No. 2-ranked Ottoville controlled the game throughout after taking a 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Green were stifling on defense as they forced 17 Buckeye Central turnovers and kept the Buckettes from scoring double-digits in any quarter.
All-Ohio first team selection Bridget Landin led the way for Ottoville with a game-high 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Buckeye Central senior and fellow All-Ohioan Jenna Karl was the lone Buckette to finish in double-figures with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
Also for Buckeye Central, freshman Taylor Ratliff finished with three points and two rebounds in 28 minutes. She is the daughter of Jason Ratliff, a former St. Paul football assistant coach, Buckeye Central head football coach, and Willard softball head coach. He still teaches at Willard.
Minster 46, Waterford 31
COLUMBUS — In the second Div. IV semifinal game, No. 4 Minster defeated Associated Press poll champion Waterford by 15.
The Wildcats (25-3) will play No. 2 Ottoville at 10:45 a.m. on Saturday for the state championship.
Minster's Taylor Kogge scored the opening basket 1:29 into the first quarter, and the Wildcats kept the lead for the rest of the game.
Minster held Waterford’s (26-2) two first-team All-Ohioans, Megan Ball and Alli Kern, who was also the Div. IV Player of the Year, to 6-of-16 shooting. Overall, the ‘Cats held Waterford to 27 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.
Courtney Prenger, a second-team All-Ohioan, led Minster in scoring, finishing with 13 points and five rebounds.
Minster was one of just two teams to beat Bellevue (25-2) this season. The Lady Red — who finished No. 2 in the AP poll in Div. II, and fell to Toledo Rogers last week in a regional title game, fell to the ‘Cats at the Lima Bath Holiday Classic on Dec. 30, 2017, by a 71-49 final score.
In Saturday's title game, Minster will be looking to win its third state title, and first since 2004.
Versailles 63, Elyria Catholic 47
COLUMBUS — AP poll champion Versailles defeated Elyria Catholic, 63-47, Thursday night to advance to its second-straight Division III state final appearance.
The two-pronged attack of seniors Kami McEldowny and Danielle Winner propelled Versailles (28-1) to a fourth title game appearance in five years. McEldowny, a second team All-Ohio selection, scored a team-high 17 points. Winner had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior guard Faith Williams scored a game-high 18 points for Elyria Catholic (22-6, while sophomore Ally Winnen had added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Cols. Africentric 60, Ottawa-Glandorf 37
COLUMBUS — No. 6-ranked Columbus Africentric used a strong second half to race past No. 9 Ottawa-Glandorf in the final game on Thursday by a 50-37 score.
After holding just a two-point lead at halftime, the Nubians nearly (26-3) doubled the Titans’ scoring in the second half to advance to their eighth state title game in 12 years. Jordan Horston, the Div. III Co-Player of the Year, led Africentric with a game-high 18 points and added six rebounds and three assists.
Senior Kadie Hempfling stuffed the stat sheet for Ottawa-Glandorf (25-3). The first team All-Ohioan finished with seven points, 11 rebounds and five assists. The Titans beat Western Reserve, 62-40, in a regional championship game on March 10 at Lexington, to advance to Thursday’s semifinal.
Africentric will play No. 1 Versailles in the Saturday’s 2 p.m. title game.