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Girls basketball: Ottawa-Glandorf holds off Portsmouth in state semis

Mar. 15—DAYTON — Ottawa-Glandorf's girls basketball team only trailed for the first 36 seconds and led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter Thursday night in the Division III state semifinals.

But this was the state semifinals, and nothing's that easy at the state semifinals. Portsmouth hit five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to make the game interesting. Ultimately, the Titans pulled out a 47-40 win at University of Dayton Arena thanks to balanced scoring and staunch defense.

"I thought it was just a hard-fought game," said Ottawa-Glandorf coach Troy Yant, who will bring the Titans to the state championship game for the fourth time since 2015. "Every time we got them down by nine or 10, they came back. I thought our girls did a great job defensively and really limited at times what they could do."

To win their first state championship, the Titans will have to beat Columbus Africentric, the defending state champions, in the state championship game at 2 p.m. on Saturday at University of Dayton Arena. The Nubians topped LaGrange Keystone, 62-35, in Thursday night's first game, led by Kamryn Grant's 22-point performance. The Titans' boys basketball team, playing in the regional finals at Bowling Green on Saturday, moved that game to 7 p.m. Saturday at BGSU so the Titan faithful could take in a cross-state doubleheader.

The Titans (26-2), ranked No. 3 in the final Division III Associated Press poll, truly relied on a balanced scoring attack, with five players scoring at least seven points. Katie Kaufman led the way with 10 points and 14 rebounds, as the Titans held an astounding 39-23 rebounding edge.

Sophomore guard Alivia Grothause, who averaged 3.2 points per game this season, came off the bench to score 10 points.

"Liv's kind of been showing that the last couple of weeks in games and practice," Yant said. "She's been doing a lot of nice things for us. We obviously needed that because you need that extra scoring coming off the bench."

Carlie Brinkman tallied nine points for O-G. Karsyn Erford added eight points, and Kaitlyn Kimmet scored seven.

The Titans owned the paint, outscoring the Trojans 30-14, including some impressive cross-paint passes to players flying in from the wings.

"When we get going, it just goes to the right place," Kaufman said. "We see open people, and I think that we have a trust with everyone that when someone gets the ball, we trust them to go to the rim and score or get it to someone who can."

Defensively, the Titans held Portsmouth (22-6), ranked No. 7 in the final poll, to just four points in the second and third quarters. O-G opened up the second quarter on a 12-0 run, keeping the Trojans from scoring until there was a minute left in the quarter. Yant noted the strong defensive effort Megan Horstman had during the stretch.

Portsmouth struggled in part because of foul trouble. Two Trojan players had four fouls before halftime. Sienna Allen paced the Trojans with 12 points, while Daysha Reid had 10.

"Despite the 22-8 foul situation, my girls battled back," Portsmouth coach Amy Hughes said.

The Titans tried to take advantage of that, Erford said.

"We knew they had a couple of girls with fouls, so with our offense, we just had to keep attacking," she said. "Even if the shots weren't falling, we had to keep doing what we do best. They were tired, but so were we. We had to push through and do everything we could do to get points."

Ottawa-Glandorf 47, Portsmouth 40

Portsmouth 9 4 4 23 — 40

Ottawa-Glandorf 10 12 7 18 — 47

PORTSMOUTH

Sienna Allen 12, Daysha Reid 10, KeKe Woods 4, Hayven Carter 8, Savannah Cantrell 6. Totals: 15- 4- 40.

OTTAWA-GLANDORF

Alivia Grothause 10, Karsyn Erford 8, Carlie Brinkman 9, Katie Kaufman 10, Myka Aldrich 3, Kaitlyn Kimmet 7. Totals: 17- 12- 47.

3-pointers: P-Allen 2, Cantrell 2, Carter 2; OG-Brinkman 1.

Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.