BOWLING GREEN – It was the old master, Doug Krauss of Archbold, versus the new buck, Josh Leslie of Ottawa-Glandorf, as the Blue Streaks and Titans squared off for the Division III regional championship in Bowling Green on Sunday. A standing room only crowd witnessed the Titans build a double-digit lead over the first two quarters and then essentially trade baskets with the Blue Streaks in the second half to register a 69-58 victory.
Archbold held the lead only one time all evening, 4-2, early in the first quarter. A 3-point basket by Ottawa-Glandorf gave them the lead for good, 5-4, at the five minute mark of the first quarter.
“No matter what we did defensively, whether it was man or zone, they still scored 34 points (in the first half),” Krauss said. “We're only giving up 47 a game.”
It was a total team effort that allowed the Titans to build their first half lead. Five different players scored for the Titans in the first half with no one scoring more than 8 (Justin Schomaeker, Jake Meyer) or less than 5. These five players shot a sizzling 60-percent (12-for-20).
Turnovers hurt the Blue Streaks badly. Although they did not shoot the ball as well as the Titans they did shoot a respectable 43-percent (9-for-21) but seemingly every time they began to make a run at Ottawa-Glandorf they would commit a turnover.
In the second half Archbold struggled mightily to get themselves back into the contest but they could get no closer than 4 points late in the third quarter, 41-37. The Titans, however, recovered quickly to maintain their victory.
“I thought we started to get a little tentative, back on our heels a little bit in the third quarter,” Titan senior Luke Bellman said. “We started slowing down and didn't attack as much as we wanted to.”
The losing Blue Streaks, who finish the season at 20-5, were led in scoring by senior Gene Goering with 19 points, while Tyler Smith and Justin Rupp added 11 each.
Jake Meyer and Justin Schomaeker shared scoring honors for the Titans with 20 each.
Ottawa-Glandorf moves on to face Anna (25-1) in the state semi-finals on Friday afternoon at 2 pm. The game will be played at the Value City Arena on the campus of Ohio State.