By ANDREW WILLIAMS
ADA — Ottawa-Glandorf made one thing perfectly clear Thursday night.
It doesn’t matter when and it doesn’t matter where the Titans have to play, they’ll be ready to go when the ball is tipped.
Winter weather forced Ottawa-Glandorf’s Division III boys regional semifinal game against Huron to be postponed on Wednesday night and the contest was rescheduled for Thursday night.
The original site for the game, the Stroh Center on Bowling Green State University’s campus, was already scheduled to host Division II boys regional action on Thursday, though.
So instead of making the 44-mile trek north to Bowling Green where they posted wins against Archbold and Paulding in district play, the Titans traveled 33 miles south to Ohio Northern University in Ada.
The change of scenery made no difference.
Ottawa-Glandorf got 19 points and nine rebounds from Noah Bramlage and Zach Kuhlman added 14 points and eight boards as the Titans jumped out to a 16-8 edge after the first quarter.
An 18-8 advantage in the final period sealed a 63-45 victory and put Ottawa-Glandorf back in the regional finals against Lima Central Catholic (22-4) for the second straight year.
“It’s been chaotic all year and it’s chaotic for both teams,” Ottawa-Glandorf coach Tyson McGlaughlin said of the change of date and location due to weather. “I really wasn’t too concerned about the venue. Nobody on this team’s played here before but we knew it was going to be the same thing for Huron. It wasn’t a big deal.
“Whether we play at Ohio Northern or we play at Toledo, BG, Columbus, wherever it is, our fans travel very well. It’s very important to our community so at tournament time we try to step it up a notch and it was nice to see when you have that type of support.”
After slow starts in both of their district contests last week, the Titans looked right at home early on at the ONU Sports Center. Part of that could be attributed to the extra day of preparing for their opponent or for the extra day of rest they got between games. Either way, Ottawa-Glandorf showed no signs of being inconvenienced.
“You’ve got to look on the bright side whenever you have something like that,” Bramlage said. “Obviously it gave us another day to practice. It gave the coaches a little bit of extra time to watch some film. It gave us a little extra time to prepare ourselves, talk more about their personnel.
“We just kind of took it in stride and took the positive out of it. You get another day with your legs. Through the tournament you might get one, two days off between a game so that extra rest, you’ve just got to use it.”
“I think that prepared us for tonight,” Kuhlman said of the day off. “That extra day of practice and going through drills and learning what they were going to do just made us even more ready to play tonight.”
The Titans will face a familiar opponent Saturday night at the Stroh Center.
Ottawa-Glandorf defeated Lima Central Catholic 44-38 in the regional finals last year en route to a Division III state championship. The Thunderbirds avenged that loss with a 64-44 thrashing of the Titans back in December and the two teams will meet one more time this season with much more at stake.
For now, though, McGlaughlin and his team are happy to extend their season by at least one game and come Saturday night, they will be ready to play once again.
And it won’t matter where they have to go to do it.
By ANDREW WILLIAMS