Boys basketball: Columbus Grove holds off Ottoville


Bulldogs never trail in PCL encounter

By Mark Altstaetter - sports@limanews.com



Columbus Grove’s Bo Birnesser, left, and Ottoville’s William Miller compete for a loose ball during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.

Columbus Grove’s Bo Birnesser, left, and Ottoville’s William Miller compete for a loose ball during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Ottoville’s William Miller puts up a shot against Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.

Ottoville’s William Miller puts up a shot against Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter puts up a shot against Ottoville’s William Horstman during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.


Richard Parrish | The Lima News

OTTOVILLE – There were a lot of unknowns coming into Friday night’s Putnam County League boys basketball matchup between Ottoville and Columbus Grove.

Both programs were coming off very successful seasons in which they both lost a good number of key players to graduation.

Friday night, Columbus Grove jumped out to the early lead and then never trailed, en route to a 51-42 victory over Ottoville in a boys Putnam County League opener at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.

Ottoville cut the deficit to four points with 23 seconds left to play, but Columbus Grove hung on for the hard-fought win.

Sophomore Bo Birnesser led Columbus Grove (2-1, 1-0 PCL) with 15 points, including a perfect 4 for 4 shooting from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Birnesser also pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists. Senior Trey Sautter added 11 points, five boards and two steals. Braylon Baxter came off the bench and contributed eight points and two rebounds. Brayden Bellman, a 6-foot-6 senior post player for the Bulldogs, scored seven points and had two blocks.

Junior Kellen Schlagbaum led Ottoville (1-2, 0-1 PCL) with 18 points, including two 3-pointers. Schlagbaum also made five steals at the defensive end. Will Miller added 15 points, five rebounds and five steals for the Big Green. Miller scored all of his points in the second half.

“I was happy with the way we started,” Columbus Grove head coach Chris Sautter said. “Where we were last Friday (loss to Wayne Trace) – we just didn’t play well. I thought we got a lot better, at least from a competitive standpoint from last Friday until tonight.”

Ottoville lost 10 letter winners from last year’s PCL championship team that went 21-3 and were district runner-up in Division IV.

The two returning letter winners from last year’s team are Miller and Schlagbaum.

Columbus Grove returns four letter winners from last year’s team that made it all the way to the Division IV state finals, before being defeated by Botkins, ending the season 25-3.

Birnesser, Bellman, Sautter and Jacksen Schroeder return for the Bulldogs. However, Columbus Grove lost four starters and five seniors from last year’s state final squad.

Friday night, Columbus Grove came out strong right from the opening tip.

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 9-0 lead, as Birnesser scored seven of those points.

Ottoville did not register its first points on the night, until there was 3:57 left to play in the opening quarter. Schlagbaum hit two free throws to cut the deficit to 9-2.

Grove led 13-5 by the first stop.

Ottoville was 1 of 10 shooting from the field in the first eight minutes. Schlagbaum scored all five of Ottoville’s first-quarter points. Grove, on the other hand, was 6 of 11 from the floor.

The Bulldogs led 23-15 at halftime.

Grove was 10 of 16 from the field in the first half for 63-percent shooting. Ottoville ended the first half, 4 of 20 from the floor for 20 percent.

In the third quarter, Ottoville cut it to 4, 23-19 on an inside move by Miller.

But the Bulldogs answered.

Columbus Grove pushed its lead to 38-29 by the end of the third.

Miller scored 11 points for the Big Green in the third stanza.

“We knew they were going to take a lot of threes,” Sautter said about Ottoville. “I don’t think they got many clean looks, though. I thought we contested them for the most part. We did a pretty good job on Miller. He was averaging about 22 (points per game), coming in.”

In the final eight minutes of action, Grove was 7 of 9 shooting from the free throw line.

For the game, Columbus Grove shot 61 percent from the field. Ottoville shot 32 percent from the floor.

Columbus Grove turned the ball over 22 times on the night. Ottoville committed just 11 turnovers.

“We turned it over way too much,” Sautter said. “But give their guys credit. They played aggressive on the ball. They were jumping the passing lanes. We weren’t doing a very good job of coming to meet the basketball.

“We have to clean that up. But at least we hit free throws down the stretch.”

Columbus Grove’s Bo Birnesser, left, and Ottoville’s William Miller compete for a loose ball during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_Ottoville-vs-CG-003-1.jpgColumbus Grove’s Bo Birnesser, left, and Ottoville’s William Miller compete for a loose ball during Friday night’s game at Ottoville. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Ottoville’s William Miller puts up a shot against Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_Ottoville-vs-CG-005-1.jpgOttoville’s William Miller puts up a shot against Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter during Friday night’s game at Ottoville. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Columbus Grove’s Trey Sautter puts up a shot against Ottoville’s William Horstman during Friday night’s game at Ottoville.
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2021/12/web1_Ottoville-vs-CG-004-1.jpgColumbus Grove’s Trey Sautter puts up a shot against Ottoville’s William Horstman during Friday night’s game at Ottoville. Richard Parrish | The Lima News
Bulldogs never trail in PCL encounter

By Mark Altstaetter

sports@limanews.com

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.

Post navigation