Ottawa-Glandorf's Zach Kuhlman (20) looks to make a play as he splits Bluffton's Trent Phillips (12) and Noah Stratton (4) during first half action.
Ottawa-Glandorf's Zach Kuhlman (20) looks to make a play as he splits Bluffton's Trent Phillips (12) and Noah Stratton (4) during first half action.
DEFIANCE — Ottawa-Glandorf attempted to knock out Bluffton early in the Division III sectional finals at Defiance High School Friday night.
However, the Pirates would not go down easy.
Down 27-8 after one quarter, the Pirates battled back to trail by seven points going to the fourth quarter. O-G regained their first quarter form in the final quarter as they pulled away from Bluffton for a 71-59 win.
The win sends the Titans(14-9) to the Division III district semi-finals at Bowling Green State University's Stroh Center Thursday where they face Archbold at 6:15 p.m. Bluffton ended its season at 10-14.
Ottawa-Glandorf came out firing in the opening quarter taking a 27-8 lead. Tyler Zender scored the first four points of the game before the Pirates scored. Noah Bramlage scored the next six points of the game before the Pirates Jordan Skilliter canned a three-pointer. The Titans went on a 12-0 run as Brad Recker started it with a three-pointer before Zach Kuhlman scored seven straight points that included a three-pointer, before Zender ended the run with a basket. After a Bret Rumor three ended the run, the Titans scored the final five points of the quarter as Recker drained another three and Alex Schroeder scored.
After a dismal start, the Pirates offense woke up in the second quarter outcoring the Titans 17-8 to trail 36-25 at halftime. Bluffton continued that surge into the third quarter outscoring the Titans 15-11 to trail 47-40 after 24 minutes Noah Stratton and Levi Kistler both had five points for the Pirates in the quarter, while Bramlage had seven points for the Titans.
After having seen a double digit lead trimmed to seven, O-G used a 12-2 run to start the fourth quarter and regain control of the game. Schroeder had a big fourth quarter for the Titans scoring 14 points. Schroeder opened the final quarter with a three-pointer, then later added a three point play and a four point play before canning four free throws when the Pirates were forced to foul.
The Titans were 12-of-15 at the free throw down the stretch as Kuhlman went 5-of-6 at the line in the quarter.
“This is who we are. Twenty-three games into the season, we just haven't been able to consistently put it together,” O-G coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “You see glimpses of what we can be. That first quarter we came out and executed our game plan flawlessly. We attacked the paint aggressively and kicked it out for three's, then the second quarter we got a little complacent and Noah got into a little foul trouble and they picked up the pressure, we panicked a little and hit a couple of dry spells. All in all I was pleased with how our guys played tonight.”
“Alex Schroeder has been so consistent for us this year. He didn't play a ton of minutes last year at point guard, but Alex has been really good. There is not a player in the area that is quicker than he is with the ball. He was able to get into the paint and get fouled. He made a lot of plays tonight,” McGlaughlin said.
Kuhlman led the Titans with 21 points, while Schroeder had 20. Bramlage finished with 17 points.
Kistler led the Pirates with 21 points and Mitchell Ault added 11.