By MICHAEL BURWELL
OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf girls basketball head coach Troy Yant is glad he has Tyson McGlaughlin to ask for advice in preparing for the Division III state tournament in Columbus.
McGlaughlin, O-G’s boys basketball coach and athletic director, is no stranger to coaching in big games in his fourth season as the Titans’ coach. He led them to a state semifinal appearance in 2012, a state championship in 2013, a regional final last season and with a win on Wednesday against Lima Central Catholic, another regional final.
However, with O-G’s girls team advancing to state for the first time in school history after Saturday’s 43-30 regional final win over Richwood North Union, McGlaughlin’s advice has been much appreciated.
“Tyson has been a great resource,” Yant said during a teleconference with coaches and media on Monday. “Being down there recently and as the athletic director, he’s kind of taken a lot of things off my plate so we can just get started on scouting. That’s been a huge help to us.”
McGlaughlin’s record in tournament play as O-G’s coach, including this season, is a staggering 19-2. He also took Miller City’s boys basketball team to the regional semifinals in 2010 in his first of two seasons as the Wildcats’ head coach.
His experience making deep tournament runs, especially down in Columbus, is something Yant can use to his advantage, considering the fact that O-G’s girls’ opponent, Proctorville Fairland, is back in the state tournament after falling in the state semifinals last season.
“We know that they’re a quality team, obviously going down to state and making it to the final four last year,” Yant said of Fairland. “So they got a little bit of experience, and obviously getting beat in the semifinal game last year, they’re also probably quite hungry to get into that championship game.
“So it’s going to be a test, but it’s something that we’ll spend the next two days preparing for.”
Along with McGlaughlin’s help and support, the basketball-crazed O-G community is behind the girls team. The Titans held a reception on Saturday night at the high school for the girls team after the boys team’s 88-58 district final win over Delta in Whitehouse.
“Obviously, Ottawa-Glandorf has been down at the state championships a couple of times, state runners-up and three championships in boys basketball and the Titan faithful have always come out to support the team,” Yant said.
“It’s kind of a new test for the girls, but they came out in the regionals, even though we traveled for two hours, and we had the boys playing on the same day, we had a nice crowd there.
“And obviously, we had a lot of support when we got home, so we’re looking forward to getting down to Columbus and letting the Titans faithful follow us down there and I think it will be a nice following.”
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