Friday, October 31, 2014

Defense keys Cyclone boys' victory over Metro

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 1/29/2014

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team needed a breather. The Cyclones needed a game where the outcome was decided early and just go out and play.

The Cyclones took out some frustration on Metro Academy Monday in Ottawa. The Cyclones had 11 players score and five in double figures in their 82-45 win over the Mavericks.

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team needed a breather. The Cyclones needed a game where the outcome was decided early and just go out and play.

The Cyclones took out some frustration on Metro Academy Monday in Ottawa. The Cyclones had 11 players score and five in double figures in their 82-45 win over the Mavericks.

“We hit our shots,” junior guard Tyler Smith, who had 15 points, said. “We needed to get the tempo up like we did in the second half on Saturday. We tried to do it for four quarters.”

Ottawa’s offense was fueled by the defense. Ottawa played aggressively on the defensive end, which led to transition opportunities.

“Our halfcourt defense was good,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “We focused on our technique. It was the most aggressive. We had people flying to the ball, people diving on the floor. They were taking out some aggression from Saturday night.”

Ottawa was coming off a double-digit loss to Basehor-Linwood in the championship game of the Bobcat Classic.

“Saturday was a big atmosphere,” Smith said. “It was the first time playing in a big atmosphere. We thought we were ready. Basehor is one of the best tournaments in the state.”

McCullough felt Ottawa would come out flat with this being the Cyclones’ fourth game in six days, but Ottawa was ready to pounce on an opponent. Ottawa used a 16-0 run to open a 19-5 lead.

Ottawa was in the zone, hitting nine treys in the first half. Jake Matney hit five for the game for 15 points.

“They have been so unselfish,” McCullough said. “It is about the team. They always believed that.”

Isaac McCullough, Cole Bunce and Quentin Blaue tossed in 10 each to give Ottawa five in double figures.

“You can’t ask for anything more than that,” McCullough said. “We have guys that can do that. Balance out your scoring, you will win a lot of basketball games.”

The defense keyed everything.

“Connor Stepp played a heck of a defensive game,” McCullough said. “He is so quick. Tyler the same thing. Alex Stepp was attacking the dribble and taking the ball away. We have to get everybody doing it all at the same time.

“We played a more complete defensive game. We controlled the game from beginning to end.”

Ottawa (8-3) plays 7:30 p.m. Friday at fourth-ranked Piper and 4:30 p.m. Saturday at Tonganoxie.

“We have two hard games coming up,” Smith said.

Metro Academy (45) — McCullough 8, J. Hill 5, Hardage 6, Knight 9, Goertz 4, Rector 9, Unruh 2, Price 2.

Ottawa (82) — McCullough 10, Bunce 10, D. Jung 2, Blaue 10, Smith 15, T. Jung 3, Matney 15, C. Stepp 4, A. Stepp 4, Rich 3, Silvey 6.

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