Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cyclones find range with shots in second half

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 1/8/2014

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team was cold from the field in the first half. It allowed Louisburg to stay within striking distance.

The second half was a different story. Ottawa began to find the range with its shots. The Cyclones went on a 31-10 spurt in the first 10 minutes of the second half to turn a close game into a rout.

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team was cold from the field in the first half. It allowed Louisburg to stay within striking distance.

The second half was a different story. Ottawa began to find the range with its shots. The Cyclones went on a 31-10 spurt in the first 10 minutes of the second half to turn a close game into a rout.

Ottawa built a 58-31 lead and topped Wildcats, 68-49.

“It is easier when you start knocking down shots,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “In the first half, we got looks. We left 20 points on the rim. If they keep going after it, it will come. They need to hit that one. When we play good defense, it gets us into a rhythm. We stopped them and got into our offensive flow.”

Louisburg scored the first point of the third quarter to pull within 27-22. Ottawa then got hot, tossing in six treys in a 24-point third quarter.

“Isaac [McCullough] had that nice stretch,” McCullough said. “He had a lot of confidence. We started finishing better at the rim. The motion offense suits us so well. Being able to go five out and move, move and move. They are starting to understand where everybody is going to be. We were getting what we wanted.

“We got on a roll offensively. You can put things out of reach in a hurry. That is what we can do. We were fortunate.”

Ottawa played better defense, keeping Louisburg from making any big runs at Ottawa.

“I challenged them to hold them under 50 points,” McCullough said. “We switched up a lot of defenses on them. We are going to have to do.

“This team has to play multiple defenses to keep people off balance. We put in the soft press. We did really well with that in the first half.

“We worked a lot on defense the last nine days. Before the Christmas break, our defense was not very good. We were outscoring people. We have to keep getting better.”

Despite not having a big frontline, Ottawa continues to dominate the boards.

“Rebounding is a discipline,” McCullough said. “It comes from the heart. We did rebound better. We have to put all facets of this game together.

“Once we get a lead, it is tough to give it up. Offensively, we can do so many things. We have to do it on the defensive end.”

Cole Bunce led Ottawa (4-0) with 17 points. McCullough had 16 and Quentin Blaue tossed in 12.

Louisburg (49) — Ribordy 13, Sander 2, Garza 2, Wertz 8, Meyer 9, Moore 5, Carder 7, McClellan 3.

Ottawa (68) — McCullough 16, Bunce 17, Blaue 12, Smith 8, T. Jung 6, A. Stepp 4, Rich 1, Silvey 4.

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