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Boys Basketball: Ottawa-Glandorf advances to district title game

Mar. 6—LIMA — Ottawa-Glandorf never trailed Wednesday night on its way to another dominant tournament victory.

Colin White set the tone, the Titans' defense followed and White's teammates took over in the second half of a 57-41 win over Liberty-Benton in the D-III district semifinals at Lima Senior High School.

White scored 20 first-half points. He combined with Caden Erford and Alex Wagner for all of Ottawa-Glandorf's 28 total points in the first half, helping the Titans build up a 17-point lead.

"We got off to a good start and he (Colin White)got into a little bit of a rhythm there," Ottawa-Glandorf coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. "He let the game come to him and the guys around him stepped up when we needed them to."

After White and Titans built up a 14-9 lead after one, they locked in on the defensive end, holding Liberty-Benton to just two points in the second quarter, outscoring the Eagles by 12 points in the process.

The Titans allowed field goal attempts from just three players in the first half, also limiting Carson Conaway and Jake Gerken, Liberty-Benton's two leading scorers, to 5 of 19 from the field for 11 points.

"The biggest thing for us was that we wanted to play fast and put pressure on them," McGlaughlin said. "We know Gerken and Conaway are good players when they have the ball in their hands. I thought our defense in the first half against them was phenomenal. We were really strong and we limited their opportunities."

Liberty-Benton opened the second half with the first 10 points, trimming the lead back to 28-21. Gerken had seven of his team-high 17 points during the stretch.

It was as close as the game got in the second half.

Once McGlaughlin used a timeout to regroup with his team, the Titans responded with 13 straight points, effectively putting the game on ice.

"We weren't focused during that stretch, but we bounced back and from that point on, it was kind of pick your poison," he said. "We got a couple of big shots from Alex Wagner. He stepped up in a big moment as a senior when we needed someone else to contribute."

Wagner finished the night with 12 points seven of them in the fourth quarter. Caden Erford also had 12, including a trio of three-pointers.

Colin White led all scorers with 24 points, shooting 9 of 18 from the field. Liberty-Benton limited White to four points in the second half, but that's when Wagner and Erford did the majority of their damage.

Ottawa-Glandorf shot 22 of 54 from the floor as a team, good for 40 percent. Liberty-Benton made 17 of its 40 shot attempts to finish 42 percent from the field.

The Eagles out-rebounded the Titans 24-20 but lost the turnover battle 18-9.

Ottawa-Glandorf meets Spencerville for the second straight year in Saturday night's district title game. Spencerville defeated Wayne Trace, 62-45, on Wednesday night.

Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. back at Lima Senior.

"We have to play hard for 32 minutes on Saturday," McGlaughlin said. "Tonight we played well for about 30 minutes, but we had two minutes where went brain-dead and they took advantage of that. We have to stay focused and play hard for 32 minutes because we know it's going to be a battle."

Ottawa-Glandorf 57, Liberty-Benton 41

Score by quarters:

Liberty-Benton 9 2 14 16 — 41

Ottawa-Glandorf 14 14 15 14 — 57

LIBERTY-BENTON

Jake Gerken 17, Carson Conaway 12, Lincoln Holler 6, Zach Elchert 4, Seth Elchert 2, Totals: 17-3-41

OTTAWA-GLANDORF

Colin White 24, Caden Erford 12, Alex Wagner 12, Grant Schroeder 5, Grady Toumazos 2, Brody Fortman 2, Totals: 22-6-57

Three-point goals: L-B — Gerken 2, Holler 2; O-G — Erford 3, Wagner 2, White 1, Schroeder 1.

Records — Liberty-Benton 15-10; Ottawa-Glandorf 21-3

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @Lima_Howell