VAN WERT — It was an old-fashioned, Western Buckeye League grudge
match between Ottawa-Glandorf and Van Wert inside the Cougar Den at Van
Wert High School Friday evening - even taking an extra period to decide.
Titans, and particularly junior forward Jay Kaufman, proved to be too
much for the Cougars, however, and the visitors held on for a 67-63
“It was a hard-fought WBL game,” said
Ottawa-Glandorf coach Tyson McGlaughlin. “It was one of those where you
had to grind it out… We found a way to sneak out of here with a win and,
at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.”
night where the Titans shot only 36 percent (20-of-55) from the field,
Kaufman seemingly willed the team along. He scored 32 points and added
16 rebounds for Ottawa-Glandorf.
“With Kaufman especially, there
weren’t a lot of answers,” said Van Wert coach Mark Bagley. “We tried to
do different things. We played 2-3 zone tonight, we tried doubling him a
little bit; but he’s just a really good player.”
Kaufman’s stats weren’t exactly skewed with the overtime period, either, as the junior didn’t score in the first quarter.
“He kind of took it on his shoulders there in the second half and made some plays,” said McGlaughlin.
overshadowed was a very solid offensive output from the Cougars. Van
Wert shot 54 percent (24-of-44) from the field and recorded four more
field goals than the Titans. The Cougars also connected on 6-of-11 from
long range to Ottawa-Glandorf’s 1-of-13.
The Achilles heel for the
Cougars on the evening and difference in the game, however, was foul
trouble that plagued the Van Wert. The Titans shot 36 free throws, and
converted on 26 of them, to Van Wert’s clip of 9-of-18.
in foul trouble the whole night and we had a variety of guys step up and
make plays,” said Bagley. “I thought we executed pretty well to get
there. But, the problem was when we did get fouled, we didn’t make (the
free throws), when we tried to get the ball inside. There really were
some lost possessions that really hurt us. When that happens in a close
game in our league, they make you pay.”
The game saw many lead
changes and both teams held leads for significant amounts of time.
Ottawa-Glandorf jumped out to a 9-2 lead, but the Titan lead shrunk to
13-11 and the end of the first quarter and disappeared when sophomore
forward Drew Bagley hit a basket to open the second. A Bagley three and a
floater from sophomore guard Nate Place later gave Van Wert an 18-15
lead, which grew to 28-23 thanks to a layup from sophomore forward Blake
Henry with 2:29 to play in the second quarter.
Wert led 31-29 at the break and ran the lead to 39-32 by the 5:44 mark
of the third thanks to a 4-for-4 shooting stretch to open the second
half. Unfortunately for the Cougars, the early third quarter was when
the foul situation began to take a toll.
Bagley picked up his
fourth four in the early third and had to sit a large part of the
period. Henry followed with his fourth shortly after, meaning some of
Van Wert’s rim protection was gone while Kaufman was just starting to
hit his stride.
The Titans fought within one, 41-40, to start the
fourth and quickly took the lead thanks to a pair of free throws from
junior forward Jake Dible. Baskets from senior guard Dylan Lautzenheiser
and Bagley later returned the lead to the Cougars, 45-42.
Six straight points from Kaufman, however, seemingly turned the tide in favor of the Titans.
time winding down, Van Wert junior guard Jacoby Kelly hit the biggest
shot of the game to that point to stem the tide and tie the game at 48
with 1:45 to play.
The last minute and a half saw almost as much
action as the entire previous portion of the game. It started when
sophomore guard Owen Hiegel converted an old-fashioned 3-point play to
give Ottawa-Glandorf a 51-48 lead with 1:35 to play. Henry was then
fouled and split a pair to cut the lead to two with 1:06 to play. The
Titans then turned the ball back over to the Cougars, who couldn’t
convert on an open layup attempt with 1:01 to play and, on the other
end, Kaufman seemingly sealed the game with a pair of free throws.
free throws gave Ottawa-Glandorf a 53-49 lead with 31 seconds to play.
Kelly converted a layup while being fouled, and hit the free throw to
cut the lead to one, 53-52, with 21 seconds to play. Kaufman was then
Kaufman missed both of the free throws,
however, but hauled in his own rebound and found senior guard Connor
Niese who was fouled, with 12 seconds to play, and hit both free throws
to extend the Titan lead to 55-52.
Van Wert was faced with one
final chance to tie, and Kelly found Place who heaved a three and
converted with 1.2 seconds to play, sending the game to an overtime
Unfortunately for the Cougars the attrition due to foul
problems was too much to overcome in the extra period. Place fouled out
and joined Bagley who had fouled out in regulation. Meanwhile Kaufman
put up eight points in overtime to will the Titans to the eventual 67-63
The Titans remain perfect on the season with the win -
moving to 8-0 and 2-0 in WBL play. Along with Kaufman, Dible added 11
points for the visitors.
The Cougars fall to 4-4 and 1-1 on the
season. They were led by Kelly, who scored 15 points, while Henry
recorded 13 points and Lautzenheiser and Place added 12 each.
was an unbelievable game. Our kids battled and never quit. It was just
one of those things where it came down to the little plays, and they
just made a few more at the end,” said Bagley.
Niese 2-5 3-6 8, Owen Hiegel 2-6 5-5 9, Jay Kaufman 10-23 12-15 32,
Bryce Schroeder 0-9 0-0 0, Jake Dible 5-7 1-2 11, Trevor Siefker 1-2 0-1
2, Ethan White 0-3 5-6 5.
VAN WERT (63)
Jacoby Kelly 5-12
4-7 15, Nate Place 5-11, 0-1 12, Nick Gutierrez 2-3 0-0 4, Dylan
Lautzenheiser 5-9 1-2 12, Drew Bagley 2-4 2-2 7, Blake Henry 5-6 2-5 13,
Matthew Reichert 0-1 0-0 0.
OG 13 16 11 15 12 - 67
VW 11 20 10 14 8 - 63
Field Goals: OG 1 (Niese), VW 6 (Kelly, Place 2, Lautzenheiser, Bagley,
Henry); Rebounds: OG 34 (Kaufman 16, Niese 5, White 5), VW 23 (Kelly 6,
Lautzenheiser 5, Henry 5); Turnovers: OG 15, VW 12; JV Score: 49-45 OG