SPENCERVILLE – Ottawa-Glandorf shook off a second slow start against Spencerville to post a 48-39 victory Saturday night.
The Titans, who had a struggled early in its season opening win against Kalida on Friday found themselves in a similar position against the Bearcats but Ottawa-Glandorf utilized its defensive pressure to overcome its shooting woes to notch the victory.
Titan head coach Troy Yant had to shuffle up his lineup due to injuries and he said the team is still trying to find the right players to step up.
“This was pretty much the same recipe that we had against Kalida,” Yant said. “We got off to a slow start and it took a little time. I don’t know if it wasn’t because we didn’t have a junior varsity game but I am tired of making excuses.”
Yant added that he will get back to the drawing board and try to shake off these early start woes.
“We felt we had one (a lineup) but we had to go with a makeshift lineup,” Yant said. “Chloe Glenn tweaked her knee. We need some girls to play after not playing in the summer, and we are probably in the same boat as a lot of other teams. You can see a reflection of that. It is not clean basketball right now.”
Titan Kelsey Erford, the team’s captain and Western Buckeye League player of the year last year, is the one stable offensive force for Ottawa-Glandorf as she pumped in a team-high 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Erin Kaufman added nine points and grabbed 10 boards.
While the Titans search for some additional scoring from other players, the O-G defense was solid and it showed at the end of the second quarter and in the third quarter when the Titans took control of the game. With 3:39 left in the first half, Spencerville’s Heidi Keller drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner that sliced the Titan lead to 13-12.
But for the remainder of the second stanza, O-G took over and went on an 8-2 run, including scoring the final six points to own a 21-14 lead at halftime.
The Titans rode that momentum into the third quarter and scored 13 straight points to open the second half and build a 34-14 lead with 3:05 left in the period. By the time the buzzer sounded for the fourth quarter, the Titans held a 36-19 advantage.
“We have a couple of girls that can raise the tempo on defense and that helped when things were getting sluggish,” Yant said. “We just need to find three or four more girls that all want to play at that level.”
In that decisive third period, Spencerville committed eight turnovers, matching its total output for the first two quarters. The Bearcats managed one field goal and two free throws in those eight minutes.
Spencerville, playing its first game of the season, is also a team looking for players to fill holes on offense and even though the Bearcats have senior standout Emma Leis, head coach Greg Ekis understands his team cannot win with just one player putting points on the board.
Leis, who scored 11 points for the game, was constantly shadowed by Titan defenders every time she tried to drive to the bucket. Keller finished with a team-high 15 points.
“Any time you open up with a team like O-G, they put so much pressure on you and don’t allow you do a whole lot of what you want,” Ekis said. “It was a great challenge for us and I told them I would rather play a game like that than a game that we are going to win by a whole lot. We learned a lot from this. We get to learn and watch it on film and make some adjustments and keep moving forward.”