In its first two tournament games, Ottawa-Glandorf has jumped on its opponents early, established the tempo and cruised to easy wins.
However in the opening minutes against Wayne Trace, the Titans found themselves down 7-2 after the first three minutes of the game. But Ottawa-Glandorf quickly shook off its slow start, outscored the Raiders, 16-4, to end the first quarter and cruised to a 69-44 victory and earn the Division II district title Saturday.
Ottawa-Glandorf (24-1) moves on to the regional semifinals to take on North Robinson Colonel Crawford (22-3) at Bowling Green State University at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
“They got off to a good start and we missed a couple of looks and give them credit they were ready to play and we knew they would be so we just continued to do what we do and we got the tempo where we wanted it but we just weren’t finishing,” Titans head coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “Give Wayne Trace a lot of credit. They had a good game plan and were clicking on all cylinders to start the game but we asserted ourselves in the paint and the bigs kind of took over.”
Wayne Trace ends its season with a 18-7 record.
“We tried our hardest and our kids gave it their best and tonight we got beat by a better team and some times that happens and sometimes you have to live with it,” Wayne Trace head coach Jim Linder said. “That is tough especially when you see your seniors go.”
The Titans big boys inside, Owen Nichols and Ben Westrick, were key with their scoring and rebounding in getting Ottawa-Glandorf back to its dominating ways as the pair combined for 30 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots.
Nichols pumped in 18 points and grabbed eight boards to lead all scorers. Wayne Trace did everything to stop the Titan junior. He responded to being continually fouled continually fouled going to the basket by going 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Westrick pumped in 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds with the bulk of those coming on the offensive end.
“That is what we preach,” Westrick said. “Everyone crashes the boards except the point guard, and he gets back. Everyone crashes.”
As a team, the Titans snared 11 offensive boards in the first quarter and 23 for the game.
The Titans’ effectiveness inside helped offset them going 1-for-10 in the first eight minutes from behind the 3-point arc.
However, the Titans, in particular Brennen Blevins, would regain their outside stroke as the sharp-shooting junior guard hit a trio of treys for the game and finished with 13 points.
“We have a lot of weapons and that has been the key to our success this year,” McGlaughlin said. “We have a lot of different guys who can do a lot of different things so when one guy is not shooting the best, hopefully somebody else comes in there and makes plays and Owen gave us a big spurt there and Parker (Schomaecker) continues to play phenomenally. It is a team effort and for us that was special.”
In the second half, Wayne Trace went to a man to man defense but that did little to stop Ottawa-Glandorf’s offensive onslaught.
“We knew they were going to do somethings and they would cause us a lot of problems and the big thing is they can shoot it and that is tough,” Linder said. “Our three starting guards are 5-9 across the board so we didn’t match up well man-to-man so that was our dilemma but our kids played their hearts out and we had a great year.”
The Titan defense also got the job done as the constant pressure began to wear down the Raiders offense.
Leading 18-11, the Titan defense helped Ottawa-Glandorf break open the game in the second quarter as the turnovers began to produce points. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Parker Schomaeker and Blevins got things rolling to open the second stanza and from there the defense took over.
By the 3:42 mark Ottawa-Glandorf owned a 31-18 advantage and would never see the Raiders get within single digits the rest of the game.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s average margin of victory in its three playoffs games is 39.6 points.
Wayne Trace’s Reid Miller was the lone Raider to finish in double digits with 13 points.