|Ottoville, Kalida advance in sectional at Bluffton|
|Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:43 PM|
BLUFFTON - Dave Kleman’s top-ranked Ottoville squad was the top seed at the Bluffton Division IV sectional.
Instead of taking a bye, the veteran coach decided to enter the tournament early to get his players a game. And although the Big Green dominated Lima Perry 93-46, Kleman was happy to get his veterans and younger players a chance to get on the floor.
“I just wanted to play,” Kleman said. “We were just (sitting around) too long in the past. Ten days is a long time this time of year not to be playing. I asked the girls if this was better than practice and they couldn’t wait to say yes. It gets you up and down (the floor) in game conditions and the younger kids some playing time so if they get thrown into the mix here later on, they won’t be so nervous — hopefully.”
The win sends Ottoville (22-0) to the sectional finals Saturday night at Bluffton against Columbus Grove at 6:15 p.m.
In the nightcap, Kalida ended the Fort Jennings season 49-31.
The Big Green didn’t wait long to take control of this game, outscoring the Commodores 28-5 in the opening quarter. Ottoville scored the first seven points of the game as Taylor Mangas scored five of the points. Perry broke the ice on a free throw by Haley King before the Big Green went on a 16-0 run to take a 23-1 lead. Abbie Siefker had eight points for Ottoville in the run.
Ottoville pressed the Commodores full-court for about the first six minutes of the game as they built a 20-point lead. The Commodores used two timeouts in the opening six minutes of the game as they had trouble handling the press, turning the ball over several times that led to easy points for Ottoville. Perry didn’t hit its first field goal of the game until there was 10 seconds left in the opening quarter when freshman Kaitlyn Cox grabbed a rebound and scored.
Ottoville continued the onslaught into the second quarter as they outscored Perry 24-20 for a 52-25 halftime lead. Kleman continued to substitute freely in the second quarter as seven different players scored for the Big Green. Ottoville was up 45-25 in the second quarter when they went on a 7-0 run to end the half as Nicole Vorst had a 3-pointer in that span.
The Commodores’ offense played better in the second quarter, thanks in part to three 3-pointers by Abbie Patton, two of them from NBA length. Courtland Fowler also hit a 3-pointer as she had six points in the quarter and Lexie Davis had four points.
“It’s hard for the girls to keep up their intensity, especially with me subbing so much,” Kleman said. “I normally play eight kids in a close game but I played all 15 and it’s hard to get sets of rhythm going. But it’s still better than practicing. They (Perry) are a fairly young team but they have some athletes that can shoot the ball.”
Rachel Beining led the Big Green with 18 points, while Siefker added 17 points, seven rebounds and five steals. Mangas finished with 16 points and Vorst added had 13 points as she hit three 3-pointers.
Patton led the Commodores with 16 points, Davis finished with 13 and Fowler added 12 points.
Ottoville takes on Columbus Grove in the opener Saturday night (6:15 p.m.).
In the second contest this night, Kalida hit a shot just before halftime to give them a 2-point lead going into the locker room.
That shot gave the Wildcats momentum going into the second half as Kalida pulled away from Fort Jennings in the third quarter on its way to a 49-31 in the second sectional semifinal at Bluffton Tuesday night.
The win sends the Wildcats (14-8) to the sectional finals Saturday night against Continental (15-7) at approximately 8 p.m. Fort Jennings finishes the season at 9-14.
That momentum carried over into the third quarter as Kalida took control of the game with a 20-4 scoring run for a 44-26 lead going to the fourth quarter.
Gable scored the first points of the third quarter for the Musketeers before Kalida went on a 10-0 run to take a 34-24 lead. Nicole Recker started the run with a 3-pointer before Elizabeth Turnwald hit a basket for Kalida. Kylie Osterhage added a 3-point play before Jackie Gardner came up with a steal she turned into two points. Macy Schroeder broke the Musketeers’ scoring drought with a basket before Kalida scored the final 10 points of the third quarter.
Freshman Brittany Kahle started the second 10-0 run with a basket before senior Kristi Honigfort scored eight straight points, which included a pair of 3-pointers.
The Musketeers’ offensive struggles continued into the fourth quarter as they didn’t score until there was 1:05 left to play. Cassie Lindeman ended nearly an 11-minute scoring drought with her third 3-pointer of the game. Schroeder followed that with a basket off a Kalida turnover. By the time Ft. Jennings scored in the final quarter, they were down 47-26.
Gardner led the Wildcats with 11 points and Honigfort finished with eight. Osterhage and Kahle both had seven points.