OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf’s girls keep rolling through the Western Buckeye League.
But this was far from a holiday stroll on the beach for the Titans.
O-G pulled away in the final quarter to post a 57-42 girls basketball victory against St. Marys on Thursday night at Hermiller Gymnasium.
O-G has won 31 straight WBL regular-season games. The record is 43 set by Bath.
The Titans are 7-0, 3-0 in the WBL. St. Marys is 3-4, 0-3 in the WBL.
The game was tied at 36 after three quarters when the Titans slowed the game down, ran their motion offense and rammed it inside.
Kelsey Erford led O-G with 18 points.
O-G 6-foot sophomore Erin Kaufman had 14 points and 10 rebounds, including nine points in the final quarter.
Brianna Schimmoeller had 12 points and two 3-pointers.
Anna Siefker had eight points and two 3-pointers.
For St. Marys, Carly Caywood had 15 points. Lauren Cisco tossed in 14 points with three 3-pointers.
The game was sloppy until the end, as St. Marys had 24 turnovers. O-G finished with 23 turnovers.
Kaufman hit a follow shot and a layup to start the final quarter.
Her layup gave O-G the lead to stay, 40-38, with 6:07 to go.
“Stopping Kaufman from getting an offensive rebound when she wants it is a really tough task,” St. Marys coach Jon Burke said. “She’s a tough post to stop, especially one-on-one.’’
Kaufman then sank a driving layup and Schimmoeller drained a 3-pointer.
Suddenly, the O-G lead grew to 45-38 with 4:47 to go.
“I thought their defense stepped up and we just couldn’t get a basket (down the stretch),’’ Burke said. “We had some decent looks, but we didn’t convert to stay in the game.’’
Caywood sank a 3-pointer to get St. Marys within 45-41.
But Erford hit a layup and a foul shot and it was 48-42.
“We wanted to slow it down (in the fourth quarter),” O-G coach Troy Yant said. “We had so many turnovers in the first half trying to force things. We wanted to slow down a little bit and see what opened up.
“In the fourth quarter, we made extra passes and Erin (Kaufman) started stepping up when she had some opportunities to go one-on-one.’’
When Kaufman converted a basket off a missed free throw, the O-G lead grew to 50-42 with 1:35 to go.
“I think it was a combination of her (Kaufman) getting a little more aggressive in the paint and us slowing down and making sure we got touches in the paint,” Yant said.
St. Marys hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter to tie the game at 36, with Cisco hitting two big threes.
O-G won the boards, 26-16.
O-G shot 55 percent from the field and was 4 of 9 on threes.
St. Marys shot 42 percent from the field and was 7 of 14 on threes.
Both teams cranked up their man-to-man presses and the result was a flock of turnovers both ways.
At the half, St. Marys racked up 20 turnovers against the O-G pressure.
But the Titans weren’t able to take full advantage, as they had 16 turnovers at the half.
“We were trying to make a first-pass score and they were just jumping the passing lanes,” Yant said.
O-G led 11-6 lead after the first quarter.
The Titans led 26-20 at the half.
St. Marys ripped off a 13-2 run to pull out to a 17-13 lead with 4:33 left in the first half. During that burst, St. Marys got 3-pointers from Kendall Dieringer and Caywood.
But St. Marys couldn’t handle the O-G press and continually turned the ball over.
O-G came up big down the stretch, outscoring St. Marys, 21-6 in the final quarter.
“This team (St. Marys) fought to the very end and that was good for our girls,” Yant said.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.