OTTAWA – Defense continues to come through for Ottawa-Glandorf.
The Titans produced another big defensive effort to defeat Bluffton 63-50 in a non league affair Saturday night.
The Titans, who won their fifth straight game, improve to 8-1 on the season and Bluffton falls to 3-4 for the year.
Ottawa-Glandorf has not given up 50 points or more in all eight of its victories.
After giving up 16 points in the first quarter, Ottawa-Glandorf limited Bluffton to 11 points in the second and third quarter to take control of the game.
Titan head coach Tyson McGlaughlin admits his team came out a big sluggish but once the Titans made some adjustments and stepped up their intensity Ottawa-Glandorf took control of the game.
“They came out and set the tone and hit some three’s and we were slow on our rotations and they took advantage of it,” McGlaughlin said. “These Christmas break games worry you because the kids are out of their routine and out of their comfort zone and I thought we were really sluggish to start the game and you got to give them credit they came at us and we didn’t respond the way we needed to.”
Titans’ Eli Schmenk and Owen Nichols each scored 13 points and Brennen Blevens finished with 11 points. Nichols had a double double night with 10 rebounds.
The Titans, who had three 3-pointers in the first half, hit six in the second half.
Bluffton who had four 3-pointers in the first quarter, managed for the rest of the game.
Pirate Carson Soper led all scorers with 21 points and Trenton Donley added 16.
Bluffton head coach Todd Boblitt said the Titans have too many weapons.
“We came out and we shot it well and they had to make some adjustments defensively and we didn’t adjust as well offensively,” Boblitt said. “They guarded really well and stayed in front of us in after the first quarter and weren’t really able to get anything going after that.
“They are solid and have so many weapons on the floor and we learned some things. This is a game we look forward to because it is a good measuring stick for us to see where we need to go to move forward. They just have so many weapons and there size is an issue for us but I thought our kids battled really hard.”
Even though the score reveals a huge point differential, the pesky Pirates gave the Titans all they could handle in the first eight minutes.
Bluffton’s 2-3 zone posed major problems for the Titans in the first quarter as the Titans found points hard to come by. At the same time the Pirates handled the Titans’ pressure defense and behind some precision perimeter from Donley, who hit a trio of treys in the first eight minutes, enabled to Bluffton to open a 21-16 lead going into the second quarter.
But the Titans’ defense began to clamp down on the Pirates in the second stanza and limited the Pirates to four points. On the offense end, Ottawa-Glandorf began to find its shooting touch and eventually overtook Bluffton in the final two minutes of the first half.
In the Titans late second quarter surge, O-G’s Schmenck and Carson Schmmoeller hit back to back 3-points to give them the lead 26-20, with just under a minute left in the second quarter. The Titans added another point to go halftime leading 27-20.
The Titans defensive assault continued in the third quarter and gave O-G some breathing room and open up a 42-31 lead going into the final eight minutes.
“I thought after the first quarter we were better defensively, but we weren’t good,” McGlaughlin said. “I thought they outworked us and we will talk about that and get it corrected.”
McGlaughlin added that this is a team with players still identifying their roles and gelling into a team. The Titans were without the services of Carson Fukes who is out with a hand injury.
“We have some guys that are slowly learning their roles and new positions and it is going to take us time. All in all to get through and get a win is something we can build on,” McGlaughlin said.