OTTAWA — In its season opener against Miller City, Ottawa-Glandorf took about a quarter to get its basketball legs, but once they did, the Titans overwhelmed the Wildcats 65-32 Saturday night.
Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Troy Yant said the primary goal for the game was to get everybody some playing time and see how they would perform.
“It is just tough to play at state and come here and just try to get the wheels back on and put everything together,” Yant said. “I think the girls saw a big drop off in how they wanted to perform that first quarter but we started getting our legs under us and started playing basketball and things started coming back to us. I’m pretty happy overall.”
Yant said it has been and will be a process to replace Dani Ellerbrock and find a fifth starter.
“We had a lot of jitters tonight and we had a lot of girls having to play a lot of varsity for the first time tonight,” Yant said. “We will get through that and get back to the drawing board this week.”
Titan senior Kylie White led the Titan scoring parade with 13 points followed by junior Kadie Hempling with 12. All but two of their points came in the first half when Ottawa-Glandorf took control of the game. Hempfling finished with six rebounds and Lexi Schroeder collected five caroms.
Ross Heuerman, who is in his first year as the Wildcats’ head coach, said it was a learning experience for his team.
“We worked our butts off tonight but that is one of the best teams in the state but we didn’t back down” Heuerman said. “Our girls worked hard and that is all you can ask from them. They learned how to bring the intensity and that you can’t back down against good teams and you can’t turn the ball over and you can’t make mistakes”
By starting out slow, Miller City held a 5-4 lead with 4:18 left in the first quarter after Megan Warnimont drained a 3-pointer. But that would be the last time, Miller City would see the lead as the Titans went on a 10-0 run to open up a 14-5 advantage. In the scoring spurt, Hempfling provided four of the points.
With a 17-7 lead starting the second quarter, the Titans took command of the game when they outscored the Wildcats 11-1 in the first four minutes of the second stanza. The run was accentuated by a smothering Titan defense that forced six turnovers to convert fast break buckets for Ottawa-Glandorf. For the game, the Miller City ended up with 28 turnovers.
Any chance of a miracle comeback in the second half by Miller City was quickly quelled when Ottawa-Glandorf’s Devon Warnecke opened up the Titan scoring with one from behind the 3-point arc which was then followed up by a steal and a fast break that was finished off by a layup from Erin Kaufman. A second 3-pointer from Warnecke followed to give the Titans a 37-13 lead and pretty much seal Miller City’s fate. Warnecke would finish the game with 10 points.
The Titans’ smothering defense did not allow a Wildcat point in the third quarter until there was a little more than three minutes remaining in the period. By that point, the Titans led 45-13. Miller City did not score a field goal in the third quarter and were 0-3 from the field.
As a team Miller City shot 26 percent for the game. Ottawa-Glandorf hit 46 percent of its shots.
Wildcat senior Christina Berger was the lone offensive bright spot for Miller City as she scored 12 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Nine of those points came in the fourth quarter with the game already decided.
Reach Jose Nogueas at 567-242-0468 or on twitter @JoseNogueras1.