By Charlie Warnimont
DHI Correspondent
BOWLING GREEN – For three quarters Saturday afternoon, Paulding’s zone defense gave Ottawa-Glandorf fits.
In the fourth quarter, the Titans found ways to solve that zone, knocking down a pair of big shots before salting away the game at the free throw line. The Titans fourth quarter offense helped them claim a 36-32 win over the Panthers in the Division III district championship game at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University.
The win sends the Titans (15-10) back to the Stroh Center Wednesday for the Division III regional semi-finals against Huron at 8 p.m. The Panthers saw their season end at 18-7. This is the fourth straight district title for O-G.
“I thought we played extremely hard,” O-G coach Tyson McGlaughlin said. “It wasn’t a game that looked very pretty, no style points, but at the end of the day we did enough to win. I thought Paulding played extremely well, they played extremely hard. They took us out of everything we wanted to do.”

Paulding’s 2-3 zone frustrated the Titan offense much of the day as it concentrated on O-G 6-7 center Noah Bramlage while being quick enough to jump out on the Titans 3-point shooters. Paulding’s defense allowed the Titans just eight field goals (8-of-26 shooting) in the game, four in each half. Two of the Titans bigger field goals came in the fourth quarter as they rallied to take only their second lead of the game.
Ottawa-Glandorf trailed 21-19 going to the fourth quarter after cutting a six point Paulding halftime lead to two. The Titans used a 5-0 run to end the third quarter as Brad Recker knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner and Bramlage connected on a short jumper.
O-G’s run continued into the fourth quarter as Bramlage knocked down two free throws to tie the game at 21-21 with 7:25 left. After a Paulding turnover, Bramlage gave the Titans their first lead since 8-7, when he knocked down a 3-pointer.
Kyle Kauser tied the game when he knocked down a long range 3-pointer. Titan point guard Alex Schroeder broke the tie on O-G’s next possession when he started to drive, then stepped back and drained a 3-pointer.
That would be the Titans final basket of the game as they maintained their lead at the free throw line hitting 9-of-13 down the stretch. Bramlage hit 7-of-8 free throws in the closing minutes to help preserve the lead. Bramlage was 9-of-10 at the line in the final quarter overall.
A Bramlage free throw pushed the O-G lead to four and they were able to keep it at four points, matching Paulding point-for-point. The Panthers pulled within two, at 33-31, when Treston Gonzalez hit a layup with 38.9 seconds left. Schroeder pushed the lead back to three with a free throw that was matched by Javier Gonzales. Bramlage scored the final points with two free throws with 10 seconds left.
“At times, you need some breaks,” McGlaughlin said. “They had a couple of layups where they wished they could have capitalized on and they didn’t make them. That’s a part of basketball. I give our kids credit for continuing to battle. I thought the second half we gutted it out. We picked up the tempo and pressure, kind of got them out of their rhythm. I thought we played well.”
“We came out and executed the way we wanted and we controlled things, pretty much,” Paulding coach Shawn Brewer said. “We knew they were going to turn up their pressure, and we had some turnovers, but I thought we did a good job of handling the ball. When you don’t shoot well, and I think that’s what it came down to, we just didn’t shoot well enough the second half to keep the lead.”
Paulding was 9-of-32 shooting from the field, including 4-of-12 from three-point range.
Kauser led the Panthers with 10 points as he hit two 3-pointers. Treston Gonzales added eight points and grabbed six rebounds.
Bramlage led the Titans, and all scorers, with 19 points and nine rebounds. Recker had six points and Tyler Zender grabbed seven rebounds.
Ottawa-Glandorf had an 8-7 lead after one quarter as they scored the final six points of the opening stanza as Bramlage had four points and Zach Kuhlman hit two free throws.
The second quarter belonged to Paulding as they outscored the Titans 10-3. Javier Gonzales opened the quarter with a three-pointer and Treston Gonzales hit a jumper. A Kauser three and two free throws by Quentin Vance gave Paulding a 17-8 lead before Recker drained a three-pointer for O-G with 30 seconds left in the half.
“This is what (defense) we have hung our hats on all year and the kids bought into it and have done a great job,” Brewer said. “When you play defense like that, you have a chance in any game. I thought we did a real nice job of doubling Bramlage every time he touched the ball. We found their shooters, we had the right guys shooting the basketball and they were not making them. That’s what we did, and I thought we did a good job of rebounding. The first half, we did enough offensively to get the lead and we played well defensively.”
Score by quarters
Paulding            7 10 4 11 – 32
Ottawa-Glandorf 8 3 8 17 – 36
Paulding (32)
Vance 2, Kauser 10, T. Gonzales 8, Ge. Harder 2 Gu. Harder 1 Edwards 0, J. Gonzales 4, Salinas 2, Arellano 3
Ottawa-Glandorf (36)
Schroeder 4, Trampe-Kindt 1, Kuhlman 4, Zender 2, Bramlage 19, Schnipke 0, Recker 6, Osting 0, Blevins 0