OTTOVILLE — Ottoville has been a tough matchup for many opponents this season.
Ottoville has more than one offensive weapon that can give opposing teams fits.
In Friday’s nonconference boys basketball matchup with visiting Lima Central Catholic, Ottoville’s two-man tandem of seniors Ryan Suever and Josh Thorbahn, proved to be the toughest matchups as the two combined for 35 of Ottoville’s points, en route to a 57-41 victory over LCC at L. W. Heckman Gymnasium. It was the first time these two boys basketball programs have met on the hardwood.
In the latest Associated Press state poll, Ottoville was ranked No. 4 in Division IV.
Suever, a 6-foot-7 wing player, led Ottoville (17-2) and all scorers with 20 points. Suever also came away with five rebounds and two steals. Thorbahn scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers. The 6-foot-5 University of Findlay-bound Thorbahn also came away with six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
“They’ve played together for such a long time.” Ottoville head coach Keith Utendorf said about Suever and Thorbahn. “Teams guard them so differently. But they’re starting to figure out how teams are going to come after us. Their two-man game is really special. For Ryan to have the game that he had tonight – that will be a confidence booster for him as we go forward.”
The Big Green led from start to finish.
“I thought, early, it was going back and forth,” Utendorf said. “They (LCC) got some second-chance points and it kind of kept them in it for a while. Then once we got settled in and made sure we controlled the defensive glass, especially, things started to turn for us.”
Rossy Moore led Lima Central Catholic (10-9) with 12 points, six rebounds and two steals. Bryan Hines added nine points and six boards for the T-Birds.
Ottoville jumped out on LCC, and slipped out with a 17-11 lead by the first stop.
Thorbahn led the Big Green with eight first-quarter points, including two 3-pointers.
Suever ended the first quarter with a shot from three-quarters court to give the Big Green the 6-point advantage.
Both teams struggled at the offensive end in the first eight minutes of action. The T-Birds were just 5 of 16 shooting from the field. Ottoville was 6 of 18 from the floor.
Suever began to heat up.
Suever poured in nine points in the second quarter. He ended the first half with 14 points. Suever was a perfect 4 for 4 from the free throw line.
Thorban scored 11 first-half markers, including three shots behind the 3-point line.
The Big Green took a 36-20 lead into the halftime break.
Ottoville’s largest lead in the first half was 17.
In the first half, Ottoville made 9 of 10 free throws. LCC was just 1 for 4 from the charity stripe.
From the field, Ottoville was 11 for 29 for 40-percent shooting. LCC was 9 of 28 for 32 percent.
Ottoville extended its lead to 48-29 by the end of the third quarter.
For the game, Ottoville was 14 of 19 from the free throw line.
“In the fourth quarter, we kind of wanted to slam the door a little bit,” Utendorf said. “We just couldn’t get the last few (free throws) to come in. We’ve been shooting the basketball from the free throw line a lot better the last couple of weeks. So, hopefully that continues.”
For the game, Ottoville committed nine turnovers. LCC turned the ball over 13 times.
Both teams shot 34 percent from the field.
Ottoville held the edge on the boards, 39-30.
“Obviously, every game for us and any team we play against, we have to make sure the rebounding game is the difference,” Utendorf said. “It has to be. … It’s our No. 1 key every game. If we control the glass, then we will be in a good spot toward the end of the game.”
Utendorf was especially pleased with his team’s defensive effort on Moore.
“He’s a very good player. He has a special offensive game – a lot of different skills,” Utendorf said. “We just wanted to make sure that things were harder for him. So, we thought if we could push him an extra spot out from the basket and make him shoot it from 17 to 19 feet, we thought we could have a little bit of an advantage – instead of letting him getting downhill, where he is something special.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.