DAYTON – The comebacks that Ottawa-Glandorf made in their 53-48 victory over Columbus Africentric in a semifinal for boys in Division III in the basketball state on Friday at the University of Dayton Arena depend on many things.
Talent. Toughness. Believe. A deep grid, a deep bench and more.
And it really helps to have a player like Colin White on his side. 6-4 the second time (31 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists) was OG’s answer to Africentric’s 6-8 junior Dailyn Swain (32 points, 13 rebounds, 7 thefts) in a dazzling individual duel in the main drama.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s win put the Titans (25-2) into the Division III state championship game against Cincinnati Taft (18-8) at 10:45 on Sunday. The Senators beat Cleveland Lutheran East 56-43 in Friday’s second Division III semifinal.
After leading most of the first 10 minutes of the match, OG ended up with 21-14 at the break and 27-16 with 6:41 to play in the third quarter.
“For these guys to fight back, it just says a lot about the character of the guys we have. They keep fighting, they keep grinding. They’ve different guys on different nights. That’s what makes these guys special,” Ottawa said. -Glandorf coach Tyson McGlaughlin.
“Africentric is very, very good in defense. Their length and athleticism gave us some problems there. I think we got a little shy in the second quarter and were 1 out of 10 on field goals. We talked and just regrouped at halftime.
“We just knew we could not dig a bigger hole. We hit a couple of shots and got some speed,” he says. “It takes a team to compete at this level, but you have to have that guy you can say, ‘Hey, go out and get us a bucket,’ and Colin’s that guy. Colin was Colin throughout the match, he said.
White scored 10 of Ottawa-Glandorf’s 14 points in the first half and 21 of his 39 points in the second half. Caleb Kuhlman, who scored 10 points, scored eight of them in the final 6 minutes.
“We simply did not play like ourselves. We told each other to play as we have done all year and we stuck to it,” said Kuhlman.
White said the message the Titans received at halftime was “just to attack and be aggressive.
“That’s what you have to do against a team like that. You can not be intimidated. You have to keep attacking. They blocked a couple of shots in the second quarter and we became a little shy. But in the third and fourth quarters we were super aggressive and we came to the rim. , and I felt that our aggression paid off, he said.
Once Ottawa-Glandorf took the lead, Africentric could not get it back during the final 5:51 of the match.
The go-ahead result, on a follow-up to his own missed free throw by White, giving the Titans a 38-37 lead, illustrated the aggressiveness of OG’s players and McGlaughlin talked about.
The Titans scored the first 12 points in the fourth quarter to go from 37-31 to take their biggest lead of the game at 43-37 on a shirt by Kuhlman with 4:51 to play.
Africentric came within a point, 44-43, with 2:42 to play on a dunk by Swain. But it was as close as the Nubians could get. OG scored his last nine points on a bucket by Eli Schmenk and seven free throws.
“I thought we fought hard, I thought we played hard, I thought we had a good game plan,” said Africentric coach Michael Bates.
– Things happened during the second half. We talked about it at half time that there were some setbacks we would face in the second half. We knew it would come, we just did not know it would come so hard. ”
Number 1 on Bates’ unexpected setback was to lose guard Josiah Smith to a knee injury on a breakaway two minutes into the second half.
“It challenged our bench and our depth in the second half. We had some tired players on the stretch. We had our chances but we could not take advantage of them. In every match there will be 50-50 balls and gigs and calls and we got them not, he said.
“There are some things that simply did not go our way. I did not want to be fined,” he said, using familiar code words for coaches to complain about the referee without specifically mentioning the referee. “There were some things I thought should have been called who did not become called and there were some things that I did not think should have been called and some of those things may have affected the speed of the game. “
Africentric was 0 of 11 on 3-points in the match. Its number 2 goal scorer for the season, Dan Wagner, was 1 out of 12 on field goals, and its number 3 goal scorer, Preston Steele, was 2 out of 10.
“Both teams were good defensively, both teams pressed the ball to the edges. Both teams pressed the ball and got in your face a bit,” said Bates. Swain was 13 of 18 on field goals and the rest of the Nubians were 7 for 36.
Ottawa-Glandorf was 0 for 6 against threes in the first half but hit four of them in the second half – two by White and one each by Kuhlman and Carson Fuka.
Fuka’s 3-pointer was OG’s first in the match and came 22 seconds after Africentric had pushed their lead to 11 points. Whites came in less than two minutes in the third quarter and Kuhlman’s third got the Titans within one point, 37-36, with 6 minutes left to play.
This will be Ottawa-Glandorf’s fifth appearance in a state boys’ basketball championship. It won the state championships in 2004, 2008 and 2013. It was second in the state in 1996 and state semifinalist in 1977, 1978, 2012 and last season.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Caleb Kuhlman goes to the floor for a loose ball against Columbus Africentric’s Dan Wagner during a Friday Division III semifinal at the University of Dayton Arena. See more game photos at 4C and LimaScores.com.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Eli Schmenk poses for a shot against Columbus Africentric’s Preston Steele during a Friday Division III state semifinal at the University of Dayton Arena.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s Colin White fired a shot at Columbus Africentric’s Dailyn Swain during a Friday Division III state semifinal at the University of Dayton Arena.
Titans to face Cincinnati Taft