Ottoville (11-1, 5-0 PCL) established itself as the more dominant team early, using a steady dose of pressure and strong play in the paint to build an 11-0 advantage over Pandora cruising to a 50-32 win. Gina Beining led the charge inside, dropping 20 points in the win.
Contributor Brian Lester has more.
OTTOVILLE, Ohio – Ken Brooks could have been unhappy about watching his Pandora-Gilboa girls basketball team get drilled 52-30 by Ottoville Tuesday night in a pivotal Putnam County League showdown at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.
Yet, the veteran coach of the Rockets opted to take a glass half full outlook on a night when his team suffered its first PCL setback of the season against a Big Green team that was the Division IV state runner-up a year ago.
“We have a lot of basketball left. We will correct our mistakes and come back and get ready for our next game,” Brooks said. “Both of our losses (Liberty-Benton and Ottoville) are to very good programs, but we have beaten some good programs, too. We will learn from this loss and improve.”
The Big Green (11-1, 5-0 PCL) established itself as the more dominant team early, using a steady dose of pressure and strong play in the paint to build an 11-0 advantage.
A team quite capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc, Ottoville finished the game with only two treys. Gina Beining led the charge inside, dropping 20 points in the win.
“I felt like we needed to go inside more, and Gina did a good job of finishing for us,” Ottoville head coach Dave Kleman said. “We are always looking for ways to make our team more effective, and establishing a strong inside game is one way to do that.”
The Rockets (8-2, 3-1) did themselves no favors, though, by turning the ball over 27 times. Several of those miscues came in the fourth quarter when P-G cut its deficit to 38-26 with 6:30 left. The turnovers prevented the Rockets from pulling off a comeback victory.
P-G shot 13-of-33 from the field and Megan Gerdeman and Jessica Lehman each scored 8 points.
“We made the right decisions a lot of the time but we just made the wrong passes,” Brooks said. “If we convert some of those miscues into baskets it might be a different game. But the kids never quit. They played hard the entire game.”
Krystal Markward pumped in 12 points, including a 3-pointer that made the score 50-30 with 1:27 remaining. Her shot came after four consecutive layups by the Big Green, which pulled away for good in the final six minutes of play.
P-G simply didn't have the offense to respond when Ottoville flexed its offensive muscle.
“I didn't think we did that bad on defense but we needed to do a better job on offense,” Brooks said. “We hurried things too much. But hats off to Ottoville. They came to play with a lot of intensity.”
Ottoville won despite a quiet night for Brittany Pohlman. Pohlman finished with just 4 points as she spent most of the night in foul trouble.
Still, the senior guard with the silky-smooth ball-handling skills and sweet jumper, has the ability to have a big game on any given night.
Against the Rockets, she did the little things, such as making solid passes and playing hard on defense.
“The little things are important, too,” said Pohlman, a transfer from Delphos St. John's who will play a pivotal role in the Big Green's quest to return to state. “I just try to help out my team any way I can. Things are going well for me here and I'm just happy that we are winning.”
Her words aren't hollow. Just ask her coach
“Brittany was happy for her team. She was cheering on the bench and acted just has happy as if she scored 20,” Kleman said. “She is a very unselfish player.”