|Siefker moves over 1,000 points as Lady Green romps|
|Monday, December 10, 2012 3:44 PM|
By Charlie Warnimont
OTTOVILLE — Two girls basketball teams, with one loss between them, hooked up in the L.W. Heckman Gymnasium Saturday afternoon in Ottoville.
But this Saturday afternoon belonged to Ottoville and the unbeaten Big Green.
The Lady Green put this game out of reach early as they rolled to a 72-31 non-league win against Bluffton. The only anticipation left in this game after the opening minutes would be when 6-2 senior center Abby Siefker eclipsed the 1,000-point mark. That was probably a little tougher than the Big Green moving to 5-0 on the young season. The Lady Pirates dropped to 3-2 on the season.
Ottoville’s defensive pressure and offensive execution in the opening moments helped the Lady Green cruise out to a 16-2 first quarter lead as the Pirates were searching for answers quickly on how to get anything going.
“We’ve been kind of a slow starting team earlier this year,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said. “We are starting to get that out of the way, shooting the ball better and being smarter. We are understanding the game mentally now. Everyone knows where everyone is supposed to be. It’s a process thing with all the teams you have, to get everyone to understand their roles. Everyone is starting to understand their roles. I’m happy.”
Ottoville scored the first six points of the contest as Rachel Beining scored a pair of baskets inside before Abby Siefker connected for two points and a 6-0 lead. Bluffton’s Sierra Amstutz hit a jumper to get her team on the scoreboard, before the Big Green scored the final 10 points of the opening quarter.
Siefker inched closer to 1,000 points with a putback before Ottoville’s outside shooting joined the scoring parade as Rachel Turnwald hit a 3-pointer from the left corner. Beining followed with a 3-point play after an offensive rebound and Siefker closed out the first quarter with a basket that put the Lady Green up 16-2.
The second quarter was a little different for the Lady Green as their outside game did the majority of the scoring. However, the Ottoville defense continued to frustrate Bluffton, holding them to four points in the quarter, all in the final 3:45.
Tonya Kaufman opened the second quarter with a free throw before Nicole Vorst hit a 2-pointer and connecting for a 3-pointer two minutes later. The Pirates broke a long scoreless drought with a putback by Amstutz before the Big Green responded with two free throws each by Siefker and Turnwald. Turnwald later responded with a 3-pointer and neither team would score until there was 57.8 seconds left in the half, when Siefker reached her milestone. With the Ottoville faithful eagerly anticipating the moment every time she touched the ball, Siefker took an entry pass in the lane, turned and fired a jumper over a double-team that rimmed out once again. However, she was fouled and went to line to shoot two shots. She made both for her 1,000th point. Play was stopped as Coach Kleman gave her the game ball that she flipped to family members in the stands after embracing the Big Green coaching staff and teammates.
Siefker finished the day with a game-high 22 points, giving her 1,012 for her career.
“She’s been a great player for us. God has blessed her with a lot of physical ability and she has grown into a very good basketball player from her freshman year until now. But she will be the first one to tell you that she couldn’t have done this without all the good players that have played with her,” Kleman added.
Once play resumed, the Pirates scored their second basket of the quarter when Bailey Prichard drained a jumper. The Big Green ended a solid first half as Kaufman drained a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer.
The second half saw the Pirate offense finally get on track as the Big Green backed off the full-court pressure. Bluffton scored as many points in the first two minutes of the third quarter, six, as Paige Buroker and Anna Crisp knocked down 3-pointers. The Big Green answered back with a 5-0 run of its own as Siefker dropped in a short jumper, while Beining had two free throws and Vorst split a pair of charity of tosses.
While the Pirates were able to put more points on the scoreboard, they were never able to slow down Ottoville as both teams scored 13 points in the third quarter and the Big Green finished off the big win outscoring the Pirates 25-12 in the fourth quarter as both teams emptied their bench.
Beining backed up Siefker with 11 points.
Ottoville’s junior varsity posted a 48-20 win Saturday.