OTTOVILLE – For the first eight minutes, Ft. Jennings withstood Ottoville’s pressure and found themselves down 15-13 after the first period.
But for the next 24 minutes, the Musketeers withered under the Big Green’s smothering defense as Ottoville cruised to a 74-42 victory in a Putnam County Clash Friday night.
With the win, Ottoville improves to 13-2 for the season and 4-0 in the Putnam County League. Ft. Jennings falls to 1-2 in league play and 3-7 overall.
“The first quarter they did a really good job of executing against some of our pressure and were late on a couple of things we were trying to do,” Ottoville head coach Keith Utendorf said. “Credit them they came out and hurt us and made some great shots.
“In the second quarter we got a little more engaged and our effort collectively we played better and more importantly our execution collectively was better defensively especially defensively.”
Ft. Jennings head coach Todd Hoehn said the No. 1 priority was to hold onto the ball but knew it was not going to be easy against Ottoville.
“The biggest thing was taking care of the ball and handling their pressure and we knew that coming in,” Hoehn said.
Hoehn added that this was their second game like this and the first one came against state ranked Antwerp so he feels they have been in most of their games and this team is still developing.
“Every other game we went down to the wire and had our chances,” Hoehn said. “We might not have won them but we had our chances. Hat’s off to Ottoville. It is a PCL game and they did what they needed to do. They are on a mission. Our kids are still learning. They are learning with me and we are learning together.”
Ottoville’s lead jumped from 15-13 to 27-15 in the first three minutes of the second quarter after the Big Green went on a 12-2 run sparked by its defense. In the run, Ft. Jennings had five turnovers on its first five possessions and six of seven miscues on their first seven possessions to allow the Big Green to open up the double digit lead.
Ottoville’s Josh Thorbahn spearheaded the offensive run with of those 12 points including three buckets off steals or turnovers. Thorbahn finished with 17 points on the night.
Big Green’s Will Miller, who had six points in the second quarter, scored 20 points and shared top scoring honors with Ryan Suever as both pumped in 20 points.
“We knew they wanted a slower paced game and we wanted a higher paced game because of the guys we have on the floor and I thought we did that and that starts with stops and you can’t have transitions if you don’t have stops and we got some of those stops in the second and third quarter to build a league,” Utendorf said. “I thought this was a really good night for all of our guys but for Ryan (Suever) to come out and score 20 again and show that he can do those things and Will had a a great game and I thought Kyle Manns played really well too.”
The Big Green trio of Miller, Thorbahn and Suever, was instrumental in hammering the proverbial nail in the Musketeers’ coffin in the third quarter when they combined for 19 points that saw Ottoville outscore Ft. Jennings 24-9
In the third period, the Big Green opened the second half with an 11-0 run. Ft. Jennings did not score its first bucket until the 4:44 mark.
Ft. Jennings’ Zach Schulte led the team with 15 points. Evan Hoerstman finished with 11 points and eight rebounds.
Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.