Jan. 14—OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf wanted to push the tempo from end-to-end, right from the opening tip.
O-G's fast start set the tone for a 53-36 victory over Bath in a key Western Buckeye League girls basketball matchup at Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium Thursday night.
O-G led from start to finish.
With the win, O-G improves to 9-3 overall and 5-0 in the WBL. Bath slips to 9-4 and 3-2 in league play.
In the first half, O-G's defensive pressure helped cause 13 first-half turnovers for Bath. For the game, the Wildkittens turned it over 19 times. O-G ended the night with 11 turnovers.
"That's kind of what we want to do — get out and get some pressure," O-G head coach Troy Yant said. "They (Bath) were a little short benched, and they weren't using a lot of rotation. So, we threw a lot at them early, to see how they would handle it.
"For the most part, they slowed us down a little bit, too. But in the end, we were able to go 10 (players) deep, and they weren't."
Freshman Kaelyn Grothause led O-G with nine points. Grothause also came away with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Myka Aldich and Kaitlyn Kimmet each had eight points.
Kimmet, a freshman, came off the bench and hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter.
"It was nice to see a JV (junior varsity) player, who does not have a bunch of varsity minutes, come in and do that," Yant said about Kimmet. "She deserved a shot, and she really came through for us."
Erin Kaufman, a 6-foot post player for O-G, had seven points, 10 rebounds, five steals and three assists. Lily Haselman added seven points for the Titans.
Ava Craddock led Bath and all scorers with 17 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Craddock eclipsed the 1,000-point career total on Thursday. Anne Oliver had seven points. Rachel Clark and Elena Oliver each added six points for the Wildkittens.
The Titans led 9-4 at the end of the first quarter.
Bath was just 1 of 4 shooting from the field. Craddock had the lone field goal (3-pointer) for the Wildkittens in the first eight minutes.
O-G's defensive pressure helped cause six first-quarter turnovers for Bath.
O-G picked up the tempo in the second quarter. The Titans extended their lead to 15, 25-10, by the halftime break.
Bath continued to struggle at the offensive end.
By the half, the Wildkittens had connected on 3 of 10 shots from the field for 30-percent shooting, and had 13 turnovers.
Craddock had eight points in the first half, including two 3-pointers. Elena Oliver was the only other Bath player to score in the first half (two points.).
O-G had six players crack the scoring column in the first 16 minutes of action.
Grothause led the Titans with seven first-half points.
O-G was 10 of 20 shooting from the floor in the first half for 50-percent.
O-G led 37-17 by the end of the third quarter.
Kimmet came off the bench for the Titans in the third and scored six points, on two 3-pointers.
The Wildkittens were just 2 of 10 from the field in the third stanza.
"I felt like we clearly controlled the game," Yant said. "I thought the girls stepped up. We hit some shots, which we weren't able to do against Fort Loramie (in a loss last week). Myka Aldrich had a great game, early, defending Craddock; and she also gave us some offensive contributions.
"It would have been nice to have gotten some more post touches and got our post players more involved, but they did a great job of jamming up the middle on us."
Yant pointed to the defensive effort of his team as the key to the game.
"I thought the defense looked really good," Yant said. "We rolled a couple different girls on their point guard (Rachel Clark) and kind of kept her away from the basket. They really didn't get much inside. I thought our post players played really well."
For the game, Bath shot 37 percent from the field. O-G connected on 53 percent of its field goal attempts.
Longtime Bath girls head coach Greg Mauk pointed to the slow start as the major obstacle his team faced on Thursday.
"The thing was, they came out and really got after us, defensively," Mauk said. "Some of our youth showed through. We didn't handle that really well. Then they were able to go down and get some baskets, and we continued to struggle, offensively. We just didn't execute the way we should.
"But I'm proud of the kids. We came out in the second half — outside of a couple baskets at the end where we had to foul — we outscored them in the second half. We got down so far; it was just so difficult for us to find any rhythm in what we were doing."
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.