OTTOVILLE — Ottoville pressured Temple Christian from end to end.
All night long, Ottoville’s defenders flew into Temple Christian’s passing lanes and caused chaos.
And when Temple Christian did get an occasional good look at the basket, the taller Ottoville players altered the shots and controlled the boards, en route to a convincing 69-22 nonconference victory in the season opener of boys basketball at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium Friday night.
For the game, Ottoville pressured Temple Christian into 33 turnovers.
Josh Thorbahn led Ottoville (1-0) and all scorers with 17 points, with most of his points coming off dribble penetration. Kyle Manns scored 14 points, dished out three assists and made three steals at the defensive end. William Miller made seven steals, pulled down five rebounds and scored six points. Joseph Miller added eight points for the Big Green.
Temple Christian (0-1) was led by Preston Patrick, who scored 11 points, nine in the second half.
Friday night, Ottoville’s defensive pressure took over right from the opening tip.
“That’s our philosophy. That (level) is what we try to play at all the time,” Ottoville head coach Keith Utendorf said. “We love pressuring people. We did it in the right way, tonight. Some of our trapping and some of our other scenarios, we have to get a little bit better at.
“But I thought our on-ball pressure was pretty good, all night. It really disrupted a lot of what they wanted to do. … We look for disruptions. That’s the biggest thing for us – to try to upset what they are trying to do.”
Right from the beginning, Ottoville applied full-court pressure, which led to quick points for the Big Green.
Ottoville opened up with a 6-0 run. Manns scored four points in that opening spurt.
Ottoville went on to build a 14-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Manns led the Big Green with six first-quarter points, two steals and two assists.
Temple Christian was limited to just 2-of-7 shooting in the first eight minutes of action.
It got even a little tougher for the Pioneers.
Ottoville extended its lead to 33-9 by the halftime break.
Temple Christian struggled, shooting just 1-of-3 in the second quarter.
Thorbahn poured in 12 points in the first half, mostly off dribble drives to the basket.
Ottoville pushed its lead to 53-14 by the third stop. The Pioneers turned the ball over nine times in the third quarter.
“I thought over the course of time, our pressure was going to start to do that (give Ottoville more scoring opportunities),” Utendorf said. “We are a spurt team. … We will go through spurts. We were waiting for spurts and we got it, coming out of halftime; and then we kind of stretched that lead out.”
The Big Green controlled the boards in the first half, 18-10. For the game, Ottoville won the boards, 36-18.
“That was the one thing we talked about at halftime. … Sometimes we will send four (players), sometimes we will send five to the glass, depending on positioning,” Utendorf said. “If we’re not shooting it well – which we definitely didn’t do tonight – then we have to get second-, third- and fourth-chance opportunities to try to convert, offensively.”
On the night, Ottoville shot 46 percent from the field. Temple Christian countered with 31-percent shooting.
Ottoville was without the services of junior standout, Ryan Suever, a 6-foot, 7-inch wing player, because of an injury.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.