Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Free-throw shooting leads Cyclones past Hayden

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 1/24/2014

BASEHOR — The Ottawa High School boys basketball team has proved it has shooters all over the floor. Ottawa is a good free-throw shooting team.

The Cyclones were outstanding at the line Thursday in closing out Hayden in the semifinals of the Bobcat Classic in Basehor. Ottawa was 20-for-20 from the line, including hitting 18 in the fourth quarter, in its 62-54 victory.

BASEHOR — The Ottawa High School boys basketball team has proved it has shooters all over the floor. Ottawa is a good free-throw shooting team.

The Cyclones were outstanding at the line Thursday in closing out Hayden in the semifinals of the Bobcat Classic in Basehor. Ottawa was 20-for-20 from the line, including hitting 18 in the fourth quarter, in its 62-54 victory.

The win moved Ottawa (7-2) into its fourth straight Bobcat tourney championship game. Ottawa has won two straight tourney titles.

Ottawa and Basehor-Linwood renews its rivalry at 7:30 p.m. today in the title game.

The Cyclones played their best game of the season in turning back the Wildcats.

“We played almost a complete,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “We had a little drought late. It was the same thing. We kind of got back on heels and tried cruise in for the win.

“We let teams back in it. Our kids responded.”

Junior Quentin Blaue said Ottawa does not know how to play with a big lead.

Ottawa scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to open a 48-30 lead. Hayden closed the gap to seven twice with the last time coming with 48 seconds left.

“Sometimes we get ahead and don’t know how to keep the foot on the pedal and keep attacking,” Blaue said. “We got back on our heels and it got closer than it should have.”

Free throws kept Ottawa in the lead. Blaue hit six and led Ottawa with 21 points. Isaac McCullough also tossed in six charities and had 20 points. Cole Bunce and Tyler Smith hit two each.

“That will win you some basketball games,” McCullough said of the free throws. “They are shooting close to 73 percent as a team. That is outstanding.”

Blaue said Ottawa played smart down the stretch.

“We kept moving it and once they started fouling we knew who to get the ball to,” he said. “We got the right guys at the line.”

McCullough said it is a nice achievement to keep the championship streak alive.

“There are so many positives,” McCullough said. “We have 11 new guys and getting back to the championship game of this tournament is outstanding.

“We executed probably about as good as we have executed this year. They are a good team.”

Ottawa’s defenses kept Hayden off balance. The Wildcats have a good inside-outside combination.

“Our thoughts were to mix things up,” McCullough said. “Our man was our best defense. You have to control Meier. He is so good. We switched in and out of defenses.

“Trey Rich was working the big guy. We wanted to wear him down. He made him work hard. Tyler did a great job on Head. He can do inside or outside. We had great help. We stole some of those long passes.”

Hayden (54) — Meier 24, McGreevy 5, Head 17, Heinen 3, Smith 5.

Ottawa (62) — McCullough 20, Bunce 12, Blaue 21, Smith 6, Matney 3.

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