Ottawa-Glandorf's Noah Bramlage (31) drives on Archbold's Evan Wyse (10) during their Division III district game Thursday night.
Ottawa-Glandorf's Noah Bramlage (31) drives on Archbold's Evan Wyse (10) during their Division III district game Thursday night.
BOWLING GREEN — Ottawa-Glandorf coach Tyson McGlaughlin only used half of the allotted ten minutes of the halftime break to address his players.
He didn't need any more time. His message came across loud and clear.
That message was to come out aggressive and see if the Titans could erase Archbold's seven point halftime lead. The change in strategy worked as the Titans erased that deficit in the third quarter on their way to a 53-46 win in the Division III district semi-finals at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University.
The win advances the Titans (14-10) to the district finals Saturday, at 2 p.m., at BGUS against Paulding (18-6). Paulding defeated Liberty Center in the second game Thursday night.
Archbold (18-6) had a 21-14 halftime lead as they went on a 9-0 run to end the opening quarter to grab an 18-10 lead. The second quarter was not an offensive showcase as O-G outscored the Blue Streaks 4-3 as Archbold was patient on offense trying to bring O-G out of their 2-3 zone.
At halftime the Titans decided to scrap the zone, pick up their pressure and see what happened. While it took a little time for the pressure to take hold, O-G eventually started to rattle the Blue Streaks as the Titans went on a 16-8 run to end the quarter and take a 32-28 lead to the fourth quarter.
Junior Brad Recker hit a pair of three-pointers out of the left corner late in the quarter that vaulted O-G from a 28-26 deficit to a 32-28 lead with 1:08 left in the quarter.
‘I thought our guys came back the second half with a little more sense of urgency,” McGlaughlin said. “We felt the zone was the way to go, to try and take (Tyson) Schnitkey and (Luke) Fischer out of the equation and have someone else make some plays. Give them credit we had some miscues the first quarter and they took advantage and the second quarter, they kind of spaced us out and were pretty methodical. At halftime we said we were going to make this a rat race. The second half kind of speaks for itself.”
Ottawa-Glandorf pushed its lead to six points right away in the fourth quarter, but the Blue Streaks didn't back down pulling within two points twice, the final time at 42-40 after a free throw by Schnitkey with 1:01 left.
The Titans closed out the game at the free throw line as Noah Bramlage hit two free throws after a technical foul on the Blue Streaks as a player reached out of bounds to knock the ball out of Tyler ender's hands as he was taking the ball out of bounds. Alex Schroeder followed with two free throws and the parade to the charity stripe was on as O-G hit 13-of-16 chances at the line in the final quarter.
“Any time O-G and Archbold play it's going to be a hard-fought game,” McGlaughlin said. “We had that in our minds from the get go. I have the utmost respect for the Archbold teams coach (Doug) Krauss. There kids played hard, they left it on the floor. It always seems to come down the wire and our guys came back the second half with a sense of urgency.”
“We wanted to change the tempo,” Bramlage said. “It was a seven point game, a football score at 21-14. We had to turn up the tempo, we let them play their pace, their style the first half. The coach said if we got them going full speed they would want to put the brakes on and that's what they did. They folded a little bit and we continued to attack and attack and Brad (Recker) open things up from the outside and that allowed other guys to be able to get to the rim.”
Bramlage led the Titans with 15 points and eight rebounds, while Recker had 12 points, all in the second half, and Schroeder finished with 11. Zender also had eight rebounds for the Titans.
Schnitkey led the Blue Streaks with 13 points and five rebounds, while Wyse had 11 points and six rebounds. Fisher added 11 points.
“Coming into the season we had a lot of question marks, a lot of people questioning what we could do, questioning these guys,” McGlaughlin said. “We had a stretch there where some teams got some revenge and we talked about our vision. From day one, I don't care what anyone else says,  as long as the guys, players and coaches in this locker room believe this team could get to the regionals. We kind of had that vision from day one and we kind of set the tone. Any time you are playing for a district championship, good things are happening for your program.”