WAPAKONETA — The streak continues. Actually, the streaks continue.
Ottawa-Glandorf won its fourth consecutive undisputed Western Buckeye League girls basketball championship when it defeated Wapakoneta 55-40 on Thursday night.
It also was the third consecutive season the Titans had gone through the WBL unbeaten. And they extended their WBL winning streak to 28 regular season game and 34 games including tournament games against WBL opponents.
O-G (20-1, 9-0 WBL) took control of Thursday night’s game early and never let Wapakoneta (12-10, 7-2 WBL) back into it.
“I thought the girls opened the game with a lot of energy. We talked in the pre-game about it’s kind of tough when you’ve already won a share. Wapakoneta isn’t going to give it to you, they want a share too,” Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant said.
“I thought it was important that we came out with a lot of energy and set the tone that we didn’t want to share the WBL this year,” he said.
Kelsey Erford scored 18 points and pulled down 9 rebounds for O-G. Freshman Erin Kaufman had 10 points and 6 rebounds.
“Obviously, we set pretty high goals and one of the first goals we set is to win the WBL. I told them before the game that good as Kadie (Hempfling) and the seniors who graduated last year were, they went to state four times but they only won three WBLs,” Yant said. “I think that helped set the tone in the first half. They didn’t want to share it.”
The trajectory of the first half could have been predicted in the first 10 seconds of the game when O-G came up with a steal.
The Titans went on to force six Wapakoneta turnovers in the first 4 ½ minutes of the game, 13 of them in the first two quarters and 21 in the game.
Wapakoneta never led after the first three minutes. Ottawa-Glandorf was up 20-13 after one quarter and increased its lead to 18 points, 37-19, by halftime. The Redskins cut the lead to 10 points, late in the third quarter, but that was as close as they could get.
Wapakoneta coach Rusty Allen pointed to the first half turnovers as possibly an early turning point.
“That was key for us, just not taking care of the ball in that first half. They obviously were going to get more shots up than we could (because of the turnovers). If you let a team like O-G take more shots than you in the first half you’re probably going to dig yourself into a hole,” Allen said.
“The turnovers and some silly fouls by our starters in the first half just set the tone for us all night,” he said.
Wapakoneta was the last team to beat Ottawa-Glandorf in a WBL game, 39-36 on March 4, 2016, but Allen said he didn’t play the history card to motivate his team this year.
“Not really,” he said. “Every year is new. That first half put us in a hole. Against a good team like O-G, it’s going to be hard to dig out.”
Katie Engle led Wapakoneta with 13 points.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.