BATH TOWNSHIP — There was a great deal at stake in Thursday’s Western Buckeye League showdown between Bath and Ottawa-Glandorf.
O-G came in with a 39-game winning streak in the WBL on the line.
Both teams came into Thursday’s showdown undefeated in the WBL.
In the first Associated Press girls basketball poll of the season, Ottawa-Glandorf was ranked No. 1 in Division III, while Bath was tabbed as No. 5 in Division II.
Thursday’s game definitely played up to all the hype.
Bath took the lead early in the game, and held off O-G down the stretch for a hard-fought 53-47 victory in a key Western Buckeye League girls basketball matchup Thursday night at Bath.
Bath (12-1, 4-0 WBL) had three players score in double figures.
Chandler Clark, Ruby Bolon and Madelyn Renner each scored 10 points for the Wildkittens.
Clark also made four steals and dished out three assists. Bolon had eight rebounds and two steals. Renner had two 3-pointers, pulled down seven rebounds and had three steals. Abbie Dackin added nine points for Bath.
Erin Kaufman led Ottawa-Glandorf (10-1, 2-1 WBL) with 14 points and 10 boards. Anna Siefker had 12 points, on four 3-pointers. Kelsey Erford had 10 points, nine rebounds, five steals and five assists for the Titans.
“Our kids battled the entire game,” longtime Bath head coach Greg Mauk said. “I’m really proud at how this group has hung together. We’ve had our ups and downs this season. This team is really starting to gel.
“The heart that we played with and the toughness that we showed, really showed up in the paint.”
O-G grabbed the early 2-0 lead.
The lead then changed hands three times in the first eight minutes of action, before Bath came away with a 13-6 lead at the first stop.
Both teams turned it over in the first quarter. Bath committed six turnovers, while O-G had seven first-quarter miscues.
Renner scored six points in the first quarter for Bath, on two 3-pointers.
Erford scored all six of O-G’s first-quarter points. As a team, the Titans were 3 of 10 shooting from the field in the first eight minutes.
The Wildkittens led 24-16 at the halftime break.
“I thought we defended really well,” Mauk said. “We were a little concerned with their size and with their post players. But I thought we handled that pretty well.”
Bath was 10 of 25 shooting from the field in the first half for 40 percent. O-G was 7 of 17 from the floor for 41-percent shooting.
The Titans made a little run late in the third quarter.
With a minute left to play in the third, Siefker nailed her third 3-pointer on the night to cut the deficit to 2, 30-28.
But Bath responded.
Rachel Clark (six points) came right back for the Wildkittens, and hit an inside shot to push the Bath lead back out to 4, 32-28, which stood up to the end of the third quarter.
The Wildkittens came out strong in the final stanza.
A 3-pointer by Dackin in the opening moments of the fourth quarter, pushed the Bath lead to 35-28.
Each time O-G looked to make a run in the final stanza, Bath answered.
O-G cut it to 3, twice in the final eight minutes.
The Wildkittens got it done at the free throw line down the stretch to put the game away.
Mauk felt like his team did a good job at the defensive end, especially guarding Erford.
“We really wanted to have somebody who was a good defender on Erford, on every possession,” Mauk said. “She (Erford) is that good of a basketball player. We started out with Lexi (Alexandria) Renner. She got a little bit tired. Then we put Abbie (Dackin) in there; and Abbie just did a tremendous job. Those two girls can really guard.”
For the game, Bath shot 44 percent from the field. O-G connected on 36 percent of its field goal attempts.
Bath committed 18 turnovers. O-G turned the ball over 16 times on the night.
O-G longtime head coach Troy Yant felt like his team never really got it going at the offensive end on Thursday.
“We just didn’t get the offense from the girls that we usually get offense from – and it hurt us,” Yant said. “It’s a learning experience. We have some young girls. So, hopefully we will look at the tape and learn from it.”