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MCOMB — Leipsic’s bus may have pulled up in front of McComb High School right on time. But the Vikings’ girls varsity basketball team showed up a bit late.
Leipsic scored just six points in the second quarter and trailed McComb 22-15 at the half of Thursday’s Blanchard Valley Conference matchup. It was a whole different team that sprinted out the halftime locker room, however, a team that poured in 28 points in the third quarter, dominated the second half and came away with a 58-41 victory in the final league game of the season.
Amber Gerdeman and Haley Gerten scored 19 points each and Shaylynn Morman added 11 as Leipsic improved to 17-3 overall, 8-1 in the league and finished second in the final BVC standings. Gerten was 9-for-10 from the line and Gerdeman pulled down 11 rebounds to complete her double-double.
Emily Clymer scored 11 points and Brenna Dee 10 for McComb (11-9, 4-5 BVC).

LEIPSIC (17-3, 8-1 BVC)
H. Kreinbrink 1-0–3, Morman 3-4–11, Gerdeman 8-3–19, Nadler 2-0–4, Gerten 4-9–19, Steffan 0-0–0, N. Kreinbrink 0-0–0 TOTALS: 18-55 18-22–58.
mCcOMB (11-9, 4-5 BVC)
Hemminger 1-2–4, Dee 4-0–10, Hammond 1-0–2, Clymer 5-1–11, Herr 2-3–8, Riegel 3-0–6, Buck 0-0–0. TOTALS: 16-50 6-11–41.
Leipsic 9 6 28 15 – 58
McComb 17 5 11 8 – 41
3-Point GOALS: Leipsic 4-13 (H. Kreinbrink, Morman, Gerten 2); McComb 3-15 (Dee 2, Herr).
REBOUNDS: Leipsic 27 (Gerdeman 11, Nadler 6); McComb 2 (Clymer 6, Dee 6, Herr 6).

ARCADIA — Courtney Cramer scored 19 points and Molly Glick added 17 Thursday night as Arcadia rolled over Vanlue 56-26 in Blanchard Valley Conference play.
Glick also made five steals and Cramer racked up three assists to help the Redskins improve to 14-4 overall and 7-2 in conference play.
Arcadia held Vanlue (4-16, 0-9) below 10 points in every quarter and took a 36-12 lead into halftime.
At the offensive end, the Redskins shot 47 percent (23 for 48) while committing only seven turnovers.
Rebecca Kirian collected a team-high seven rebounds for the Redskins.
Jackie Kloepfer led the Wildcats with eight points and seven rebounds.
Vanlue (4-16, 0-9 BVC)
Wagner 0-0–0, H. Gerschutz 0-0–0, Kromer 2-0–4, Bonham 3-1–7, Hartman 0-0–0, C. Gerschutz 1-0–2, Clymer 2-0–5, Kloepfer 4-0–8. TOTALS: 12-37 1-5–26.
arcadia (14-4, 7-2 BVC)
M. Mock 0-0–0, Kieffer 0-0–0, Pina 1-0–2, Ball 0-0–0, Glick 7-3–17, Courtney Cramer 8-3–19, Dauterman 3-3–9, Coward 1-1–3, A. Mock 1-0–2, Ward 1-0–2, Ware 1-0–2, Kirian 0-0–0. TOTALS: 23-48 10-15–56.
Vanlue 6 6 9 5 – 26
Arcadia 14 22 12 8 – 56
3-Point GOALS: Vanlue 1-5 (Clymer); Arcadia 0-3.
REBOUNDS: Vanlue 23 (Kloepfer 7), Arcadia 21 (Kirian 7).
TURNOVERS: Vanlue 26; Arcadia 7.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Arcadia, 37-6.

PANDORA — Megan Maag tossed in 18 points to power Pandora-Gilboa past Cory-Rawson 50-32 in a BVC play.
Anna Abelovska and Hunter Hermiller also reached double figures as both netted 10 points for the Rockets (11-8, 5-4 BVC).
Kiley Scott led the Hornets (6-12, 1-7) with 16 points. Megan Ritter just missed a double-double as she netted nine points with nine rebounds.

CORY-RAWSON (6-12, 1-7 BVC)
Shoemaker 0-0–0, Scott 6-3–16, M. Burkholder 0-1–1, VonStein 2-0–4, Ritter 3-3–9, Tuttle 1-0–2, Rettig 0-0–0, C. Burkholder 0-0–0, Galvan 0-0″”0, Biery 0-0–0, Holland 0-0–0. TOTALS: 12-36 7-20–32.
B. Hovest 0-0-0, McCullough 3-0–7, Hermiller 3-3–10, Dorn 0-0-0, O. Maag 1-0–3, Bri. Hovest 1-0-2, M. Maag 8-2–18, Swary 0-0-0, Watkins 0-0–0, Basinger 0-0–0, Abelovska 5-0–10, Macke 0-0–0. TOTALS: 21 5-10–50.
Pandora-Gilboa 12 15 13 10 – 50
Cory-Rawson 6 9 10 7 – 32
3-Point GOALS: Pandora-Gilboa 3 (McCullough, Hermiller & O. Maag); Cory-Rawson 1 (Scott 1).
rebounds: Cory-Rawson 25 (Ritter 9).
turnovers: Cory-Rawson 13.
VAN BUREN — Van Buren trailed Hardin Northern 32-31 after three quarters, but a 22-14 fourth-quarter advantage helped the Black Knights win 53-46 in a Blanchard Valley Conference girls basketball game Thursday.
Paige Sudlow scored 14 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Van Buren (4-15, 3-6 BVC), which had a 21-10 advantage at the free-throw line.
Holly Wilson and Kylee Hooker scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, for Hardin Northern (2-15, 1-7 BVC).

hardin northern (2-15, 1-7 BVC)
Campbell 0-1–1, Curtis 3-0–6, Watts 3-2–8, Madison 3-0–6, Wilson 5-3–13, Hooker 4-4–12. TOTALS: 18-49 10-14–46.
van buren (4-15, 3-6 BVC)
Wise 4-5–13, Endicott 1-0–2, Wymer 1-2–4, Lasley 2-4–9, Sturgill 3-0–6, Hassan 0-4–4, Sudlow 4-5–14, Edler 0-1–1, Cooper 0-0–0, Miller 0-0–0. TOTALS: 15-54 21-32–53.
Hardin Northern 8 16 8 14 – 46
Van Buren 16 11 4 22 – 53
3-Point GOALS: Hardin Northern 0; Van Buren 2 (Lasley & Sudlow 1).
rebounds: Hardin Northern 16 (Wilson 5); Van Buren 26 (Sudlow 8).
turnovers: Hardin Northern 17, Van Buren 10.
junior varsity: Van Buren, 31-19.

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BUCYRUS — Jimmy Fox dropped 29 points, Lee Holderman added 18, and Riverdale outscored Wynford 31-18 in the fourth quarter to pull away with a 76-61 North Central Conference win on Thursday.
The Falcons (7-10, 4-6 NCC) shot 28 of 53 (53 percent) from the floor, including 10 of 20 (50 percent) from three-point range.
Mason Davis and Jake Glowaski each scored 24 points to lead Wynford (4-12, 2-8 NCC). Glowaski also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

riverdale (7-10, 4-6 NCC)
Rickle 1-0–2, Pever 3-0–9, Holderman 6-3–18, Snider 1-0–2, Fox 10-5–29, Frey 4-2–10, Loveridge 3-0–6, Pickett 0-0–0, Stewart 0-0–0. TOTALS: 28-53 10-14–76.
wynford (4-12, 2-8 ncc)
Roe 1-1–3, Miller 1-0–2, Pfeiffer 1-0–3, Shutler 1-1–3, Davis 9-4–24, Glowaski 11-2–24, Lear 1-0–2, Teynor 0-0–0, Styles 0-0–0. TOTALS: 25-54 8-15–61.
Riverdale 12 15 18 31 – 76
Wynford 15 16 12 18 – 61
3-Point GOALS: Riverdale 10-20 (Fox 4, Pever & Holderman 3); Wynford 3 (Davis 2, Pfeiffer 1).
rebounds: Riverdale 23 (Loveridge 7); Wynford 26 (Glowaski 7).
turnovers: Riverdale 8, Wynford 14.

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Jake Heagen was ready to make a big play and capitalized on the opportunity as he took the in-bounds pass and threw down a dunk early in the first half.
It was the first basket of the night for the University of Findlay junior forward, energizing himself and the crowd of 715, and the start of an impressive performance.
Heagen went on to carve up Ohio Dominican for a career-high 28 points and the Oilers rolled to another big win at home, trouncing the Panthers 91-71 Thursday night at Croy Gymnasium.
How good was Heagen?
He didn’t miss on five shots from beyond the arc and was 10-of-12 overall from the field.
Add in four rebounds, three assists and no turnovers to the stat line and what you have is a stellar effort that helped UF win its third consecutive game and keep pace in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship race.
“It was a real big game and I was fortunate to play well,” Heagen said. “When you play hard, good things happen. I hit some shots and put in a lot of hard work. The most important thing is we were successful as a team.”
Heagen’s dunk put the Oilers (16-4, 12-4 GLIAC) in front 10-7. Moments later, he knocked down a 3-pointer for a 15-10 advantage.
He hit two more treys in the opening half, the last giving the Oilers a 41-26 lead with 4:20 to go. UF went into halftime with a 47-32 lead.
“The dunk got me going and then the three’s started going in,” Heagen said. “When shots fall, you get into a rhythm. My teammates found me open and I made plays.”
Heagen is a tough matchup for opponents because of his slashing ability, but he is often given center stage for because of the emphasis opponents have to put on senior preseason All-American forward Greg Kahlig.
On this night, Kahlig still went off, torching the Panthers for 28 points. He hit back-to-back treys to open the game for a 6-0 lead and also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists. He now has 1,585 points and is 11th on the all-time scoring list.
“Teams fumble around with those matchups every game,” UF head coach Charlie Ernst said. “They have to decide who to put on Jake and who to put on Greg. They are two different players. When Jake shoots that well from the 3-point line, he is really tough to stop.”
The Oilers were 8 of 19 from beyond the arc and shot 57.1 percent (36 of 63) overall from the field. And while the Oilers are a dangerous team from the outside, Ernst wanted his team to scale back on the 3-point attempts in the second half.
“We relied on the 3-point shot too much in the first half, and that is when you get in trouble as a team. The 3-point line can be a fickle friend,” Ernst said. “We have to be balanced as an offense, score off the dribble, get to the line, find different ways to score. We are at our best when we do that.”
The Panthers (5-15, 3-13) tried to hang around and closed the gap to 55-44 when Reece Dils nailed a trey with 15:56 to play.
Heagen responded with a trey of his own before scoring on a strong drive to the basket. Back-to-back layups by John Staley stretched the UF advantage to 65-46 with 11:48 remaining.
ODU shot 41.9 percent (26-of-62) from the field and went 13 of 24 from the line. Jesse Ward led the way as he hit five treys and scored 17 points.
“We didn’t defend the 3-point line very well,” Ernst said. “It’s something we need to address. The last two teams have combined to go 24 of 44 from the 3-point line against us. That isn’t going to get it done.”
Still, any win in the rugged GLIAC is a good win, especially at home at a point in the season where the league title race is heating up. UF entered the night a half game behind Walsh for first place in the South Division.
“All in all, it was a good win,” Ernst said. “Ohio Dominican is playing better. The played hard and it’s tough to beat a team by 20 twice in the same season. I’m happy about that.”
Ernst is also pleased with the effort by his bench, which produced 24 points.
Quaran Jones led the way as he scored a career-high 12 points and grabbed three rebounds. He also tallied a steal in 14 minutes of work.
Jones said he’s put in a lot of time to improve his game. It showed against the Panthers.
“I do what I can with the minutes I get and play my hardest,” Jones said. “I give a lot of credit to coach (Dan) Shardo because he’s worked a lot with me and has critiqued my game to make me a better player.”
UF has only two regular-season home games remaining, the first coming on Saturday in a 3 p.m. game against rival Tiffin (8-12, 4-11).
The Oilers have all the motivation they need for this game as the Dragons earned a stunning 57-55 win at Croy last season.
The loss cut deep as it cost the Oilers home-court advantage in the GLIAC tournament.
Ernst reminded his players twice about the loss Thursday and his players took the words to heart.
“Everyone is going to give you their best shot, and we have a big game against Tiffin,” Heagen said. “We know they will play tough. We have to be ready to step up to the challenge.”

Weaver 2-4 2-2 7, Dils 2-6 0-0 6, Carr 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 5-13 2-2 13, Ward 6-10 0-0 17, Dominique 0-0 0-0 0, Decker 1-1 0-0 3, Stennis 3-8 0-0 9, Minch 4-12 2-2 10, Leach 1-3 0-0 2, Kellum 2-5 0-0 4, Cowgill 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 26-62 6-6 –71.
FINDLAY (16-4, 12-4 GLIAC)
Heagen 10-12 3-4 28, Kahlig 10-17 6-7 28, Frilling 2-4 0-0 4, Baity 2-5 0-0 4, Kaufman 1-4 0-0 3, Gardner 1-2 0-0 2, Smith 1-1 …read more

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Toledo Central Catholic jumped out to a 19-8 first-quarter lead over Findlay and cruised to a 61-38 win Thursday in a Three Rivers Athletic Conference girls basketball game.
Alex Matus poured in a game-high 16 points, including four 3-pointers, to lead Toledo Central Catholic (12-6, 6-5 TRAC).
Demi Russell and Alissa Galernik also scored in double figures for the Irish, with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Sarah Thomas scored 14 points to lead Findlay (2-17, 2-10 TRAC).

toledo central cath. (12-6, 5-6 TRAC)
L. Matus 1-4–6, McClendon 1-0–2, A. Matus 5-2–16, Galernik 6-0–12, Morgan 2-2–7, Russell 6-2–14, Simon 1-2–4. TOTALS: 22 12-12–61.
findlay (2-17, 2-10 TRAC)
Swisher 1-0–3, Blatnik 1-0–2, Bendt 0-1–1, Smarkel 3-1–8, Hardesty 2-3–8, Thomas 5-2–14, Vielhaber 0-2–2. TOTALS: 12 9-12–38.
Toledo Central Catholic 19 11 17 14 – 61
Findlay 8 9 11 10 – 38
3-Point GOALS: Toledo Central Catholic 5 (A. Matus 4, Morgan 1); Findlay 5 (Thomas 2, Swisher, Smarkel & Hardesty 1).
junior varsity: Toledo Central Catholic, 40-35.
SHELBY — Upper Sandusky jumped out to a 35-22 halftime lead over Shelby, but the Rams only mustered 11 points in the second half and lost 65-46 in a nonconference girls basketball game Thursday.
Four players scored in double figures for Shelby (8-9), including Taylor Fulton (14 points), Jessica Miller (13), Kenna Goth (11) and Jackie Garett (10).
Taylor Graboski dropped a game-high 25 points for Upper Sandusky (9-9), but was just 1 of 9 (11 percent) from the foul line as the Rams shot 6 of 16 (38 percent) for the game.

upper sandusky (9-9)
Holly 0-3–3, Smith 3-0–6, Johnson 3-0–6, Cary 2-2–6, Graboski 12-1–25, Calvin 0-0–0, Cox 0-0–0, Stover 0-0–0. TOTALS: 20 6-16–46.
shelby (8-9)
Stephens 3-2–9, Miller 3-7–13, Goth 4-2–11, Fulton 5-4–14, Garett 4-2–10, Evans 4-0–8, Alfrey 0-0–0, Wagers 0-0–0, Fidler 0-0–0. TOTALS: 23 17-23–65.
Upper Sandusky 18 17 7 4 – 46
Shelby 6 16 22 21 – 65
3-Point GOALS: Upper Sandusky none; Shelby 2 (Stephens & Goth 1).
junior varsity: Shelby, 41-28.

BLUFFTON — Bluffton outscored Columbus Grove 29-20 in the second half to come away with a 45-39 Northwest Conference win in girls basketball action Thursday.
Paige Buroker was the only player to score in double figures (10) for the Pirates (11-7, 5-2 NWC). Sarah Schriner and Andie Schmutz each added nine points for Bluffton.
Sammi Stechschulte scored a game-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers and eight in the fourth quarter, for Columbus Grove (12-7, 4-3 NWC).

columbus grove (12-7, 4-3 NWC)
Schumacher 1-3–5, Stechschulte 5-0–13, Wynn 1-0–2, McCluer 1-3–6, Clement 0-4–4, Yinger 3-0–6, Diller 1-1–3, Hoffman 0-0–0. TOTALS: 12 11-23–39.
bluffton (11-7, 5-2 nwc)
Schriner 3-3–9, Hunt 1-0–3, Buroker 3-4–10, Fruchey 1-1–4, Schmutz 3-3–9, Parkins 1-4–6, Prichard 2-0–4, A. Baker 0-0–0, Joseph 0-0–0. TOTALS: 14 15-23–45.
Columbus Grove 7 12 7 13 – 39
Bluffton 9 7 12 17 – 45
3-Point GOALS: Columbus Grove 4 (Stechschulte 3, McCluer); Bluffton 2 (Hunt & Fruchey).
ADA 49
ADA — Ada blitzed Lincolnview 16-2 in the third quarter to turn a battle into a blowout, beating the Lancers 49-25 in a Northwest Conference girls basketball game on Thursday.
Alexis Amburgey scored 13 points and Lindsay Walden, Haley Wyss and Tori Wyss added seven each for Ada (8-10, 3-4 NWC).
Ashton Bowersock and Julia Thatcher led Lincolnview (7-12, 2-5 NWC) with eight points each.

lincolnview (7-12, 2-5 nwc)
Bowersock 4-0–8, Thatcher 3-0–8, Gorman 1-0–2, McCleery 1-0–2, Stemen 1-3–5. TOTALS: 10 3–25.
ada (8-10, 3-4 nwc)
Marshall 2-0–4, Amburgey 5-1–13, Archer 2-0–4, Faine 2-2–6, Wildman 0-1–1, Walden 3-1–7, H. Wyss 2-2–7, T. Wyss 3-1–7. TOTALS: 19 9–49.
Lincolnview 7 12 2 11 – 25
Ada 5 17 16 11 – 49
3-Point GOALS: Lincolnview 2 (Thatcher 2); Ada 4 (Amburgey, Faine 2, H. Wyss).
ELIDA — Ottawa-Glandorf’s girls basketball team extended its’ winning streak to 12 games with a 58-36 win over Elida in a Western Buckeye League matchup Thursday.
The Titans improve to 16-2 overall and 7-1 in the WBL. Elida falls to 7-10 and 4-4 in the WBL.
No individual statistics from the game were available.

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BLOOMDALE — Some nights it isn’t pretty and Elmwood coach Doug Reynolds knows that.

The Royals turned the ball over 18 times, were 5 of 12 from the free-throw line, got outrebounded 34-24 and struggled to put away Eastwood after building a 20-point lead less than halfway through the fourth quarter.

All those things are moot, though, if you win the game and Elmwood did just that by a 53-41 margin Thursday night to earn its second consecutive Northern Buckeye Conference championship.

“Bottom line is you win and some nights are ugly but we got a win,” Reynolds said. “They play hard. Back-to-back championships, that’s a big feat. Nobody thought we would be the one. We thought we could be right there.

“I thought Eastwood really battled. They played hard. We were not aggressive on the boards. We needed to be more aggressive. We had a 20-point lead and then we stopped. We let them get some drives. I was not happy with our defense. We cannot let them drive the middle. Good teams do not let you get into the middle of the key and we let them do that.”

The Royals’ victory assured them of at least a share of the conference title, but they needed some help to win it outright on Thursday night and they got it when Rossford edged Genoa 62-61.

Elmwood improved to 14-5 overall and 11-1 in the NBC with two league games left on the schedule. Rossford and Genoa are tied in second place with 8-4 league records.

Both teams got off to a slow start and Elmwood held a slim 7-5 advantage at the end of the first quarter after the teams combined to shoot 20 percent (5 of 25) and turned the ball over 11 times.

The Royals took control in the second quarter on the back of Kristen Curtis, who dumped in 11 of her game-high 20 points in the period, and outscored the Eagles 19-7 to make it 26-12 at halftime.

“We were cold,” Reynolds said. “First quarter, we missed a lot of shots. We’re struggling getting started the last few games out of the gate. We’re struggling on that. We need to get a quicker start.”

The teams played even through the third quarter and the Royals led 38-24 entering the fourth, but increased that margin to 48-28 less than three minutes into the final period thanks to baskets by Curtis, Courtney Emmitt and Samantha Ervin.

Eastwood (2-16, 1-13) refused to go away, though, and answered with a 7-0 run fueled by Mackenzie Albright and Emily Hayward to cut the deficit to 48-35 with less than three minutes to play.

Aubrey Peters was able to get it to 49-37 after a pair of free throws with 1:56 left, but that was as close as the Eagles would get the rest of the way.

“Our main goal tonight was to play all four quarters,” Eastwood coach Lindsay Ross said. “We’ve been struggling with that. They’ve been giving us the first half or just the second half and tonight we finally put it together with all four quarters. I’m very, very proud of them. They never gave up so that was our biggest thing tonight. Last game we played Elmwood it was 70-32 so tonight in itself is a victory for us.”

Ervin finished with 17 points, while Curtis and Madison Sears each grabbed six rebounds for the Royals.
Albright and Reagan Boice each scored a team-high 12 points for the Eagles, while Peters snatched 16 boards and Hayward added 13 rebounds.

Despite clinching a league title with the win, Reynolds said his team is not satisfied with that because there are still games left to be played. When the season comes to an end, he said they will be able to look back and reflect on how special the season has been.

“They fight,” he said. “We don’t usually blow anybody out, but we put ourself in a place where we can win.

You take a look, you’re 14-5, we are 11-1 in the league, I mean that is fantastic. But we said we’re not going to celebrate until the season is over. Then we can look back because that’s how you’ve got to drive yourself to get yourself ready for tournament. The kids know the things that they didn’t do. It’s still a win.”

EASTWOOD (2-16, 1-13 NBC)
Ameling 1-0–3, Albright 4-4–12, Boice 4-4–12, Jennings 2-0–4, Peters 0-2–2, Hayward 3-2–8. TOTALS: 14-55 12-16–41.

ELMWOOD (14-5, 11-1 NBC)
Sears 0-0–0, Hillard 1-0–2, Curtis 8-1–20, Veryser 1-1–3, Swavel 1-1–3, Harvey 0-0–0, Emmitt 3-1–8, George 0-0–0, Ervin 8-1–17, Kynard 0-0–0. TOTALS: 22-47 5-12–53.

Eastwood 5 7 12 17 — 41
Elmwood 7 19 12 15 — 53
3-POINT GOALS: Eastwood 1-15 (Ameling); Elmwood 4-15 (Curtis 3, Emmitt).
REBOUNDS: Eastwood 34 (Peters 16); Elmwood 24 (Sears & Curtis 6).
TURNOVERS: Eastwood 20; Elmwood 18.

Williams, 419-427-8407
Send an E-mail to andrewwilliams

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In staff meetings and practices this week, Liberty-Benton girls basketball coach Nate Irwin tried to figure out how Arlington would attack his team.

“We went back and fourth on what we thought he would try to do to us, the things he could do to try and exploit some of our weaknesses,” Irwin said of Arlington coach Seth Newlove. “The way they came out in the first half was not in my top three or four, I’ll be honest. It didn’t cross my mind.”

Arlington played the first half in a stall offense, taking just three shots. Three Liberty-Benton baskets early in the third quarter broke things open, and the Eagles stretched an 8-4 halftime lead into a 35-10 victory to wrap up an outright Blanchard Valley Conference championship.

The Eagles (17-1), ranked sixth in the latest Associated Press Division III poll, completed a perfect 9-0 run through the BVC and stretched their win streak to 17 games.

Arlington fell to 12-6, 6-3 BVC.

“It was a unique strategy, it kept it close for a half, but in the third quarter we hit some shots to extend our lead and forced them to come out and guard us a little more,” Irwin said.

Newlove’s idea was to keep the game within a basket or two heading into the late going.

“I think the strategy in the first half worked great,” he said. “If you tell me we’re only down four points at halftime, whether it’s 35-31 or 8-4, I could care less about that. I wanted to be up or down five points going into the fourth quarter.

“I was happy down 8-4 at half. That’s where we wanted it. The girls believed in the strategy, I believed in it and a bad start to the third quarter made us have to play. And you saw what happened.”

Rachel Myers opened the third quarter with a pair of layups for L-B. Carrie Reynolds knocked down a 3-pointer moments later, and the Eagles led 15-4 midway through the third quarter.

“It was a different pace for us, we didn’t get to go out and play a real basketball game,” Reynolds said. “But we adjusted to it, and everything worked out.”

Irwin credited his players for keeping their composure when possessions were at a premium.

“You’re all amped up, and you come out and you stand,” he said. “Our girls hit baskets, and there’s a little more pressure on them when it’s 8-4. Our girls didn’t panic, didn’t get rattled and I was extremely proud of our effort.”

Reynolds, who finished with 10 points, hit a 3-pointer at the third quarter buzzer and Myers, who had a game-high 16 points, started the fourth quarter with a midrange jumper. That put the Eagles up 25-8.

“If you give Rachel that many opportunities, she’s going to hurt you,” Newlove said. “That’s a girl that has spent hours and hours in the gym, and she deserves all the awards she’s going to get. She has made herself one of the best basketball players our league has ever had.”

Liberty-Benton got contributions from its other seniors as well. Reynolds went 3 of 4 from the floor and hit both of her 3-point attempts, and 5-foot-7 Kayla Trevino held her own in the post when Lauren Kotey spent extended periods on the bench with foul trouble.

“You’d think when we got Kotey in foul trouble we could do some things inside,” Newlove said. “They cover up really well and don’t give you a lot of places to shoot it. When we did shoot it, we struggled. We missed some easy shots in the third quarter.”

“Kayla was definitely our defensive MVP tonight,” Irwin said. “They attacked right at Lauren and got her in foul trouble, and they continued to attack at Kayla. She played some huge minutes for us. Things could have gotten interesting if she wasn’t able to defend in the post.”

The league title is a special one for L-B’s three seniors.

“It was our first goal on the list for our senior year, as far as team goals go,” Trevino said. “Step one is complete, so we need to go on from here.”

“To be 9-0, in our senior year, feels great,” Reynolds said. “It’s a great accomplishment.”

“It’s awesome to win the win the league, but to go 9-0 is even more of an accomplishment,” Myers said. “It feels even better.”

Sierra Nichols hit her first two field-goal attempts early in the game and led Arlington with five points.

The Red Devils made just 1 of 16 shots after taking a 4-2 lead late in the first quarter. Whitney Dodds had a team-best four rebounds.

Nicolette DeVincentis had seven points for L-B, and Jensen Hiegel grabbed a game-high five rebounds.

ARLINGTON (12-6, 6-3 BVC)
H. Johnson 0-1–1, Heaster 0-2–2, Dodds 0-0–0, Mains 1-0–2, Dillon 0-0–0, Nichols 2-1–5, M. Johnson 0-1–1, Schmehl 0-0–0, McMath 0-0–0, Webb 0-0–0, Alexander 0-0–0. TOTALS: 3-18 4-10–10.

Kotey 0-0–0, Myers 6-3–16, Hiegel 0-2–2, DeVincentis 2-2–7, Reynolds 3-2–10, Trevino 0-0–0.

TOTALS: 11-24 9-11–35.
Arlington 4 0 4 2 — 10
Liberty-Benton 5 3 14 13 — 35

3-POINT GOALS: Arlington 0-6, Liberty-Benton 4-9 (Reynolds 2, Myers, DeVincentis).
REBOUNDS: Arlington 13 (Dodds 4), Liberty-Benton 18 (Hiegel 5).
TURNOVERS: Arlington 9, Liberty-Benton 5.
JUNIOR VARSITY: Arlington, 21-13.

Radick, 419-427-8405,
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SYLVANIA — Toledo St. John’s and Sylvania Northview were seeded first and second and Toledo St. Francis, Bowling Green and Findlay followed soon after as the five teams that make up the Northwest Hockey Conference’s Red Divison, a group that has a combined 54 Final Four appearances and 10 state titles, headed up the pairings for the Northwest District hockey tournament beginning Feb. 13 at Tam-O-Shanter Arena.
Toledo St. John’s, Ohio’s No. 1-ranked prep team, was seeded first at Thursday’s tournament draw and took a first-round bye. Second-seeded Northview also passed on a first-round game.
Findlay, the No. 5 seed, will face Fremont in a 6 p.m. opener on Feb. 14 at Tam-O-Shanter. A win would send the Trojans (13-11-4) against either Springfield or No. 4-seeded Toledo St. Francis in a second-round game on Feb. 18.
The district semifinals will be held Feb. 21 and 22 and the district final on March 1. The district champion will advance to the state tournament March 7-8 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.

District Hockey Tournament
Sylvania Southview vs. Toledo Whitmer, Feb. 13, 6 p.m.
Toledo St. Francis vs. Springfield, Feb. 13, 8 p,.m
Findlay vs. Fremont Ross, Feb. 14, 6 p.m.
Bowling Green vs. Ottawa Hills, p.m.
Maumee vs. Perrysburg, 6:30 p.m.
Oregon Clay vs. Anthony Wane, 8:30 p.m.
Oregon Clay/Anthony Wayne winner vs. Sylvania Northview, 6 p.m.
Sylvania Southview/Toledo Whitmer winner vs. Toledo St. John”s, 8 p.m
Toledo St. Francis/Springfield winner vs. Findlay/Fremont winner, Feb. 14, 6 p.m.
Bowling Green/Ottawa Hills winner vs. Maumee/Perrysburg winner, 8 p.m.

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Staff Writer
OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf’s girls basketball team doesn’t rely on a prolific scorer that can get a team 20 points a game.
The Titans are young, with only three seniors on the team, and no player on the entire roster is taller than 5-foot-9.
So how does O-G have a 15-2 overall record this season and have a current 11-game winning streak in which it’s outscoring opponents by nearly 29 points per game?
“You have to play ferocious defense,” O-G head coach Troy Yant said. “I think we do that fairly well, probably as good as any team with our height.”
The Titans (15-2, 6-1 Western Buckeye League) are ranked eighth in the Division-III Associated Press poll due in part to that “ferocious defense” leading to fast-break chances on offense.
O-G has held its’ opponents to 35 percent shooting this season and has forced over 25 turnovers per game. The only time the Titans have allowed more than 50 points in a game was in a 65-45 loss to Liberty-Benton on Dec. 17.
Offensively, O-G averages over 60 points per game with only two players (Kristen Miller and Elissa Ellerbrock) averaging double figures in scoring.
Miller, one of the three seniors on the team, leads the Titans with 12.4 points, 3.4 steals and 2.2 assists per game. Ellerbrock averages 10.2 points per game, and Anna Bellman leads the team with 5.3 rebounds per game.
When Yant took over as coach at the start of the 2012-2013 season, he didn’t want to have to depend on one or two players carrying the team, so he implemented a transition offense where everyone could get the ball.
“When you have one or two good players, that’s great, but if you run into a team that has one or two good defenders, it’s easier to neutralize one or two players than if everybody’s touching the ball,” Yant said. “I think when we first talked about building an offense where we wanted to be more transition, we wanted girls to be able to touch the ball that maybe wouldn’t have confidence to handle the ball in a half-court set.”
O-G fell on tough times from 2008-2012, going 28-57 with no more than nine wins in either of its’ four seasons. Even when Yant first took over as coach, he ran into problems.
“They were reluctant to playing the kind of style of basketball that we play now,” said Yant, who has a 31-11 career record as O-G’s coach. “Some of them didn’t see the advantage of being so small and trying to run against teams that were more disciplined and stuff, and it was kind of a hard sell.”
But the Titans are all in with his system now.
“We’re all learning the new process,” Miller said. “It’s hard at times, but he pushes us like crazy, and we turned into a fast-break team, and that has been the most beneficial thing of our season.”
Although the Titans have a chance to get its’ best record since the 2006-07 season (21-3), there’s still room for improvement. O-G lost 47-44 to WBL-leading Lima Bath (16-1, 7-0 WBL) on Dec. 5, along with the 20-point loss to Liberty-Benton (16-1) in which the Titans had a 31-29 halftime lead.
“I think coming into this season, our girls made realistic goals,” Yant said. “Looking at our schedule, we thought we could beat everybody.
“We’d have to play well, but we thought if we were playing like we were last year, we could beat everybody. So it’s been a little bit disappointing that we let some games get away from us.”
Yant said the Titans played its’ best basketball of his tenure during last year’s tournament run that ended in a 40-37 loss in the district final to Archbold, which advanced to the regional final.
So far this season, Yant said the Titans haven’t yet played at that level.
“We need to have a couple of close games. We need to know that we can get over the hump because obviously, we’re hoping to do something in tournament,” Yant said. “We need those games and haven’t really had those, so we’re not sure where we’re at, and that’s the selling point to the girls.”
The Titans have five games left in the regular season, with the next game tonight against Elida. The biggest matchup will be against Division-III rival and second-ranked Archbold on Feb. 11.
“Our girls, they have Archbold in the back of their head all the time,” Yant said. “Archbold is what fueled us in the summer, knowing that we were close, knowing that they made it to regionals, we did not.”
O-G begins its’ tournament run Feb. 22 when it faces the Elmwood-Bluffton winner in the Elida district. Other area teams in the district include Columbus Grove, Upper Sandusky and Liberty-Benton.
Until then, Yant will be pushing the Titans in practice with suicides and lane slides to prepare for the rest of the season.
“He works on us getting faster and stronger because when we go up against those big players and those big teams later on in tournaments and stuff, we need to out-hustle them,” Miller said. “We need to win all the 50-50 balls. We need to be the better team defensively because like he says, defense wins games, and that’s working for us.”
Burwell, 419-427-8410
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Findlay High School’s depth and tradition will be key factors on Saturday when the Trojans will be the odds-on favorite to defend their title in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference gymnastics championships.
Oregon Clay won the first-ever TRAC gymnastics championship in 2011 with a young, freshman-dominated team. But Findlay has won the last two titles and done so comfortably. A year ago, the Trojans had a total of 141.90 points in the league meet and posted staggering margin of victory over second-place Toledo Notre Dame (130.95). Clay was third among the six TRAC schools who sponsor gymnastics teams.
Findlay has already out-pointed Oregon Clay in two big meets this season, at the Beauty and the Beast competition hosted by Findlay, and in the Wolfpack Invitational at Worthington, where the Trojans were third and Clay fourth.
The Wolfpack Invitational was two weeks ago, a good time frame according to FHS coach Traci Dunn.
“Two weeks is a good because it gives you that time to fine tune things and get healthy,” Dunn said after the Wolfpack Invitational.
Findlay no longer has Alex Settlemire, the TRAC Gymnast of the year as a sophomore, junior and senior. But the Trojans, with 10 gymnasts on the team, have more depth this year and a number of TRAC veterans returning. Tori Cox, a junior, was second to Settlemire in the all-around scoring in last year’s TRAC championships, Maranda Butler was fifth in the all-around standings and Leah Thomas was seventh. Cassidy Pruitt has also been among the Trojans’ leading scorers.
The TRAC championships will be held at the Exceleration Gymnastics Center in Toledo on Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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A pair of area football players secured their futures with Bowl Championship Series programs to highlight National Signing Day for area high school athletes on Wednesday.
Patrick Henry’s Colt Pettit signed a letter of intent earlier in the week to play football at Virginia Tech, while Bluffton’s Isaac Little will be preferred walk-on at the University of Cincinnati.
Pettit was one of 28 players signed by the Hokies on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound all-Ohioan was recruited as on offensive lineman and will likely play guard at Virginia Tech.
Little, a first-team all-Ohio selection last season for the Pirates, is a 6-3, 207-pound linebacker.
“Isaac has all the potential in the world as he enters UC. He has only played linebacker for one year full time and will quickly make his presence known. He will be an important contributor from Day 1,” said director of recruiting Mike Waugh on the Bearcats’ Twitter page.
The rest of the area’s signees and commits will take their athletic talents to the NCAA Division II level in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
A pair of Liberty-Benton soccer players have committed to play in college.
Second team all-Ohio selection Kayla Trevino will play at Northwood University. She scored a team-high 34 goals with nine assists in leading the Eagles to an 18-1-1 record and Division III regional runner-up finish last fall.
Peyton Schroeder will join the University of Findlay men’s soccer program. Schroeder was a first-team all-league and second-team all-district selection for the Eagles. He scored 18 goals with 11 assists.
Findlay High School’s Ciara Ralston will be playing volleyball in the GLIAC for Ohio Dominican University. Ralston was a first-team all-Three Rivers Athletic Conference selection for the Trojans. She was one of the top hitters the past couple of seasons for Findlay.
The other area recruits will do battle against one another on the gridiron as eight area football players are headed to five GLIAC schools.
The University of Findlay’s 27-member freshmen class will include Pandora-Gilboa’s Jared Tousley and Alex Osborn as well as Ottawa-Glandorf’s Cody Alt.
Ashland signed 39 players, including Liberty-Benton’s Brandon May and Ada’s Matthew Wilcox.
May, a 6-3, 240-pound defensive end, recorded 179 tackles and 12 sacks for the Eagles over the last two seasons. He was first team all-Ohio and was the BVC’s Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Wilcox is a 6-1, 185-pound defensive back/quarterback. He was a second-team all-Ohio selection at safety and is an all-Ohio swimmer as well.
Mohawk linebacker Eric Maskey was one of a 26-member incoming class at Tiffin University. The 6-3, 210-pound linebacker was a first team all-league and third-team all-Ohio selection for the Warriors last season.
Patrick Henry’s Tobey Hernandez and Elmwood’s Sawyer Haines also signed letters of intent this week with Malone and Ohio Dominican respectively.
Hernandez, a 5-9, 195-pound running back, was a three-sport letterwinner at Patrick Henry. He earned first team all-league and all-district and was a third-team all-Ohioan for the Patriots.
Haines was a second-team all-conference selection as a defensive end this season for the Royals.

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