ADA — No surprises. Not this time.
Ottawa-Glandorf took control early and never let up in its 69-30 win over Millbury Lake in a Division III girls basketball regional semifinal on Tuesday night at Ohio Northern.
The Titans (25-1) will play in a regional championship game at Lexington High School on Saturday night against either Columbus Africentric or Castalia Margaretta. Those two teams will play tonight at Lexington in the other regional semifinal.
Lake (14-13) came into Tuesday night’s game on a magical postseason run in which it had beaten four teams it had gone 0-8 against during the regular season, including Eastwood, the No. 1 seed in their district.
But Ottawa-Glandorf built a 17-point lead by halftime, then scored the first 13 points of the second half to go up by 30 points. The entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.
“It was just a great game for us. We knew coming in that Lake had four solid tournament games and they were a very aggressive team. We really worked to try to limit their aggressiveness and really talked to the girls about not letting them get into the paint and taking advantage of that,” Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant said.
“After they scored on the first couple of possessions and got an early lead I thought our girls responded and got back on task and played to the scouting report and did an excellent job,” he said.
Erin Kaufman scored 20 points and had 12 rebounds to lead O-G. She was 10 for 10 on field goal attempts. Kelsey Erford had 16 points, 7 assists and 5 steals and Brianna Schimmoeller scored 16 points.
Ottawa-Glandorf shot 58 percent on field goals (28 of 48) had a 24-19 rebounding edge and forced 23 turnovers.
“That was a great team that beat us tonight and a great program,” Lake coach Joe Nowak said. “At the end of the day they had too many good players. Their experience and discipline really took over. We threw the ball away and they were gone.”
Ottawa-Glandorf will be playing for a trip to the state basketball tournament for the fifth time in the last six seasons. The Titans went to the state tournament four years in a row from 2015 to 2018 and were state runner-up two of those years.
This year’s team wasn’t thinking a lot about a trip to the state tournament at the beginning of the season, some of the players said.
“We weren’t too sure. We lost a lot of good players last year, having five seniors,” Schimmoeller said. “We didn’t know if we’d be able to fill in those spots but we had a lot of freshmen step up and fill big roles and take big parts in the team and everybody is good at their job and contributing to the team.”
Nowak talked about the tradition of O-G girls basketball game in his postgame press conference. And while the Titans have lots of tradition of their own, they also borrowed a tradition from the football team this season when they made a bet with Yant that he would dye his hair black if they won the Western Buckeye League championship outright.
Erford said, “Our football team whenever they make the playoffs they dye their hair a different color. So we were sitting in (American government) class one day and I was like, ‘Mr. Yant, what would it take for you to dye your hair?’ And he said, ‘I’ll do black if you win the WBL but it has to be outright.”
Yant said, “It was a bet. But I told them it had to be outright. Better black than pink.
“We set the goal of winning the WBL but to be undefeated (in the league) and have the regular season we had, I think that was somewhat unexpected, at least until we got 12 or 13 games in,” he said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.