Ottawa-Glandorf's Anna Bellman takes a shot as Columbus Grove's Sammi Stechschulte (21) defends during their Division III district semi-final game. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)
Ottawa-Glandorf's Anna Bellman takes a shot as Columbus Grove's Sammi Stechschulte (21) defends during their Division III district semi-final game. (Putnam Sentinel/Charlie Warnimont)

ELIDA —Columbus Grove knew Ottawa-Glandorf would bring a lot of defensive pressure at them during their Division III district semi-final at the Elida Fieldhouse Thursday evening.

But all the practice one can have doesn’t quite prepare you for what O-G does throughout a game. Coming at the Bulldogs in waves, the Titans jumped out quickly and never let up in posting a 52-33 win.

The win moves the Titans (22-2) into the district finals Saturday, at 3 p.m., against Liberty-Benton (22-2) at Elida. Liberty-Benton advanced with a 76-38 win over Lima Central Catholic in the second game at Elida Thursday. Columbus Grove saw its season end at 13-12.

Ottawa-Glandorf’s pressure comes in the fullcourt variety and with an equally good halfcourt man defense. That combination forced 19 Grove turnovers on the night and when the Bulldogs were able to get off a shot it was usually very well contested as the Bulldogs were 9-of-25 shooting for the game.

“Playing O-G, you know what they are going to do. They are going to fullcourt man you, get after you and challenge you a little bit,” Grove coach Brian Schroeder said. “You know what’s coming, but trying to stop it and trying to simulate it in practice and countering it is another thing. It’s one of those things where they are so athletic and so good at keeping girls in front of them without fouling, we just weren’t able to handle the pressure.”

The Titans pressure forced turnovers on two of the Bulldogs first three possessions. That allowed O-G to take a 4-0 lead on two baskets by Elissa Ellerbrock as the Titans could only connect on 2-of-7 shots in the early going. Julie Wynn pulled the Bulldogs within 4-3 with a three point play before the Titans went on a 7-0 run as Danielle Schroeder canned a three-pointer that was followed by baskets from Anna Bellman and Kylie White. The two teams traded points the rest of the quarter as O-G was up 16-7 after eight minutes.

Sammi Stechschulte opened the second quarter scoring for Grove with a basket, but the Titans went on another 7-0 run as Bellman had five points and Ellerbrock a basket. The Titans closed out the first half with a 6-4 run as they were up 29-13 at halftime.

“This has kind of been our receipe all season, defense and transition baskets,” O-G coach Troy Yant said. “We beat them by 22 earlier in the season, but they are a much better team now. We just figured that even with our defensive pressure this would be a grind it out game and we would just have to consistently pound at them. I told the girls to play it like a vise, just keep tightening up the pressure whether you are up or down, we’re just going to keep pressuring them.”

While the Titans pressure was key, they also did a good job controlling the boards outrebounding the Bulldogs 31-15 as Ellerbrock had six and White five. The Titans pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in the game to just four for Grove.

“That was kind of surprising,” Yant said. “They showed zone and we have been working on if for a couple of weeks and we wanted to make sure we were not settling for outside shots and it worked both against a man and zone. We were able to get Anna, Danielle and Elissa to find open seams and get to the bucket for offensive rebounds and shots.”

“When you give a great team like O-G second and third chance opportunities, they are going to make you pay,” Schroeder said. “They didn’t shoot it exceptionally well, but when they get twice as many shots as you do in a game, it really doesn’t matter a whole lot.”

While the third quarter was the Bulldogs best offensively, they scored 12 points, the Titans wouldn’t let them cut into their lead scoring 17. O-G had an 8-0 run in the quarter as Ellerbrock and Kristen Miller both had four points.

Ellerbrock and Bellman both had 13 points for the Titans for the game, while Miller, Schroeder and White all had six.

Wynn had nine points and three rebounds for Columbus Grove, while Sydney McCluer had eight points and Stechschulte seven.

* * *

Ottawa-Glandorf 20-47 10-11 52: Elissa Ellerbrock 6-1-13; Anna Bellman 6-1-13; Kristen Miller 2-2-6; Danielle Schroeder 2-0-6; Kylie White 1-4-6; Dani Ellerbrock 2-0-4; Erin Basinger 1-0-2; Jill Rosselit 0-2-2; Stephanie Hempfling 0-0-0; Michelle Maag 0-0-0; Alex Verhoff 0-0-0.

Columbus Grove 9-25 13-18 33: Julia Wynn 3-3-9; Sydney McCluer 2-3-8; Sammi Stechschulte 2-2-7; Lynea Diller 2-0-4; Rachel Schumacher 0-2-2; Kyrah Yinger 0-2-2; Madi Vorhees 0-1-1; Jade Clement 0-0-0; Becca Endicott 0-0-0.

Ottawa-Glandorf 16 13 17 6 - 52

Columbus Grove 7 6 12 8 - 33

Three-point goals: Ottawa-Glandorf 2-7 (D. Schroeder 2); Columbus Grove 2-6 (McCluer 1, Stechschulte 1).

Rebounds: Ottawa-Glandorf 31 (E. Ellerbrock 6, White 5); Columbus Grove 15 (Wynn 3, Stechschulte 3, Diller 3).

Turnovers: Ottawa-Glandorf 14, Columbus Grove 19.