Ottoville’s Koch steps up game; leads young Big Green squad

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Ottoville Basketball
Andrew Koch went into the high school basketball season as one of the few Ottoville players with varsity experience. In fact, the junior was the lone returning starter for the Big Green,
who entered the year fresh off its second consecutive Putnam County
League championship. There will be no PCL championship for Ottoville this year, but one
thing is for certain, Koch has played like the veteran that he is.


OTTOVILLE – Andrew Koch went into the high school basketball season as one of the few Ottoville players with varsity experience.

In fact, the junior was the lone returning starter for the Big Green, who entered the year fresh off its second consecutive Putnam County League championship.

There will be no PCL championship for Ottoville this year, but one thing is for certain, Koch has played like the veteran that he is.

Just last Tuesday, with his team in dire need of a victory after a tough string of close losses, Koch lit up rival Fort Jennings for 18 points in the Big Green's 52-49 win.

“Andrew is our only starter back and he has really stepped up this year,” Ottoville head coach Tom Von Sossan said. “He plays hard and has improved throughout the season. The big thing is that he gives us a huge lift on both ends of the floor.”

Koch is pleased with what he has been able to do for his team this year, yet he isn't going to take all of the credit for his success.

“My teammates do a great job of getting me the ball,” said Koch, who delivered another double-digit effort Friday as he scored a team-high 10 points in a 47-41 victory over Continental. “I am able to take advantage of those opportunities and I just want to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Koch is a dangerous threat from beyond the arc. Against Fort Jennings, he buried three treys. In a gut-wrenching 52-49 loss to Kalida on Jan. 25, Koch nailed five treys on a night when he scored 18.

“It's been tough losing close games like that, but I thought we did a good job against Fort Jennings,” Koch said. “We played together as a team and that is what matters the most.”

Koch has clearly accepted his role as a leader for Ottoville, although he notes it has taken time to do that after losing star center Jason Wehri to graduation. Wehri now plays for NCAA Division II powerhouse University of Findlay.

“It's hard when you lose a guy like Jason,” Koch said. “It hasn't been easy to adjust but as the season as gone along, I feel like the team has made improvements. We just know now that one guy can't lead us. We need everyone to step up to be successful.”

The fact that Koch is only a junior is bad news for opponents, who will have to worry about dealing with him for one more season.

But the present is all that matters to Koch at the moment. He is determined to do whatever he can to help Ottoville finish out the regular season on a strong note and perhaps make a little noise in the postseason.

“We don't have many games left and we want to go out and make the most of them,” Koch said. “We feel like we can build some momentum before the end of the year and hopefully make a run in the tournament. That would be great after everything we've had to deal with this year.”

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