By MICHAEL BURWELL
ELIDA — Kadie Hempfling was on a mission Saturday. And she accomplished it.
Ottawa-Glandorf’s senior wing became the school’s all-time leading scorer while stuffing the stat sheet with 25 points, seven rebounds, seven steals, five assists and two blocks as the Titans won their fourth straight district title with a 55-40 Division III district final victory over Convoy Crestview at the Elida Fieldhouse.
“That’s crazy. I always love playing in the fieldhouse, I did as a freshman and it’s a nice ending it my senior year, especially playing this well,” Hempfling said. “I’m proud of my teammates, but I have to sit back sometimes and think of how proud I am of myself and everything that I’ve accomplished.
“I also want to thank God and my family of course and my teammates and my coaches, but being the all-time leading scorer, that’s something special and that almost brought tears to my eyes when I did it, but I knew we had to keep playing because it was a close game.”
O-G won its seventh district title overall while improving to 23-2. The Titans’ senior class also became the winningest group in school history (102-9), beating last year’s class that had 101 wins.
O-G will take on Liberty-Benton (25-1) at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday at Ohio Northern University. L-B beat Archbold 58-38 in its district final at Lake High School on Saturday.
Hempfling, a three-time Western Buckeye League Player of the Year who shared the honor last season with teammate Kylie White, passed Melanie Halker (1,204 points, 1991-95) as the school’s leading scorer. Hempfling finished the game with 1,208 points.
From their opening possession, Hempfling and her teammates had an aggressive mindset in attacking the basket. Hempfling scored on three drives to the hoop to open up an early 6-0 O-G lead.
She scored 14 of O-G’s first 16 points and assisted on the other basket.
“I knew we had to play tough because Crestview’s a tough team,” Hempfling said. “We relied a lot on threes against Spencerville (64-27 district semifinal win Thursday) and (O-G coach Troy Yant) said that we couldn’t do that this time. So I decided, well, we might as well just go inside so I took the opportunities that were given to me. I just drove the lane the whole first quarter and they went in.”
O-G’s half-court defense caused fits for Crestview (19-7) as well.
The Titans forced 21 turnovers and converted numerous steals around the 3-point line into layups. Hempfling converted two of those in the first half, including a 3-point play midway through the second quarter, while Brianna Schimmoeller’s steal and tough layup capped off an 8-0 O-G run to give the Titans a 27-19 lead late in the half.
“I think they just do such a great job of pressuring you and making you make mistakes,” Crestview coach Mark Gregory said. “They do a great job of crashing the boards, and we talked about that and that was going to be the key to the game tonight was taking care of the basketball and rebounding.”
Crestview, though, used a 3-point barrage to take a 16-13 lead early in the second quarter. Paige Motycka, the Northwest Conference Player of the Year, drained a 3-pointer and scored on a drive to the basket, and she later found Lexi Gregory for a trey and a bucket in the paint to cap off a 10-0 run.
The Knights made 4 of 7 3-pointers in the first half and hit six of their first nine overall.
But the Titans’ defense and depth wore on the Knights.
Crestview, which played only seven players, connected on just one of its last 11 3-point attempts to finish 7 of 20.
“That was one of the things we wrote on the board before we left, let’s just keep plugging away, trying to move the ball as much as possible,” Yant said.
“Hats off to them, they played a whale of a game, they were aggressive as could be but that was the hope, to wear them down.”
O-G built a double-digit lead with five minutes left in the third quarter when Hempfling hit two free throws after getting a steal. Ashley Schroeder and Carrie Johnson had transition buckets off turnovers as the Titans built a 45-30 lead through three frames.
Hempfling’s putback with 5:26 left gave her the scoring record and extended the Titans’ lead to 47-35.
Eight players scored for O-G. Schimmoeller had seven points, Kasey Ellerbrock hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter for six and Paige Sutter also chipped in six.
Gregory finished with 19 points and nine rebounds to lead Crestview, while Motycka scored 14 points but only had one in the second half.
“I thought we did a good job of holding Paige Motycka down,” Yant said. “We rotated back and forth. Kelsey Erford, a freshman, I thought she did a really good job. Kadie, obviously, played Kadie’s basketball and between the two of them, I thought they held her down.”
CONVOY CRESTVIEW (19-7)
L. Gregory 7-1–19, Motycka 5-2–14, B. Gregory 1-0–3, McCoy 0-2–2, Black 1-0–2. TOTALS: 14-36 5-7 — 40.
Hempfling 9-6–25, Schimmoeller 3-0–7, Ellerbrock 2-0–6, Sutter 2-2–6, Kaufman 2-1–5, Erford 0-2–2, Schroeder 1-0–2, Johnson 1-0–2. TOTALS: 20-47 11-14 — 55.
Convoy Crestview 11 10 9 10 — 40
Ottawa-Glandorf 13 14 18 10 — 55
3-Point GOALS: Convoy Crestview 7-20 (L. Gregory 4, Motycka 2, B. Gregory 1); Ottawa-Glandorf 4-16 (Ellerbrock 2, Hempfling & Schimmoeller 1).
rebounds: Convoy Crestview 28 (L. Gregory 9); Ottawa-Glandorf 22 (Hempfling 7).
turnovers: Convoy Crestview 21, Ottawa-Glandorf 10.
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