Haley Hoersten drives to the basket in Thursday's matchup with Hopewell-Loudon. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)
Haley Hoersten drives to the basket in Thursday's matchup with Hopewell-Loudon. (DHI Media/Pat Agler)

ELIDA — As it turned out in Thursday night’s Division IV regional semifinal between Ottoville and Hopewell-Loudon, a barrage of Lady Green 3-pointers in the first quarter and again in the third quarter proved to be the deciders in an action-packed 47-41 win.

Ottoville (23-3) advances to Saturday night’s 7:30 regional final against Arlington (22-4), which eliminated Stryker 69-50 in Thursday’s opener. Hopewell-Loudon finishes at 21-5. The Lady Chieftains, located in Seneca County halfway between Fostoria and Tiffin, are members of the Blanchard Valley Conference, as are the Lady Red Devils of Arlington.

Hopewell-Loudon started two freshmen, two sophomores, and one junior. One of those sophomores is outstanding 6’3 Makayla Elmore who excels at every aspect of the game, including running the offense from out front when that’s needed.

Ottoville came out red-hot against the Chieftains. Hopewell-Loudon led 3-2 before the Lady Green landed three straight triples (Kasey Knippen, Nicole Knippen, Brynlee Hanneman) to take an 11-3 lead. It was 14-6 after one.

The Ottoville lead got as big as 18-6 early in the second quarter before the Chieftains righted the ship and reeled off a 10-1 run to get within 19-16. A Kasey Knippen put-back of her own miss made it 21-16 at the half.

Both teams were ice cold from the field in the first 16 minutes — Ottoville 7 of 22, Hopewell-Loudon 5 for 18. That would change in the third quarter for the Lady Green, but not for the Lady Chieftains.

An early free throw had Hopewell-Loudon within 21-17, but Ottoville went on another binge — a 14-0 run that included four 3-pointers — three by Haley Hoersten and one by Hanneman — to lead 35-17. The Chieftains narrowed the margin to 36-24 after three, setting the stage for an interesting fourth quarter.

An Elmore trey from the right wing had Hopewell-Loudon within 40-33 with 4:04 left, but Quinley Schlagbaum trumped that with a three-ball of her own — 43-33 at 3:49. Taking advantage of a couple of Lady Green turnovers, Elmore then went on her own personal 6-2 run to get within 45-39 with 56 seconds left. Chieftain junior Kenzie Coleman cashed in two free throws at 0:40 to close it to 45-41. However, Kasey Knippen landed two big free throws at 0:25 to pretty much seal the deal.

For the game as a whole, Ottoville was a tad better from the field — 39 percent (16 for 41) to 33 percent (13 of 39) — and much better from beyond the arc — 50 percent (8 of 16) to 33 percent (5 for 15). Both teams were solid from the line — the Chieftains at 71 percent (10 of 14), the Lady Green at 70 percent (7 for 10). Hopewell-Loudon, led by Elmore, dominated the boards 27-19. Ottoville had fewer turnovers, 13-17.

Ottoville was led in scoring by Hoersten and Kasey Knippen with 14 and 12. Despite a cold first half (four points, none in the first quarter), Elmore finished the night with 20 points to lead the Chieftains.

Hopewell-Loudon (41)

Olivia Zender 7, Makayla Elmore 20, Hope Kreais 4, Abbe Beidelschies 5, Kenzie Coleman 2, Morgan Searles 3, Kirsten Sadler 0, Lennah Fox 0.

Ottoville (47)

Brynlee Hanneman 6, Haley Hoersten 14, Quinley Schlagbaum 5, Nicole Knippen 7, Kasey Knippen 12, Tori Thomas 3, Alexis Honigford 0, Kylee Hoersten 0.

Hopewell-Loudon 6 10 8 17 - 41

Ottoville 14 7 15 11 - 47

3-point shooting: HL 5/15 (Elmore 2, Zender, Searles, Beidelschies), OV 8/16 (Hoersten 3, Hanneman 2, Schlagbaum, Nicole Knippen, Kasey Knippen). Rebounds: HL 27, OV 19. Fouls: HL 12, OV 11. Turnovers: HL 17, OV 13.