FINDLAY — A strong start to the third quarter by Ottawa-Glandorf, in which they orchestrated a 10-2 run, quelled any momentum Wauseon had built to end the first half and the Titans went on to earn a 63-42 victory Thursday at Findlay in a Division III girls basketball regional semifinal.
But it was not only the third quarter where the Indians struggled, they also came out a little sluggish to begin the game as the Titans grabbed an early 14-2 lead. Wauseon Coach Dan Seiler said after the game his team needed to be better throughout in order to have a chance against the defending D-III state runner-up.
“First quarter, second quarter, third quarter, we needed to have a good game the entire game,” Seiler said. “This is regionals. This isn’t the first or second game of the year; this is regionals, everybody that’s here is playing really well or they wouldn’t be here.”
A pair of Autumn Pelok 3-pointers helped Wauseon get within 16-8 after the first quarter. Then they added triples from Ellie Rodriguez and Marisa Seiler, plus Hayley Meyer’s short jumper to get even closer just over five minutes into the second stanza.
During that stretch, Ottawa-Glandorf’s Erin Kaufman scored inside and her teammate Myka Aldrich went 1 of 2 from the foul line, putting the difference at 21-18 with 2:46 left in the half.
Erin Kaufman, who finished with a game-high 23 points, registered a pair of hoops to extend the lead back to 25-18 at the break.
Adding in those two baskets before the end of the half, in total the Titans outscored the Indians 14-2 over a span of six and a half minutes from the end of the first half and into the second.
To begin the third quarter Aldrich converted a drive to the basket and then added a jumper, followed by Erin Kaufman twice scoring in the paint. Wauseon’s Hayley Meyer broke in with a deuce off a feed from Pelok, but Carlie Brinkman’s putback put the Titans up 15 (35-20) at the 3:12 mark of the third.
The Indians had trouble containing the inside game of OG sisters Erin Kaufman and Katie Kaufman, who together combined to score 35 points. It was also difficult trying to match up with their length as a whole — both offensively and defensively.
“It was just tough for us to convert,” admitted Coach Seiler. “They got the bounce, they got the roll on about every shot they took and we couldn’t get the ball to go in for nothing. But you know, that’s the way basketball is.”
OG carried a 41-27 advantage into the fourth. The Titans then outscored Wauseon 22-15 over the final eight minutes.
Leading the Indians was Seiler with 17 points. Pelok added 10 points.
Wauseon closes the season at 22-4. They now say goodbye to five seniors who helped build the program into what it is today.
“Definitely gonna miss the seniors,” said the Wauseon coach. “They had a really nice career. Obviously, thanks for all the fans for coming and supporting these young ladies. It’s just a great community to be a part of.
“I told them they had a great career,” he added of daughter Marisa, Pelok, Rodriguez, Kadence Carroll and Madison Strauss. “When they come in we weren’t very good. We had a pretty nice season — might not have showed it there (against O-G). That team was just better than us tonight.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.