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Girls basketball notebook: Miller City takes down Ottoville in district semifinals

Mar. 1—OTTAWA — Ottoville's history of postseason success makes them a hard team to bet against at tournament time.

Miller City coach Ross Heuerman knew that coming to Thursday night, but his Wildcats showed no fear and did just enough to outlast Ottoville 61-55 in a double-overtime thriller.

"They're a fantastic program, one of the best in the state," he said. "We knew we would have to play an extremely good game against them to have a chance. They're one of the best offensive teams we play against all year and we knew we were going to have to be sharp defensively."

The Wildcats were more than sharp on the defensive end. They forced Ottoville into 20 turnovers and held them to 19 of 51 from the floor.

"This group hangs its hat on playing defense," Heuerman said. "We're not the biggest team, we're not the strongest team, but we're aggressive and we fight hard."

Ottoville coach Vaughn Horstman agreed with Heuerman's assessment of the defensive battle.

"Both teams did a great job of taking things away from each other," he said. "We had an 11-point lead in the second quarter, but they made a run and that just gave them the confidence they needed in the second half."

Horstman went on to say that Miller City's perimeter defense made it tough to get the looks his team normally does from three. Brooklyn Koester had Ottoville's lone field goal from long-range in the third quarter.

"I think we shot two all night when usually we're up around 10. They took that away from us and that's a huge part of our offense, along with the fast-break."

Maddie Erford scored 14 points for Miller City. Chelsea Erford added 11, including four free throws in the second overtime.

Ottoville got 19 points from Carly Thorbahn and 17 from Brooklyn Koester.

Carly Thorbahn drew a foul with 22.2 seconds left in the fourth quarter and had a chance to put Ottoville ahead, but she settled for one of two at the line to tie things up at 51.

Neither team scored in the first overtime.

Ottoville had two shots under the hoop with under 10 seconds left but misses from Erica Thorbahn and Paige Turnwald sent the game to a second overtime where Miller City finally broke through.

All 14 points in the final four minutes came from the free-throw line, where Miller City went 10 of 16 to finish the job.

No guts, no glory

ELIDA — Lyv Lindeman might be hobbled, but she's still Lyv Lindeman.

The Northwest Conference player of the year, playing with pain in her leg that had her noticeably limping between plays, stole Allen East's inbounds pass and hit a free throw to end the Mustangs' comeback dreams in a thrilling 49-45 game Thursday night in the district semifinals at the Elida Fieldhouse.

"Anything for this team," said Lyv Lindeman, who said she jammed her leg after blocking a shot in the sectional championship game last week. "I'll put my whole body out there for them."

She scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter, including four free throws, as the Wildcats (21-3) advanced to the district championship game. They'll face Ottawa-Glandorf at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Elida Fieldhouse. Lauren French, who missed the 57-41 win in the regular season against Allen East with a sprained ankle, had a team-high 20 points and 19 rebounds.

"The heart of this team is unbelievable," Jefferson coach Denise Lindeman said. "Kyrstin (Moore) has a rib out of place. Lyv's hobbled on one foot. It's just unbelievable. Lauren French was trying to get every rebound. Every kid stepped up and did just a phenomenal job."

Allen East, which trailed by as many as 10 points early in the third quarter after hitting just 19% of its first-half shots, mounted an improbable comeback. Hitting 41% of their second-half shots, the Mustangs got as close as one point, 46-45, with 36.6 seconds left after a pair of Soraya Jackson free throws. Those proved to be the final Mustang points, though.

Jackson had 12 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, for the Mustangs, along with 13 rebounds. Rilynn Jones had a team-high 13 points.

Forward momentum

MILLER CITY — Liberty-Benton took the lead late in the first quarter of a 51-25 win against Bath in a Division II girls basketball district semifinal on Thursday night and never looked back.

The Eagles also never looked sideways, looked down, or took their eyes off the prize, which was a trip to a district championship game matchup against Bryan, the winner of Thursday night's second semifinal at Miller City High School, 48-31, over Toledo Rogers.

Lauren Gerken, a 6-foot-1 center, led Liberty-Benton (20-5) with 24 points. The Bowling Green State University recruit hit her first six shots and connected on 10 of her 13 field goal attempts.

Guard Addi Crow's three 3-pointers in the second quarter helped the Eagles build a 25-14 halftime lead, which continued to grow in the last two quarters. Crow finished with 14 points.

"We put in a pretty good game plan for them. I give my coaching staff a ton of credit. I thought our girls came out and did what we needed to do to win this basketball game," Liberty-Benton coach Chad Lieb said. "We've got shooters at pretty much every position."

Claire Foust and Kelsie Carlson led the scoring for Bath (18-7) with seven points each. Foust also had seven rebounds.

Slow and steady

ELIDA — Ottawa-Glandorf slowed way down, but it still got to the same destination, the district championship game.

The high-powered Titans backed into a slower, defensive-driven gear but still came away with a 41-26 victory against Parkway in the Division III district semifinals at the Elida Fieldhouse. It was their lowest-scoring output since a 35-25 win against Smithville on Jan. 14.

"We did what we had to do to win. It wasn't pretty. It was a slugfest," Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant said. "They were really aggressive in the paint and kind of took us out of what we normally do."

Karsyn Erford led the Titans (22-2), ranked No. 3 in the final Associated Press poll, with 14 points, while Carlie Brinkman added 12, including seven points in a first-quarter run that turned a close game O-G's way. Brinkman also finished the game with a team-high five steals.

"We knew she could do it. Obviously, we needed it," Yant said of Brinkman. "... When you're left with no layups, it's nice to see Carlie come up and give us that edge there."

Paige Williamson led Parkway with 14 points. Megan Hughes pulled down six rebounds for the Panthers, who finished the year at 17-7.

Ottawa-Glandorf advanced to Saturday afternoon's championship game against Delphos Jefferson, which topped Allen East in Thursday's nightcap. The game will be played at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Elida Fieldhouse.

Familiar territory

OTTAWA — The district tournament is a familiar place for Lauryn Auchmuty and the Columbus Grove Bulldogs.

Thursday night marked Auchmuty's third trip to this stage of the postseason and that experience showed through against a younger Kalida team.

Columbus Grove scored the first 10 points of the game and never looked back, earning a 45-38 win in the district semifinals behind another sharp performance from Auchmuty, who finished with a game-high 22 points.

"She thrives off this environment," Columbus Grove coach Brian Schroeder said. "She got us going early by hitting some really tough shots and that kind of settled everybody in."

Auchmuty had seven of Columbus Grove's first 10 points to open the game, including a pair of her signature step-back three-pointers. On the night, she shot 6 of 15 from the floor and nailed four triples.

Columbus Grove's early 10-0 lead was eerily similar to the start of the game when the two teams met in the regular season. But unlike that 31-15 win for the Bulldogs on Dec.19, Kalida stuck around and made it interesting at points on Thursday night.

It seemed like the momentum was shifting toward Kalida at the end of the third quarter. After being down 30-21, the Wildcats ended the quarter with eight of the final 10 points, including a deep three from Ady Miller at the buzzer to make it 32-29.

Miller's shot from the volleyball line drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd and even made it a one-possession game, but Columbus Grove regrouped during the break and opened up the fourth quarter with the first seven points, taking the lead back up to 10 and effectively putting the game away.

Nicole Nesby scored nine points for the Bulldogs. Kendall Palte added eight. Ruth Myers and Abby Stechschulte each hit a three-pointer.

For Kalida, Andrea Bugei had 10 points, including three triples. Whitney Unverferth also had 10 and Avrie Unverferth added eight.

Big scorers

Several area girls basketball players topped the 15-point plateau in recent games:

—Lauryn Auchmuty led all scorers with 22 points in Columbus Grove's runaway victory over Fort Jennings.

—Elisabeth Good of Wapakoneta scored 19 points in an eight-point win over Ashland.

—Kelsie Carleson scored 18 points in Bath's win over Napoleon.

—Audrey Welsch of Wapakoneta had 16 points in a sectional final win over Ashland.

—Maddie Erford of Miller City tallied 15 points in a 14-point victory over Leipsic.

GIRLS BASKETBALL RESULTS AND SCHEDULE

Thursday

Liberty-Benton 51, Bath 25

Ottawa-Glandorf 41, Parkway 26

Delphos Jefferson 49, Allen East 45

Miller City 61, Ottoville 55

Columbus Grove 45, Kalida 38

Crestview 70, Stryker 32

Ayersville 39, Montpelier 37

Minster 45, New Bremen 40

Marion Local 53, St. Henry 48

Anthony Wayne 69, Wapakoneta 25

Bryan 48, Rodgers 31

Saturday

D-II Miller City District Final

Liberty-Benton vs Bryan, 6 p.m.

D-III Elida District Final

Ottawa-Glandorf vs Delphos Jefferson, 2 p.m.

D-IV Ottawa District Final

Miller City vs Columbus Grove, 6 p.m.

D-IV Defiance District Final

Crestview vs Ayersville, 6 p.m.

D-IV Wapakoneta District Final

Minster vs Marion Local, 6 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL RESULTS AND SCHEDULE

Tuesday

Columbus Grove 70, Bluffton 59

Lima Senior 60, Mansfield Madison 41

Allen East 62, Riverdale 49

Defiance 49, Upper Sandusky 41

Celina 61, Van Wert 41

Napoleon 57, Bath 32

Wednesday

Miller City 43, Kalida 31

Perry 38, Temple Christian 27

Crestview 58, Continental 14

Lincolnview 46, Cory-Rawson 35

Parkway 50, Fort Jennings 49

LCC 53, Ada 30

Upper Scioto Valley 58, Fort Recovery 45

New Bremen 67, Ridgemont 50

Delphos Jefferson 56, Leipsic 39

Marion Local 60, Waynesfield-Goshen 23

New Riegel 79, Hardin Northern 58

Friday

Games ended after The Lima News deadline. Find scores, game stories, photos and more on LimaScores.com.

Lincolnview at Delphos St. John's, 7 p.m.

Crestview at Miller City, 7 p.m.

Delphos Jefferson at Pandora-Gilboa, 7 p.m.

Parkway at Ottoville, 7 p.m.

Holgate at Antwerp, 7 p.m.

New Knoxville at LCC, 7 p.m.

New Bremen at Upper Scioto Valley, 7 p.m.

Perry at St. Henry, 7 p.m.

Marion Local at St. Henry, 7 p.m.

Paulding at Evergreen, 7 p.m.

Van Buren at Ottawa-Glandorf, 7 p.m.

Liberty-Benton at Coldwater, 7 p.m.

Allen East at Spencerville, 7 p.m.

Columbus Grove at Wayne Trace, 7 p.m.

Defiance at Elida, 7 p.m.

Kenton at St. Marys, 7 p.m.

Celina at Shawnee, 7 p.m.

Lima Senior at Sandusky, 7 p.m.

Anthony Wayne at Wapakoneta, 7 p.m.