Cougars lose heartbreaker to O-G Titans
DAVE MOSIER/independent sports
The Van Wert boys gave unbeaten Ottawa-Glandorf all it could handle in Friday’s Western Buckeye League match-up, but the failure to shut down prolific scorer Jay Kaufman and the inability to hit free throws ultimately led to the Cougars’ heartbreaking 67-63 loss in overtime.
Kaufman had 10 field goals and, just as important, was 12 of 17 from the foul line to lead all scorers with 32 points. Jake Dible added 11 points for the Titans. The Cougars had its best offensive effort of the young season, with four players scoring in double figures, led by Jacoby Kelly’s 15 points. Blake Henry scored 13 points, while Nate Place and Dylan Lautzenheiser each added 12 points for Van Wert.
Ottawa-Glandorf took the early lead and was up by two points, 13-11, at the end of the first quarter. The Cougars responded, though, outscoring the Titans 20-16 in the second stanza to lead by two, 31-29, at the half.
O-G knocked a point off the Cougar lead to trial by a point, 41-40, at the three-quarter mark, and then made 7 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 55-all by the end of regulation.
Free throws were again important in overtime, as the Titans made 6 of 8 — half of its 12 total points — to eke out a win over Van Wert.
Free throw shooting was crucial for Ottawa-Glandorf, because the Cougars outshot the Titans everywhere but at the free-throw line. Van Wert was 24 of 44 from the field (54.5 percent), including an outstanding 6 of 11 from three-point range (54.5 percent). The Cougars were a less-than-stellar 9 of 18 (50 percent) at the line.
O-G was 20 of 52 from the field (38.5 percent), including just 1 of 14 from behind the arc (7.1 percent). Unfortunately for Van Wert, the Titans had 35 free throw attempts and made 26 of those (74 percent).
The taller O-G also outrebounded the Cougars, 36-23, and had one fewer turnover (14-15) than Van Wert.
The Cougars are now 4-4 overall and 1-1 in the WBL, while the Titans are 8-0 overall and 2-0 in league play.
Van Wert returns to action tonight against Crestview at the S.F. Goedde Building. The game will be broadcast live on WERT radio (1220 AM), and streamed live on The Van Wert independent (www.thevwindependent.com).
The junior varsity game set the tone for the night, with the Cougar JVs again losing a heartbreaker, 49-45, in overtime. Clayton Proffitt led the Van Wert JVs with 15 points, while Carter Heringhaus was the Titan JVs top scorer with 14.
The Van Wert JVs are also 4-4 and 1-1.
Ottawa-Glandorf 13 16 11 15 12-67
Van Wert 11 20 10 14 8-63
Ottawa-Glandorf (67) – Connor Niese 8, Owen Hiegel 8, Jay Kaufman 32, Jake Dible 11, Ethan White 5, Trevor Siefker 2, Chad Duling 1. Totals: 20 26-39 67
Van Wert (63) – Jacoby Kelly 15, Nate Place 12, Nick Gutierrez 4, Dylan Lautzenheiser 12, Drew Bagley 7, Blake Henry 13. Totals: 24 9-18 63.
JV game: O-G won 49-45 in overtime