|Lady Green subdues Vikings in regional semi|
|Friday, March 08, 2013 1:34 PM|
The top-ranked Big Green defeated the Vikings 52-29 in a Division IV regional semifinal at the Elida Fieldhouse. However, the Big Green had to work hard in the second half before they finally took control of this game against their Putnam County League rivals.
The win sends the Big Green (26-0) into Saturday night’s regional final against Arcadia (23-3) at 7:30 p.m. at the Elida Fieldhouse. The Redskins advanced to the finals with a 46-36 win over Pettisville in the first game Thursday night at Elida.
The Vikings saw their season end at 17-9.
While the final score indicates Ottoville may have won easily, it was anything but a walk through the park for the Lady Green.
Ottoville had a 19-6 lead after the opening quarter as they went on an 8-2 run at the end of the quarter that included a 3-point play from Rachel Beining, a Nicole Vorst 3-pointer and a basket from Abby Siefker. Kendra Gerten had the Vikings’ two points during the run.
Ottoville went up 22-6 to start the second quarter as Beining converted another 3-point play. Seconds later, Siefker picked up her second foul and spent the rest of the quarter on the bench. It was the opening the Vikings needed to make a run at the Lady Green.
Leipsic went on a 10-0 run to close within six points as Haley Gerten drained four straight free throws, followed by baskets from Maddie Steffan, Amber Gerdeman and Kelly Nadler, before Taylor Mangas hit a 3-pointer to end the Leipsic run. Ottoville extended their lead back out to 10 as Vorst hit a 3-pointer before Steffan came up with a steal and basket that had the lead back down to eight. A basket by Beining — off a long pass — just before the halftime buzzer had the Big Green up 10 points at the break.
After some quick adjustments at halftime, the Big Green regained control of the contest with a 7-0 run to start the third quarter. The difference in Ottoville’s play was the return to the lineup of Siefker and Rachel Turnwald after both players spent time on the bench in the opening half in foul trouble.
“We kind of weathered the storm in the first half,” Ottoville coach Dave Kleman said. “There are flows and ebbs in every game. I thought we did a nice job weathering the storm, then we made our run. We were in some foul trouble the first half and I felt our bench came in and did a nice job plugging the holes. I felt comfortable with the lead going into half and coming out the second half, Abby and Rachel Turnwald were well rested.”
Siefker opened the second-half scoring with a free throw before Turnwald knocked down a pair of charity tosses. After a Leipsic timeout two minutes into the quarter, Turnwald struck again when she nailed a 3-pointer, then went to the free-throw line to finish off a 4-point play. Leipsic responded with baskets by Gerdeman and Morman that had them within 13 points before Ottoville closed out the quarter with a 5-0 run as Siefker hit three free throws and Turnwald two more that had the Big Green up 42-24.
“That’s what good teams do,” Leipsic coach Gary Kreinbrink said. “They are so explosive. I was proud of our kids the second quarter, the way they fought back because we could have gotten blown out the first half. We had it down to six points but they are good. You can take away their inside and they hit threes; try to get aggressive with their guards on the perimeter, they throw it inside and score with Siefker and Beining. They are a pretty complete team.”
Leipsic opened the fourth-quarter scoring with two free throws by Morman before the Big Green went on a 10-0 run that was finished off as Ottoville was clearing the bench to get everyone playing time. The Vikings scored the final points of the night as Nicole Kreinbrink hit a 3-pointer.
Ottoville had five players between nine and 12 points in the game, led by Turnwald with 12 points, while Beining and Mangas both had 10 and Siefker and Vorst both had nine points. Vorst also had five rebounds and six steals and Siefker grabbed five rebounds as well.
“That’s kind of normal for us,” Kleman said. “Every once in a while, we get someone up in the 20s with an exceptional game, but that’s the way we play and Arcadia does the same thing. That’s what it takes to get this far in tournament.”
Morman led the Vikings with seven points and Gerdeman had five points. Haley Gerten had four points, four assists and four rebounds for Leipsic, which will graduate just two seniors from their first-ever regional team.