KALIDA — The Ottawa-Glandorf Lady Titans and Kalida Lady Wildcats kicked off the 2020-21 basketball season on Friday night in Kalida; both teams are coming off of good seasons with the Wildcats capturing the Putnam County League title and the Lady Titans winning the Western Buckeye League and making it all the way to the Regional Finals.

The Titans came out flat in the opener, failing to score in the first quarter. The hosts didn’t have much better luck tallying just seven points in the first eight minutes. However, O-G stormed into the second frame, going on a 16-0 run on their way to a 46-33 victory.

Kelsey Erford led the Titans with 16 points, while junior Erin Kaufman added 15. Grace Klausing and Brenna Smith both scored 10 in the effort for the Wildcats.

“You never know how the team’s going to come out in the first game. You know, replacing a lot of parts and then having two pieces coming in and then getting injured; so we’ve been making some movements on the fly I thought the girls had some jitters,” Titans coach Troy Yant commented.

Brenna Smith paced the Wildcats early in the contest, scoring seven of the hosts 11 first half point, but Kalida turned the ball over 17 times in the first half and 27 times in the game. Erford scored the first bucket for the Titans with 6:44 to go in the half.

That would begin the run for O-G. Emma Brinkman tied the game at 9-9 on the shot from beyond the arch with 4:52 left before the break. Ella Okuley drained a three of her own with 2:52 left, capping off the 16-0 spurt. The Titans would take a 19-11 lead into the break.

The guest would start the third frame on a 6-0 spurt, but the Wildcats would answer back and go on a 13-2 run of their own to draw to within two. Klausing scored on a give-and-go lay up with 3:12 to go in the third and follow that up with a steal and bucket to make it a 24-20 score.

Erford put an end to the run with a 3-pointer, but the resilient ‘Cats struck back with back to back triples by Klausing and Brooke Vennekotter to close the gap to 28-26 heading into the final stanza.

However, Kaufman and Erford combined for three take aways and three baskets early in the final period, with E. Kaufman adding to the lead by nailing two shots from the foul line, putting the Titans up by 10 at 37-27 with 3:41 to go.

“Everybody kind of watched to see if Erin would be able to lead us. That’s kind of what we want out of her. I don’t know if she knew what was happening in the first quarter. I think it was just first game jitters and not having a consistency coming out of volleyball. We kind of had a messed up preseason with COVID and everything else that’s happening. It’s good to get the first game under a belt and we come right back at it tomorrow, so we got some things we need to clean up a little bit as much as we can and go from there,” coach Yant stated.

Kaufman finished off a 13-2 run for the guests with a reverse lay up.

Scoring by Quarters

Ottawa-Glandorf 0 19 9 18 - 46

Kalida 7 4 15 7 – 33

O-G (46) Erford 16, E. Kaufman 15, Okuley 4, Fortman 4, Brinkman 5, Aldrich 2.

Kalida (33) Klausing 10, Smith 10, Vennekotter 5, Hovest 4.