A week ago, the Wapakoneta Redskins varsity boys basketball team came up just short of stunning the unbeaten and state-ranked Defiance Bulldogs.
That game came on the heels of a nail-biter, five-point loss to the previously state-ranked Elida Bulldogs and a one-point win over the defending Western Buckeye League champion Celina Bulldogs.
If Wapak caught the trio of Bulldogs off-guard, it wonâ€™t get that opportunity against the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans on Friday.
The proverbial cover is blown.
Wapak is no longer a bye week for opposing teams.
â€śWeâ€™re definitely not Wapak of a year or two ago, where itâ€™s a breather in the league schedule,â€ť Redskins varsity coach Matt Bradley said. â€śTeams have to take us seriously now.
â€śBut, with that being said, weâ€™ve got to be consistent in our performance.â€ť
Consistency has been the biggest bugaboo for Wapak this season. For every Elida and Defiance performance, there is a Bath and New Knoxville, games where the Redskins looked like the Redskins of old.
â€śThe teams that played at Elida and played at St. Henry and played against Defiance arenâ€™t the same teams that played against Bath and played against New Knoxville,â€ť Bradley said. â€śThatâ€™s probably our biggest challenge right now. Weâ€™ve shown we can play at a high level. Now letâ€™s do it consistently.â€ť
O-G, meanwhile, finds itself in a period of transition. The Titans are young, with just three seniors. And Josh Leslie is no longer barking out instructions from the sideline.
In his place is former O-G and University of Findlay standout Tyson McGlaughlin.
A key cog for the Titans is 6-foot-6 freshman Noah Bramlage.
The Titans havenâ€™t looked like a team in transition. Theyâ€™re 9-4 overall and 3-1 in the WBL.
O-G has won three in a row, including a 57-54 win over the Lima Senior Spartans on Saturday.
â€śI think theyâ€™ve kind of got things figured out here recently,â€ť Bradley said.
Thatâ€™s not to say there havenâ€™t been bumps in the road. Defiance pasted the Titans 63-44 on January 13. And Putnam County rival Columbus Grove rolled to a 60-39 win over the Titans.
â€śO-G is a completely different animal than Defiance,â€ť Bradley said. â€śWhere Defiance was guard-oriented, played a lot of open post, want to shoot a lot of perimeter jump shots, O-G has some good size and they want to pound it in. They do some really good things with their offense to get the ball inside and donâ€™t shoot a lot of threes. So our focus is going to do a complete 180. ...
â€śWatching them on film, theyâ€™re going to be tougher to guard than Elida or Defiance just because of what theyâ€™re doing offensively.â€ť
The Redskins will have a healthy Kaleb Vondenhuevel back in the lineup Friday night.
â€śWe feel like we still havenâ€™t peaked yet,â€ť Bradley said. â€śWeâ€™re working toward playing in March and playing our best basketball in March.â€ť
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