Hannah Will of St. John's and Brynlee Hanneman of Ottoville goes after a loose ball Friday Night. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)
Hannah Will of St. John's and Brynlee Hanneman of Ottoville goes after a loose ball Friday Night. (DHI Media/Joe Dray)

DELPHOS — The Lady Jays gave Ottoville everything they could handle Friday night but came up short of the victory. Kasey Knippen led the way for the Big Green on their way to a 57-44 win.

Ottoville took an early lead but the Jays bounced back with help from Paige Gaynier who hit a three to make it 8-6, Green. Hannah Will got in on the action with a triple from the left-wing but Ottoville dropped six-points in the final 1:00 to enjoy a 16-11 lead after one.

Will had the hot hand in the second quarter with and cut the Big Green lead down to two-points with a shot from downtown. She led the Blue Jays in scoring with 16 points.

“St. John’s is a very good team,” said Lady Green head coach Dave Kleman. “They can all score and they are similar to the way we play. I told the girls that we are playing a team just like us, so it’s like playing yourself. You don’t win that many games in the MAC and not be a good team.”

Gaynier found paydirt from long-range and gave St. John’s their first lead of the night, midway through the period. Quinley Schlagbaum and Tori Thomas hit three-pointers for Ottoville to give them a 26-22 lead at the half.

“We competed really well,” said St. John’s head coach Nate Stant. “We did a lot of good things and tied the game, but our shooting went cold — we missed shots on good looks.”

The game tightened up in the third quarter when Will and Gaynier each hit a three in the first 3:00 of action. A layup by Melanie Koenig tied the game at 34-34 but the Lady Green went on an 8-2 run to close out the period and held a 42-36 lead entering the fourth.

Ottoville’s defense showed up in a big way in the final quarter and kept the St. John’s offense at bay with only 8 points allowed. Late fouls allowed the Green to extend their lead and ultimately take home a hard fought victory over the Jays 57-44.

“We handled adversity well tonight. The bench did an excellent job holding the fort down for us until we could get our starters back in the second half,” Kleman concluded.

Ottoville improves to 18-3 (6-1 PCL) while St. John’s falls to 13-7 (5-4 MAC).

Ottoville 57

Brynlee Hanneman 1-7 1-2 3, Haley Hoersten 2-3 2-2 6, Quinley Schlagbaum 3-9 4-6 11, Nicole Knippen 2-9 4-8 8, Kasey Knippen 7-16 1-2 15, Tori Thomas 2-5 0-0 5, Alexis Honigford 2-4 2-2 7, Kylee Hoersten 2-3 2-2 6, Total 19-56 16-24 57

St. John’s 44

Melanie Koenig 3-7 0-0 6, Paige Gaynier 5-11 1-3 14, Taylor Zuber 0-10 1-2 1, Hannah Will 5-10 5-6 16, Betty Vorst 1-4 4-7 6, Erika Moenter 0-2 0-0 0, Aubrie Friemoth 0-2 0-0 0, Elly Wrasman 0-1 1-2 1, Total 14-47 12-20 44

Score by Quarter

Ottoville 16 10 16 15 - 57

St. John’s 11 11 14 8 - 44

Half JV:

Ottoville 22

Tori Thomas 3, Alexis Honigford 2, Shayla German 2, Faith Gamble 12, Kylee Hoersten 3

St. John’s 9

Abby Hensley 4, Abby Buettner 2, Elly Wrasman 3

Score by Quarter

Ottoville 9 13 - 22

St. John’s 0 9 - 9