Each teams’ star player goes head-to-head in this sequence from Saturday afternoon’s Division III District final cash at Elida: Crestview’s Paige Motycka (34) trying to defend Ottawa-Glandorf’s Kadie Hempfling. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)
Each teams’ star player goes head-to-head in this sequence from Saturday afternoon’s Division III District final cash at Elida: Crestview’s Paige Motycka (34) trying to defend Ottawa-Glandorf’s Kadie Hempfling. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)

ELIDA — Ottawa-Glandorf senior Kadie Hempfling is headed to Bowling Green State University to continue her basketball career.

Her high school career still has a ways to go, she hopes.

She played a terrific all-around game Saturday afternoon — 25 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists — and proved too much for Crestview in a 55-40 Division III District final victory on the Union Bank Court of the Elida Fieldhouse.

“Kadie had a Kadie-like game. She came out aggressive from the start,” O-G head coach Troy Yant said. “Not only did she do it offensively but she had the main responsibility of defending their best player — Paige Motycka. That isn’t easy to ask of your best player to do but Paige is a great player in her own right and Kadie did a fine job of limiting her, especially the second half. Either her or Kasey Ellerbrock was guarding her, so we rotated fresh bodies. I think our depth wore them down over the course of the game; we try to be aggressive but we backed off the full-court pressure and used our half-court defense to cause them trouble.”

Crestview head man Mark Gregory gave credit where credit is due.

“There’s no shame in losing to a better team. This team played so hard and with such heart; we have nothing to hang our heads about,” he added. “When you have to deal with such a great player as Kadie and we asked Paige to not only be our offensive leader but to guard her, it’s just a great effort. I think we did wear down some as the game went along; it seemed every turnover, they turned into points. We hit some threes the first half but couldn’t hit those same shots the second half; again, you have to work so hard on the other end that it can effect your shooting. I am so proud of this team; I wouldn’t trade this group of girls for another.”

Not only did she become the program’s all-time top scorer with her performance — besting the 1,204-point mark set by Melanie Halker by four points — but along with fellow seniors Carrie Johnson and McKenzie Meyer, they have also sent a 4-year victory record for the girls’ program at 102.

“I just wanted to be aggressive and get into the paint right away; we had shot too many threes in our game against Spencerville and just felt we needed to attack the basket,” Hempfling said. “Fortunately, the shots were falling early. When I beat the record, it nearly brought tears to my eyes but I knew we had to keep playing. We have won four straight District titles, which is a great accomplishment, but I am appreciating more of what I’ve done as part of that. I am thanking God, my family and my teammates for all of this.”

It started from the outset for Hempfling as she dropped in 11 of the Lady Titans’ (23-2) 13 points in the opening period, including the first six. Motycka — who was assigned much of the defensive duties to Hempfling but was also guarded by her much of the time — countered with eight points, including a pair of triples. Hempfling’s long 3-pointer gave O-G a lead of 11-3 before a trey by Lexi Gregory and two Motycka baskets, the second on a tough drive at 22 seconds, reduced the deficit to 13-11.

Five straight points by Gregory in the early part of the second stanza gave the Knights (19-7) their first — and only lead — before a 3-point play by Hempfling tied it at 16. A triple by Kasey Ellerbrock at 3:55 gave the Titans the lead but a Motycka basket and later foul shot at 1:58 accounted for the final tie. O-G went on a killer 8-2 run — taking the lead for good on a bomb from the left corner by Ellerbrock at 1:38 and getting five from Bri Schommoeller — to take a 27-21 edge as Motycka’s drive at :39 closed the first-half scoring.

Hempfling had a good third period, scoring six, but she also had five teammates that scored at least a basket to help her out in shooting 6-of-11 in the period. O-G’s defense held the Knights to 2-of-11 from the field. Thus, the Titan bulge grew to 45-30 on a pair of Hempfling foul shots at 17.8 seconds.

Crestview dropped in the first pair of baskets in the fourth quarter to get within 10 but Hempfling then putback an offensive board at 5:22 to stem that trend and break the old school scoring mark. O-G bean to milk some clock from then on and rebuilt their lead to 17 — 55-38 on two Kelsey Erford foul shots — before Gregory’s putback at 59 seconds helped close out the scholastic careers of Motycka, Lyvia Black, Alyssa Gent and the foul-plagued Ally McCoy.

O-G advances to play the winner of Archbold and Liberty-Benton on Tuesday at Ohio Northern University’s Regionals. Tipoff is at 6:15 p.m.

CRESTVIEW (40)

Paige Motycka 5-12 2-4 14, Ally McCoy 0-2 2-2 2, Lyvia Black 1-8 0-0 2, Lexi Gregory 7-12 1-1 19, Bailey Gregory 1-2 0-0 3, Olivia Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0, Haley Speith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-37 5-7 40.

OTTAWA-GLANDORF (55)

Ashley Schroeder 1-4 0-0 2, Carri Johnson 1-5 0-0 2, Paige Sutter 2-4 2-2 6, Erin Kaufman 2-10 1-3 5, Kadie Hempfling 9-15 6-7 25, Bri Schimmoeller 3-5 0-0 7, Kelsey Erford 0-3 2-2 2, Kasey Ellerbrock 2-3 0-0 6. Totals 20-49 11-14 55.

Score by Quarters:

Crestview 11 10 9 10 - 40

Ott.-Glan. 13 14 18 10 - 55

Total Field Goal Percentage: Crestview 37.8, Ottawa-Glandorf 40.8. Free Throw Percentage: Crestview 71.4, Ottawa-Glandorf 78.6. Three-Point Field Goals/Percentage: Crestview 7-20/35 (L. Gregory 4, Motycka 2. B. Gregory), Ottawa-Glandorf 4-17/23.5 (Ellerbrock 2, Hempfling, Schimmoeller). Rebounds/offensive: Crestview 28/8 (L. Gregory 9), Ottawa-Glandorf 23/8 off. (Hempfling 7). Assists: Crestview 8 (Motycka 3), Ottawa-Glandorf 10 (Hempfling 5). Steals: Crestview 1 (Black 1), Ottawa-Glandorf 11 (Hempfling 6). Blocks: Crestview 3 (Black 2), Ottawa-Glandorf 2 (Hempfling/Team 1). Fouls: Crestview 15, Ottawa-Glandorf 11. Turnovers: Crestview 21, Ottawa-Glandorf 9.