Boys Basketball: Ottoville wins a thriller over Wayne Trace

OTTOVILLE – Ottoville junior Landon Horstman said he has dreamed of making a free throw with the game on the line and time running out.

Horstman’s dream came true on Friday night when Ottoville faced Wayne Trace in a non-league boys basketball game at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.

With 7.7 seconds remaining in the game and Wayne Trace leading 45-43, Ottoville inbounded the basketball.

Ottoville senior guard Michael Turnwald maneuvered his way around a couple of defenders and delivered a pass to Horstman, who drove to the rim and scored. Horstman was fouled on his field goal and now had an opportunity to give his team the lead at the free-throw line.

With the game knotted 45-45, Horstman sank the free-throw to give the Big Green a one-point lead.

After Horstman’s successful free throw, Wayne Trace was unable to get the ball down the court to attempt a shot as time ran out and Ottoville slipped out with a thrilling 46-45 victory over Wayne Trace.

With the hard-fought win, Ottoville ended the regular season with an overall record of 16-6. Wayne Trace slipped to 16-5.

Horstman ended the game with 13 points, 13 rebounds, two steals, and two assists. On the night, Horstman was a perfect 5 of 5 shooting from the free-throw line, including 3 of 3 in the fourth quarter. Turnwald dished out six assists to go along with three points and two steals.

“It’s something that I’ve dreamed of,” Horstman said about making the critical free throw after scoring a field goal in the final seconds of the contest. “I was a little nervous going into it, but I was happy at the way it turned out.”

Horstman said the final play was not specifically designed for him.

“We had a couple of different options, and it just happened. They (two of Wayne Trace’s defenders) both came out and I was wide open. Michael made a great pass, and I somehow got it (the basket),” Horstman said with a smile.

Added Ottoville coach Keith Utendorf, “Obviously, we have a bunch of options. When they (Wayne Trace) came out in a zone, it kind of disrupted what we were trying to do. Our guys, on the fly, figured out a couple of things. Landon (Horstman) made a great cut. Michael (Turnwald) made a great pass, and he (Horstman) finished tough at the rim. That’s all we can ask. It wasn’t exactly how it was designed. It was not a great coaching thing. It was players making plays when it mattered. That was a huge thing for Landon to finish and for our guys to come through and get the win.”

Along with Horstman’s solid performance on Friday, Garrett Trentman scored nine points on three 3-pointers. Keaton Schnipke had nine points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals for Ottoville.

Kyle Stoller, a 6-foot-3 forward, led Wayne Trace and all scorers with 23 points, including a perfect 9 of 9 shooting from the free-throw line. Stoller also pulled down seven rebounds and made three steals.

Wayne Trace took control early on. By the end of the first quarter, the Raiders led 15-9.

In the second quarter, Ottoville claimed its first lead of the night. With 2:24 left in the half, Horstman scored down low to give the Big Green a 22-21 lead. Ottoville led 24-23 at the break.

Ottoville slipped out with a 36-34 lead by the end of the third quarter.

In the final eight minutes, the Big Green held the Raiders to just 2 of 6 shooting from the floor and helped cause seven Wayne Trace turnovers.

“I thought we needed some big stops in the fourth quarter,” Utendorf said. “They (Wayne Trace) had some momentum. It was big for our guys to get a couple of big stops in the fourth and just keep giving ourselves a chance. … And that’s what they did.”

Ottoville connected on 33 percent of its field-goal attempts on the night, while Wayne Trace shot 31 percent from the floor.

Ottoville committed 16 turnovers, while Wayne Trace turned the ball over 19 times.

Wayne Trace had a slight 28-26 edge on the boards.

“This is always a tournament-level type of game,” Utendorf said about Friday’s matchup with Wayne Trace. “For our kids to be able to execute amongst all the different things that we saw and to succeed at it, is a special thing. Hopefully, this will catapult us into a tournament run.”

Ottoville 46, Wayne Trace 45

Score by quarters:

Wayne Trace 15 8 11 11 – 45

Ottoville 9 15 12 10 – 46


Hudson Myers 13, Tanner Laukhuf 2, Caden Sinn 3, Cale Winans 2, Carter Clemens 2, Kyle Stoller 23. Totals: 16-11-45.


Jace Langhals 2, Garrett Trentman 9, Alex Leis 3, Landon Horstman 13, Andy Moorman 2, Michael Turnwald 3, Ashton Miller 5, Keaton Schnipke 9. Totals: 16-9-46.

3-pointers made: Wayne Trace – Hudson Meyers 1, Caden Sinn 1; Ottoville – Garrett Trentman 3, Alex Leis 1, Keaton Schnipke 1.

Records: Wayne Trace 16-5; Ottoville 16-6