MILLER CITY — Ottawa-Glandorf may have had six days off since its last game but the Titans showed no signs of rust in their 80-27 victory against Allen East in the Division III sectional final Friday.
With the win Ottawa-Glandorf improves to 22-1 and moves on to the district semifinals at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Lima Senior.
“We just talked to our guys all week about setting the tone,” Titan head coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “We wanted to come out in that first three minutes and get off to a good start and not let them hang around. I thought the guys did a really good job of coming out with energy and we got a lot of guys involved and in the first game of the tournament that is good to see.”
Allen East head coach Brad Clum said that they were hoping to try and take the air of the ball and hopefully slow them down and not let them get in transition but the Titans were ready to go from the opening whistle.
“They just took us out of every thing that we wanted to do,” Clum said. “We knew what we were up against. Size-wise we didn’t match up very well with them.
Clum pointed out that the difference between the two schools is that Ottawa-Glandorf is a basketball school and right now Allen East is not.
“That is what we would like to get to. I think that is what everybody dreams of getting their basketball program to. We may have just been beaten by the state champion. They are pretty good.”
From the opening tip-off the Titans garnered control of the game with their smothering pressure defense that produced seven straight Mustang turnovers to open the contest. In its first nine possessions, Allen East turned it over eight times.
Because of the pressure, the Titans converted turnovers into easy buckets and broke out to a 14-2 advantage and then opened up a comfortable 22-5 lead after the first period. In that run, the Titans scored a variety of ways with easy layups and 3-pointers.
The comfortable lead turned into a nearly insurmountable one by halftime with the Titans owning a 52-17 advantage. A running clock was instituted in the second half.
“We thought if we were able to get them out in the full court and squeeze them up we thought we would be able to have some success and like I said it has been our M.O. all year; not only pressing but taking turnovers and turning them into points, and I thought our guys were able to capitalize on that tonight,” McGlaughlin said.
Eleven different Titans broke into the scoring column with Ben Westrick leading the way with 14 points. Brennen Blevins, who popped a trio of treys, finished with 15 points and Jarrod Beach added 10 points.
“The thing that I really liked in this type of game you can have guys trying to get their own and our guys were really unselfish tonight and made a lot of extra passes and we always talk to our guys about we don’t make good shots we make great shots and the results kind of speak for themselves and its a confidence booster for our guys and something we can build on.”
With the large lead, McGlaughlin said he was encouraged not only by the play on the court but the energy on the bench.
“One thing I was really proud of was how much energy from our guys on the bench was and how focused and excited they were for other guys,” the Titan head coach added. “You know that is kind of a lost art any more and it is one of those things you talk about but rarely do you truly see that and I think that kind of separates this team. I think they are happy for one another and that you hope to see it continue.”
For the Mustangs, Keaton Lehman finished with 10 points.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.