Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ottawa boys do the 'little dirty things' in victory

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 2/12/2014

DE SOTO — It was time for the Ottawa High School boys basketball team to get down and dirty. The Cyclones were coming off a disappointing effort in a loss Saturday to Tonganoxie.

Ottawa fell behind 9-2 early in Tuesday’s game against De Soto on the Wildcats’ home floor. Ottawa turned to hustle plays to turn the tide.

DE SOTO — It was time for the Ottawa High School boys basketball team to get down and dirty. The Cyclones were coming off a disappointing effort in a loss Saturday to Tonganoxie.

Ottawa fell behind 9-2 early in Tuesday’s game against De Soto on the Wildcats’ home floor. Ottawa turned to hustle plays to turn the tide.

The Cyclones mustered just enough offense to pull out a 51-48 victory.

“It was a scratch and claw game,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “We did not shoot the ball very well again. Tonight we found a way. We played a lot tougher mentally and physically. We were so much better to loose balls.

“When you are not shooting the ball well, you have to do the little dirty things. You have to rebound and go after loose balls. It was not pretty. You have to win games like this too. You got to know you can do that and how to do that. We learned something.”

The slow start brought a bit of apprehension among the Cyclone faithful.

“We can not dig ourselves a hole,” McCullough said. “We were getting shots and nothing was falling. I had flashbacks.”

Ottawa cut the De Soto lead to 15-14 at the end of the first quarter. Ottawa used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to snare a 24-21 lead. De Soto led 25-24 at halftime.

The second half was nip and tuck. Ottawa went on a 10-2 run to open a 45-38 lead with 6:45 left in the game.

The Verhulst brothers brought the Wildcats back. Dalton finished with 23 points, while Quinton had 14.

“Those two are going to score,” McCullough said. “We did a good job of switching in and out of zones to keep them off balance. Late in the game, we matched up with them man-to-man. We came up with steals and deflections at the end. We made them earn their points. We kept the score down. It was a good response the way we played Saturday.”

Ottawa got back to its balanced attack with three players in double figures.

Isaac McCullough led Ottawa with 12 points. Cole Bunce bounced out of a slump with 11. Tyler Smith had 10.

“You can win a lot of games spreading it out,” McCullough said. “It makes it tougher to defend. Who do you guard?

“Cole was playing his butt off. He played a great game. That is what we expect out of Cole.”

Ottawa (10-4, 5-2) plays Friday at home against Louisburg.

De Soto (48) — Q. Verhulst 14, D. Verhulst 23, Stenzel 2, Taulbee 5, Johnson 2.

Ottawa (51) — McCullough 12, Bunce 11, D. Jung 4, Blaue 3, Smith 10, Matney 3, T. Jung 6, Rich 2.

comments powered by Disqus