ELIDA — Every team in the Western Buckeye League knows that Ottawa Glandorf likes to use a full-court press and force their opponents to make mistakes. OG forced 25 turnovers away from Elida on their way to a 59-36 win in this WBL match-up at Elida.
“We deviated a lot from the things we normally do,” OG coach Troy Yant said. “We played a lot more zone. The kids weren’t really comfortable with it. We only had a day or two to practice. We put it in a couple of weeks ago but not so much tonight. I thought the pressure was pretty decent at times. We’re just trying to get ready for the tournament.”
OG (16-2, 7-1 WBL) got off to a good start on both ends of the floor to begin the game. After Elida’s Abby Waddle made two free throws to begin the game, OG went on a 13-0 run over the course of four minutes. The Titans scored eight points off of four Bulldog turnovers in that span.
Anna Bellman had five points during the run while Elissa Ellerbrock had four points.
OG led 16-5 after one.
OG’s defense was still hot as they forced seven more turnovers in the second quarter. Elida’s Bailee Kuhn scored first to begin the quarter but OG’s Kristen Miller responded with a three to give her Titans a 19-7 lead with 6:49 left in the second. After six straight turnovers from both teams, Miller scored again to extend the Titan lead to 21-7 with 4:14 left to play in the first half. OG led 27-11 at halftime.
While the first half consisted of many turnovers from both teams and low scoring, the third quarter proved to be the opposite. Miller scored five points in the period while Kylie Downton scored seven points for Elida. The Titans outscored the Bulldogs 20-16 to take a 47-27 lead into the final period.
Elida began the fourth quarter with a bang in hopes of making a comeback. The Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to begin the period. Ellerbrock finally broke OG’s scoring drought by connecting on two free throw attempts. Elida brought the score within 15 with just over five minutes left to play but turned the ball over eight more times in the quarter.
“We knew going in that they’re known for their defensive pressure and known for converting the other team’s turnovers into points,” Elida’s co-head coach Chrissy Biliter said. “We just don’t take care of the ball. It’s hard to win against a great team like OG with as many turnovers that we had.”
Elida’s other co-head coach Elise Jenkins pointed out their struggles on the offensive end.
“I think that they rushed us offensively a little bit,” Jenkins said. “When we go the ball inside, good things happened. We didn’t have sharp passes though and didn’t do the fundamental things like ball fakes.”
Miller led all scorers with 16 points. Ellerbrock had 10 while Bellman added nine for OG.
“It started off kind of slow but fortunately we got the win,” Miller said. “I can always count on my teammates. We all picked it up, and we got the win. We’re a fast break team and every time we ran, that’s when we played best.”
Downton led Elida with 13 points while Kuhn had 12.