Jefferson junior Heather Pohlman pulls down a rebound against Lincolnview in this file photo. Pohlman and her Jefferson teammates lost a 56-46 non-conference game at Ottoville on Wednesday night, falling to 9-11 on the season. (TB file photo)
By Jim Metcalfe
OTTOVILLE — Ottoville bounced back from a slow start with a solid second period and went on to take a 56-46 non-league girls basketball triumph over Delphos Jefferson on Wednesday night at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium.
The game was a makeup from a Jan. 25 postponement.
The Lady Green (11-8) used a 46-32 rebounding advantage, including 23-12 offensive, to help seal the deal. They were led by a pair of double-doublers in junior Lexie Wannemacher, who scored 20 points while grabbing 15 rebounds, and senior Taylor Mangas, who added 13 points with 15 boards.
The Lady Wildcats (9-11) had a three players score in double figures, led by Katie Goergens’ 17 points. Junior Brooke Culp added a dozen while Rileigh Stockwell chipped in 10.
“We gambled a lot on the perimeter. We tried to trap their guards. We forced some turnovers, but when they handled the pressure, we didn’t slide down quick enough to defend the post and rebound,” Jefferson head coach Dave Hoffman noted.
“Katie getting in foul trouble snuck up on us and it hurt us when she had to go to the bench, plus had to be careful after that when she was in. She was scoring pretty well for us and when she went out, our bench didn’t help us at that point like they have been.”
Ottoville mentor Dave Kleman was pleased with how his team played.
“Jefferson came out hot and built that 11-0 lead. We kept battling,” he explained. “That’s what you get with trying to put four classes together, it’s never pretty, and mold them together. I told Hoffy that it’s never pretty when we play each other and he agreed with me. We have those young girls still learning how to play consistent basketball.”
Jefferson scored those first 11 points of the contest, with Goergens swishing a pair of treys in the first 2:38, and finished it on a drive by Culp. Wannemacher then went to work, scoring on a pair of offensive rebounds to get the Lady Green within 11-4 at the end of one period.
That was only the beginning of the rally. The Lady Green scored the first nine of the second quarter, all by Mangas, to take its first lead at 13-11 on her 3-pointer at 6:42. Jefferson senior Jasmine McDougall and Stockwell answered, but that was short-lived. Mangas hit another trifecta, this time from the right side, to gave them the lead for good. She went on to tally 12 in the period to help Ottoville reach a 23-15 edge on a power move by freshman Alexis Thorbahn. A three-point play from Culp at 1:21 accounted for the halftime score of 23-18, Ottoville.
The Lady Green continued its steady attack in period three, this time behind the inside power of Wannemacher’s 10 points, to not only stay in the lead, but add to it. Ottoville started to take command on the backboards, using a 13-6 advantage to build on its lead. Ottoville pushed out to a 13-point margin on a deuce by freshman Brooke Mangas and when freshman Alicia Honigford drilled a triple from the left corner, the Lady Green held a 42-31 edge after three periods.
Jefferson continued to try and scratch their way back behind their trapping pressure, but they only forced four turnovers in the finale. Wannemacher tacked on six more points in the span. Though Goergens dropped in eight, her Wildcats couldn’t get any closer than the final margin.
“We started off quick. We forced turnovers and that got us out well,” Hoffman added. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t sustain it. Once Ottoville adjusted, they started to take advantage inside and once they got rolling, it was tough for us to recover.”
“Too often, when we forced turnovers after that, we gave it right back. Still, I was extremely pleased with our defensive intensity all night, especially in the first period. It was tremendous.”
“We are very much a work in progress with our young girls gaining experience. Either I have a lot more gray this year or a lot less hair,” Kleman added. “Again, the girls keep battling and we had a great second quarter. Once we took the lead, we held on to it. That’s an area we need to improve, too, putting a team away when we have the chance.”
In junior varsity action, Ottoville grabbed a 37-15 triumph.
Score by quarters
Jefferson 11 7 13 15- 46
Ottoville 4 19 19 14- 56
Pohlman 0, Culp 12, Deuel 0, Goergens 17, Stockwell 10, Sensibaugh 0, G. Pimpas 3, Koenig 0, Binkley 0, Black 0, McDougall 4, J. Pimpas 0
Kramer 2, T. Mangas 15, B. Mangas 6, Sarka 2, Honigford 3, Thorbahn 2, Lindeman 8, Le. Wannemacher 20, Ly. Wannemacher 0, Von Sossan 0, Landwehr 0