OTTAWA – The sequel looked a lot like the original.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s 58-57 boys basketball win over Lexington on Saturday night was a rematch of a Division II regional semifinal last year, which also went the Titans’ way in a close game.
Jay Kaufman scored 21 points, including 15 of them in the second half, to lead the Titans (18-2) to another win over the Minutemen. Bryce Schroeder scored 14 points and Jake Dible had 13 points.
Last year’s game, a 52-46 O-G win, was probably on the minds of both teams at least a little bit on Saturday night.
“It was just like last year. We had to come back on them in that one too. It was just like that all over again,” Dible said.
This year, Ottawa-Glandorf came back from 10 points down halfway through the third quarter. Last year in the regional at Bowling Green, it fell behind by 11 points in the first half before coming back to win.
“I’m sure they wanted a little payback,” Kaufman said.
Ottawa-Glandorf was coming off a 52-43 win off Wapakoneta on Friday night in a match-up of Western Buckeye League leaders.
Early Saturday night the Titans didn’t appear to feeling any after effects from that game when they jumped out to an 11-2 lead right away, including three consecutive 3-pointers by Bryce Schroeder.
But over the next 16 minutes, Lexington outscored them 39-20 to go up 41-31 with 4:20 to play in the third quarter.
“We were just sluggish. I think we were tired from last night, I think we were kind of just going through the motions,” Ottawa-Glandorf coach Tyson McGlaughlin said.
McGlaughlin gave three players who hadn’t logged a lot of minutes on Friday night – Braden Fortman, Chad Duling and Trevor Siefker – credit for helping the Titans play with more energy.
“They changed the pace of the game and we went a little faster. They really stepped up big for us,” he said.
But the biggest change of pace was getting the ball to the 6-foot, 4-inch Kaufman and the 6-foot, 6-inch Dible consistently in the final quarter and a half.
The two big guys scored 21 of O-G’s 29 points in the second half. They scored 13 of the last 15 points, including a free throw by Kaufman with nine seconds left in the game to give the Titans a 58-57 lead.
“We needed to go to our bread and butter and that’s Jay and Jake. We have to keep doing what we do,” McGlaughlin said.
Lexington (14-6) got off one final shot, a 15-footer by Traevin Harrison with Schroeder defending him, which bounced off the rim as time ran out.
Harrison, who led Lexington with 16 points, had hit six shots in a row, before that miss.
“Coach just said, ‘We’ve been working too hard on this weekend to let them win on a last shot here,’ ” Dible said.
Kaufman said, “We just knew we had to pull together, come together as a team and get the W. We were pretty exhausted after playing a big game last night and another big one tonight.”
While the game was reminiscent in many ways of last year’s regional match-up, McGlaughlin was looking ahead to what it and the win over Wapakoneta might mean for this year’s team in this year’s tournament.
“That was quite a weekend for us. Those were two really good teams we played. You want to play close games late in the year to prepare you for the tournament. I think we took some steps in the right direction,” he said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.