Girls basketball notebook: O-G set to play for State title

DAYTON — Ottawa-Glandorf’s girls basketball team only trailed for the first 36 seconds and led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night in the Division III state semifinals.

But this was the state semifinals, and nothing’s that easy at the state semifinals. Portsmouth hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to make the game interesting. Ultimately, the Titans pulled out a 47-40 win at University of Dayton Arena thanks to balanced scoring and staunch defense.

“I thought it was just a hard-fought game,” said Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant, who will bring the Titans to the state championship game for the fourth time since 2015. “Every time we got them down by nine or 10, they came back. I thought our girls did a great job defensively and really limited at times what they could do.”

To win their first state championship, the Titans will have to beat Columbus Africentric, the defending state champions, in the state championship game at 2 p.m. on Saturday at University of Dayton Arena. The Nubians topped LaGrange Keystone, 62-35, in Thursday night’s first game, led by Kamryn Grant’s 22-point performance. The Titans’ boys basketball team, playing in the regional finals at Bowling Green on Saturday, moved that game to 7 p.m. Saturday at BGSU so the Titan faithful could take in a cross-state doubleheader.

The Titans (26-2), ranked No. 3 in the final Division III Associated Press poll, truly relied on a balanced scoring attack, with five players scoring at least seven points. Katie Kaufman led the way with 10 points and 14 rebounds, as the Titans held an astounding 39-23 rebounding edge.

Sophomore guard Alivia Grothause, who averaged 3.2 points per game this season, came off the bench to score 10 points.

“Liv’s kind of been showing that the last couple of weeks in games and practice,” Yant said. “She’s been doing a lot of nice things for us. We obviously needed that because you need that extra scoring coming off the bench.”

Carlie Brinkman tallied nine points for O-G. Karsyn Erford added eight points, and Kaitlyn Kimmet scored seven.

The one that got away

DAYTON — History repeated itself at UD Arena on Thursday afternoon.

Crestview’s state championship hopes ended in the state semifinals against Fort Loramie, the same team that knocked them out at the same stage in 2021.

But unlike that 66-24 loss three seasons ago that was really never close, Crestview led for a good portion of three quarters on Thursday until Fort Loramie’s Avery Brandewie scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, spearheading a 15-2 to run that gave the Redskins a 50-41 win.

Brandewie had 16 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter, including 10 of 12 from the free throw line and a nearly perfect 6 of 7 from the field.

“I had to get the passes from somewhere, so it’s hard for me to take all the credit,” Brandewie said. “My teammates opened up looks for me. They allowed the floor to space out and we’re a team. That’s the way we play.”

Fort Loramie coach Carla Siegel said that Brandewie had that look in her eye in the fourth quarter, and that’s what let her know that everything was fine despite her team playing from behind for all but eight minutes.

“She had a one-foot, one-handed shot that went in,” Siegel said. “I was thinking ‘What is she doing?’ then it went in and I said ‘Good, now I know.

“Today was a game of adversity for us. We got down and we kept fighting back. I can’t say enough about the way these girls didn’t show any defeat on the floor no matter what the score was.”

Crestview led 11-7 at the end of the first quarter. Their lead grew as high as eight points in the second quarter as they entered the break up 23-19.

Fort Loramie opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run to go in front 27-23, and Crestview responded with eight straight points to go back up four.

Cali Gregory scored six of her 22 points in the third quarter, including a drive to the hoop with 2:23 left to make it 33-29. Crestview wouldn’t score again until Fort Loramie had gone up six with 2:34 left in the fourth quarter.

“They ramped up their intensity on defense in the second half,” Crestview coach Mark Gregory said of Fort Loramie. “That’s something we knew they would do. They also used their depth to their advantage and wore us down. In the game of basketball, it all comes down to hitting shots and we weren’t able to hit as many as we did in the first half.”

Crestview went just 3 of 16 in the fourth quarter, with all three field goals coming from Cali Gregory. Fort Loramie went 4 of 6 from the field and 13 of 16 from the free throw line in the closing minutes.

Defensive dominance

ELIDA — For Ottawa-Glandorf’s girls basketball team, revenge looks like allowing just five points in the second half.

Revenge looks like holding a team to just 12% shooting in the final 16 minutes.

Revenge looks like swinging the net around in the air, collectively screaming and celebrating the Titans’ first trip to the state tournament since 2021. Ottawa-Glandorf earned a 45-26 victory against Margaretta in the Division III regional final Saturday night at Elida Fieldhouse.

“We’ve had 36-30 on our bulletin board the whole season,” Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant said, referring to last year’s score, when Margaretta beat the Titans in the regional finals and went to the state tourney. “They wanted to get that monkey off their back. I think I might have mentioned last week that I felt like we were good enough to go to state last year, so not getting there was disappointing. The challenge, especially with Katie (Kaufman) and Myka (Aldrich), was to do everything we can to carry this team.”

Now the Titans (25-2) are headed to the state tournament for the sixth time, all of them since 2015. They’ll face Portsmouth, a 42-25 winner against North Adams, at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14 at the University of Dayton in the state semifinals.

Ottawa-Glandorf, ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll, didn’t take long to assert its dominance in the third quarter against the No. 5-ranked Polar Bears. The Titans led by just five points at halftime, thanks in part to Carlie Brinkman’s 3-pointer with 2:10 remaining that repelled Margaretta, which tied the game at 18.

Then Ottawa-Glandorf held Margaretta (25-3) to just two points in the third quarter while rolling off nine points of their own. The Titans held the Polar Bears 24 points under their season average for points scored. It marked the fifth time in the last six games the Titans allowed fewer than 30 points in a game.

“We saw revenge in the eyes of the Ottawa-Glandorf girls,” said Margaretta coach Ray Neill, who shared all-Northwest District coach of the year honors with Yant this year. “You could see it, feel it. Their physical strength and in addition their mental strength tonight was exceptional.”

Kaufman, a senior and first-team all-Northwest District selection, had a team-high 16 points to go with six rebounds.

Karsyn Erford, a sophomore second-team All-Northwest District pick, added 13 points for the Titans. She and Kaufman each had three blocks to help discourage the Polar Bears’ comeback hopes.

Raegan Heck led Margaretta with 11 points, including three 3-pointers, but two of those were in the first quarter. Ellyse Schaeffer added 10 points. The Titans effectively shut down point guard Lilly Edwards, who only had one point Saturday despite averaging 6.9 points per game.

A momentum-shifting shot

ELIDA — On Saturday afternoon at the Elida Fieldhouse, Crestview did to Columbus Grove exactly what it’s done to opponents all season long.

The Knights smothered the Bulldogs on defense, forcing key offensive players to take difficult shots, and they used every turnover as an opportunity to get a quick score.

That’s precisely what turned a close first-half battle between conference title winners into a resounding 53-29 victory for the regional champion Crestview Knights.

Crestview’s trip to the state tournament in Dayton is its first since the 2021 season, when the current group of seniors made it as freshmen.

Columbus Grove led 11-9 at the end of the first quarter. Kaci and Cali Gregory led Crestview on an 8-0 run to open the second quarter, but the Bulldogs countered with five straight points from Allison Thompson.

Cali Gregory and Lauryn Auchmuty then traded scores to make it 20-18 Crestview with a minute to go.

Both sidelines agreed that what happened in the final seconds of the first half was the true “backbreaker” in the game.

As Crestview held the ball to get the final quality shot of the half, Ellie Kline found herself with space at the top of the key where she preceded to knock down a three with five seconds left, sending the Knights to the locker room with a five-point lead.

“There wasn’t a bigger shot than that one for us today,” coach Gregory said. “Going up five instead of being up two is huge, and that gave us momentum for the third quarter. We used that to go on a run, and we had them questioning themselves after that.”

Columbus Grove coach Brian Schroeder said, “We had some good energy early, but Kline’s shot at the end of the second quarter really hurt us. The third quarter turned into a buzzsaw for us. Once you get yourself into a hole against a tough team like that, it’s really hard to get yourself out of it.”

Kline’s first-half dagger shifted the momentum entirely.

Crestview outscored Columbus Grove 30-11 in the second half, starting with the first 13 points of the third quarter.

Cali Gregory led all scorers with 17 points. She also grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. Kaci Gregory hit a pair of threes and added 12 points.

Lauryn Auchmuty led Columbus Grove in scoring with 12 points, hitting 5 out of 10 shots. Auchmuty scored eight points in the first quarter but had trouble evading Crestview’s defense for the rest of the game.



Division IV State Semifinals

Fort Loramie 50, Crestview 41

Division III State Semifinals

Ottawa-Glandorf 47, Portsmouth


Division III State Championship

Ottawa-Glandorf vs Columbus Africentric, 2 p.m.



Division IV Regional Semifinals

Toledo Christian 51, Pandora-Gilboa 43

LCC 65, Old Fort 44


Division III Regional Semifinals

Ottawa-Glandorf 70, Tol. Emmanuel Christian 49


Division II Regional Semifinals

Shelby 59, Shawnee 50


Games ended after The Lima News deadline. Find scores, game stories, photos and more on

Division IV Regional Finals

LCC vs Toledo Christian, 7 p.m.


Division III Regional Finals

Ottawa-Glandof vs Castalia Margaretta, 7 p.m.