OTTOVILLE – Every time it appeared Ottoville was about to take control of its boys basketball game against Bath on Saturday night the Wildcats seemed to have an answer.
Every time except the last time.
The Big Green (2-0) led by as many as 11 points, 37-26, two minutes into the second half.
But after Bath’s Jaxon Foster hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left in the game, that lead was down to just two points at 52-50.
Keaton Schnipke answered with a 3-pointer 10 seconds later and Ottoville closed out the game on an 8-2 run to clinch the win.
Kellen Schlagbaum and Michael Turnwald each scored 15 points for Ottoville. Alex Suever had 12 points and Carter Horstman had 8 points and 8 rebounds, five of them off the offensive glass.
Cole Craddock (18 points) and Drake Craddock (14 points) led Bath (0-2).
“Every time we tried to get it stretched out and kind of close the door they kept coming back. That’s a credit to them and a credit to our guys to not let that momentum be the thing that pushed them over the top,” Ottoville coach Keith Utendorf said.
“Those two guards, the Craddock boys, are really skilled and played really, really well tonight,” he said.
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Ottoville led 29-26 at halftime after two quarters in which the biggest lead for either team was five points by the Big Green two times early in the second quarter.
That lead grew to 37-26 when Ottoville scored the first eight points of the second half on an offensive rebound for a basket and a free throw by Suever, a free throw by Turnwald and steals for buckets by Turnwald and Schlagbaum.
“This was a really good game for us to get better,” Utendorf said. “We got some turnovers. Our hands were pretty active and we turned a couple of those turnovers into points. That’s how we play. We want to create offense off of our defense and I thought that was a key to finishing this game off.”
Ottoville had to reschedule games with Columbus Grove and New Bremen because of those schools’ success in the state football playoffs. The Big Green will now play six games in the next 14 days.
“We’re still coming off our own little bit of a late start. We only had about 12 practices. We’re trying to get back after our regional soccer run. There are still some guys trying to find themselves a little bit. We still trying to find a little of how we will finish games. And I thought tonight was a step in the right direction of figuring out how to do that,” Utendorf said.
Ottoville shot 52 percent (20 of 38) and Bath hit 50 percent of its field goal attempts (20 of 40). Ottoville had a 26-15 rebounding edge. The Big Green had 17 turnovers and the Wildcats had 11.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.