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Ottawa-Glandorf girls basketball advances to Division III state championship game with win over Portsmouth

Ottawa-Glandorf will play against Africentric for the Division III state championship on Saturday

DAYTON, Ohio - If defense wins championships, it would stand to reason that defense can also help you get to a championship game. 

And for two quarters on Thursday night in an OHSAA Division III state semifinal,  Ottawa-Glandorf girls basketball  played some of the most suffocating defense imaginable in 47-40 win over Portsmouth.

Portsmouth came into the game averaging nearly 60 points per game, but the Titans held the Trojans to just 13 in the first half on 25% shooting to take a 22-13 lead into the half and then led the game 29-17 through three quarters.

The defense was particularly stout in the second and third quarters, where the Trojans scored just four points in each period. In those two quarters combined, Portsmouth scored eight points and shot just 4-of-21 from the field.

"I think the girls just were locked in," Ottawa-Glandorf head coach Troy Yant said. "We were able to get some get our rotations down. We did have some confusion I think between myself and the assistant coaches on who was guarding who at different times but when we were all on the same page, it turned out pretty well. I just think the girls played a great game. defensively." 

Portsmouth went nearly the first seven minutes of the second quarter without a point before scoring four points in the final 1:03. It was a stretch that started towards the end of the first quarter, where the Trojans were scoreless for the final 2:05.

Good defense is nothing new for Ottawa-Glandorf, who allows just 33.3 points per game and had held four of their previous five postseason opponents to under 30 points.

Ottawa-Glandorf breaks a huddle after a timeout during their Division III state semifinal game against Portsmouth on March 14, 2024.

Ottawa-Glandorf breaks a huddle after a timeout during their Division III state semifinal game against Portsmouth on March 14, 2024.

Portsmouth got it going early in the fourth quarter when the Trojans opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer from Savannah Cantrell. After back-to-back baskets by Ottawa-Glandorf, a Daysha Reid layup, a 3-pointer by Hayven Carter and a layup by Keke Woods cut the Titans' lead to 33-27 with 5:33 left.

The Titans responded with layups from Karsyn Erford and Carlie Brinkman before Cantrell hit another 3-pointer with 4:11 remaining. A pair of free throws by Woods cut it to 37-32 with 2:49 left.

But the Titans scored five straight as Alivia Grothause got an offensive rebound and putback and then Katie Kaufman got a layup on a backdoor cut and Brinkman split a pair of free throws to make it 44-34.

Kaufman had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Titans and also added five blocks.

"Katie did an excellent job of getting those rebounds, getting the blocked shots, which we don't really talk about, but she likes them," Yant said. "She did a great job. She did what she needed to do."

The Titans were balanced on offense, as Grothause had 10 points, Brinkman scored nine, Efrod had eight and Kaitlyn Kimmet had seven.

"We kind of trust everyone and none of us are really selfish," Erford said. "We always look for the next pass. And I think that really helps out (because) the defense can't really shut down down one person because that won't take away our whole offense."

The Titans, who are now 26-2, will face defending Division III state champion Africentric for the state title on Saturday at 2:00 pm. 

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh