LIMA — Saturday afternoon's Division III regional final at Lima Senior was non-stop action for 32 well-played minutes. Unfortunately for Ottawa-Glandorf, the Coldwater Cavaliers played their best eight minutes of the season in the last quarter to pull out a thrilling 70-67 win.

Coldwater (17-9) moves on to the BGSU regional where the Cavs will play either Norwalk or Willard (who met later Saturday afternoon) in Wednesday's second game at approximately 8:00. O-G's season ends at 21-4. It was the end of the high school basketball careers for six Titan seniors -- Owen Hiegel, Braden Fortman, Carter Heringhaus, Ethan White, Seth Sahloff, and Nolan Unterbrink.

"The season has been an unreal ride," said a somber Tyson McLaughlin, the O-G coach. "This is probably the closest group of guys I've ever had. I've known these guys forever. They've given their heart and sole to this team. It made the year great, and it just makes it (this loss) more disappointing as well."




Coldwater tied for third in the MAC, but is obviously a team on a roll, including a win over the state's top-ranked Division III team, Archbold, earlier this week.

"Our expectations were high coming in," said Cavalier coach Nick Fisher. "We took some lumps early, but these guys believed, and I believed. We had a lot of tough losses early and have been in so many close games. I think our resiliency is just phenomenal. We're for real."

Coldwater led 46-45 at the end of three. The Cavaliers' do-everything lefty point guard, senior Marcus Bruns, started the fourth with two free throws to lead 48-45. What followed was an unbelievable shooting exhibition by both teams.

On its next four possessions, Coldwater landed four triples (Bruns, junior Noah Miller, senior Jacob Wenning, and Miller again). Meanwhile, however, O-G matched those 12 points with two three point shots by Heringhaus and two three-point plays (Heringhaus and Heigel) -- 60-57, Coldwater, with 3:10 left.

The Cavaliers pushed it out to 63-57 on a baseline drive by Bruns and a free throw by senior Cole Frilling. Two straight Cavalier turnovers resulted in a layup by Hiegel and a put-back by sophomore Brennan Blevins -- 63-61, Cavs, at 1:16.

Bruns then sliced down the lane and fed Frilling, who muscled in the layup and added the and-one to lead 66-61 with 47 seconds left. It was far from over.

Hiegel landed a pull-up jumper from the right elbow to make it a one-possession game --66-63 -- at 0:39. Jacob Wenning was fouled on the dribble and hit both of the double-bonus free throws at 0:25. Hiegel drove the lane, was fouled, and hit the first of two free throws  at 0:17 -- 68-64. He missed the second, and a Cavalier grabbed the rebound but stepped on the end line, whereupon Heringhaus swished a straightaway three to get within 68-67 at 0:09.

Bruns was fouled at mid-court with seven seconds remaining, and he sank both pressure-packed free throws to lead 70-67. After a time-out and needing three, O-G, of course, went to WBL Player of the Year Hiegel, but his shot from deep on the right wing was blocked by Coldwater senior Ben Wenning, and a Cavalier snared the rebound to end it.

"You can't say enough about them (the Cavaliers) because we made plays, we made plays down the stretch," said McLaughlin. "Just unfortunately, they made a couple more. You just gotta tip your cap to them. They look like a team of destiny right now."

Although the fourth quarter was the most exciting, there were plenty of great offensive and defensive plays by both teams in the first three periods as well.

The Cavaliers led early by as much as six at 12-6 and 14-8. However, O-G got a buzzer-beating three by senior Braden Fortman to take a 16-14 lead after one. It was a cold-shooting first quarter by both teams -- 6 of 17 from the field by each.

Both teams heated up a bit in the second quarter which featured four ties and five lead changes. Again, the Titans held the ball for a last shot at the end, and this time it paid off in two free throws by junior Aaron Rieman to take a 32-31 lead into the locker room.

During those first 16 minutes, Coldwater hit 5 of 15 from behind the arc, compared to O-G's 2 for 7. However, the Cavs didn't shoot a free throw, while the Titans hit all eight of theirs.

O-G started the third quarter with an 8-0 run (tip-in by junior Ben Westrick, 3-pointer by Heringhaus, free throw by Rieman, 10-foot jumping hook by White) to lead 40-31 with 5:48 on the clock. Back, of course, came the Cavaliers.

Coldwater got within 41-40 on a three from the right wing at 3:50 by Jacob Wenning. O-G answered with a layup by junior Ethan Alt, but Frilling tied it at 43 on a trey from the right wing. Two Hiegel free throws and Bruns corner 3-pointer had the Cavs up 46-45 after three.

For the entire game, Coldwater shot a bit better from the field -- 46 percent (23 for 50) to 40 percent (23 of 58) -- and much better from long range -- 46 percent (12 for 26) to 27 percent (6 of 22). Both teams were deadly from the line -- O-G at 83 percent (15 for 18), Coldwater at 86 percent (12 for 14). The Cavaliers won the boards 30-25, but the Titans had far fewer turnovers, 8-16.

Coldwater scoring was led by Frilling, Bruns, and Jacob Wenning with 23, 18, and 15. Miller's two 3-pointers were the only Cavalier points by a non-senior.

Eight Titans played, and all eight scored, led by Hiegel, Heringhaus, and Rieman with 18, 12, and 12.