the first period, as they would all game long. The teams combined for 7-of-20 shooting in the first period as O-G led 9-6 on a basket from Ellerbrock before a layin from the Panthers’ Jessie Giguere at the 20-second mark accounted for a 9-8 score on behalf of the Titans after eight minutes of action.
O-G heated up in the second period, canning 6-of-11 shots from the field to Delta’s 3-of-9, led by Erford’s eight points. That allowed the Titans to steadily build a 25-16 edge by halftime after Ellerbrock dropped a 3-pointer at the 30-second mark of the second period.
Delta came out of the halftime break and hit the first five points of the third period to slowly whittle away at the deficit. Delta’s defense had a better handle of the Titans’ offense, holding it to seven points (3-of-11 shooting) in the period, and when Alayna Mitchell hit the first of two free throws at 1:09, that got the Panthers within 32-25 to start the fourth period.
Delta kept coming in the fourth stanza. Behind eight points from Braelyn Wymer (17 for the game) in the period, the Panthers were within 36-35 on a basket from Freeman at the 2:32 mark. Missing two front ends of the 1-and-1 in a 53-second span, Ottawa-Glandorf finally scored at 1:31 on a basket from senior Erin Kaufman (14 points), who was playing with four fouls. At 1:10, Wymer buried a 3-pointer from the left wing to tie it at 38. When O-G had a turnover (one of 18 for the game) afterward, Delta had a chance to win in regulation but instead turned it over (16 for the game) as time was running out before getting off a shot.
“We had to make plays to win this game. We hit some free throws in overtime and that helped us win this game,” Yant said. “We played a solid game defensively – with Erin (the senior Kaufman) and Kelsey both with four fouls — and that was another key to this game. We just had a solid effort on that side of the ball. You have games like this that you have to figure out ways to win and we managed to do that today.”
“I felt we did a better job of dealing with their big girls the second half and yet we did a good job on their perimeter shooters outside of Ellerbrock. We had one day to prepare for them and they had one day to prepare for us,” Ripke said. “It was a good game and we had our chances to win this game. We played well enough defensively to win. These girls are so basketball smart as well as being good athletes. It would be nice if we could get a rematch in March but we are focused on winning our league (Northwest Ohio Athletic League).”
Ottawa-Glandorf finished the game shooting 17-of-43 (6-of-20 from 3-point range) for 39 percent versus Delta’s mark of 15-of-41 (6-of-15 3-pointers - for 37 percent.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.