Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ottawa boys pull out victory

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 2/15/2014

The Ottawa High School boys team needed its offense to bail out the defense Friday against Louisburg in Ottawa.

The Wildcats powered the ball inside and hit key outside shots to keep the Cyclones within range. Ottawa finally pulled away for a 71-65 victory.

The Ottawa High School boys team needed its offense to bail out the defense Friday against Louisburg in Ottawa.

The Wildcats powered the ball inside and hit key outside shots to keep the Cyclones within range. Ottawa finally pulled away for a 71-65 victory.

“We did not do ourselves any favors defensively,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “Our post defense was terrible. You know Louisburg is going to get the ball inside to their big football players. We knew that going in. We did not have people in the right spot. Those teams that have real strong interior play is a problem for us.

“It is all effort and technique. We have to get the right places. We front our post. Once we do, they pull our help side out. We gave up way too many direct passes in the lane. We have to figure it out.”

Louisburg had Ottawa on the ropes until the final three minutes of the game. Ottawa used a 7-0 run to go from a 57-56 lead to a 64-56 lead.

“We finally got on track offensively,” McCullough said. “Quentin has to shoot the ball for us. He has to be a scorer for us.”

Quentin Blaue finished with 19 points, including a three and three free throws in the fourth quarter.

Connor Stepp came off the bench to give Ottawa a big spark. He hit a trey to end the third quarter to give Ottawa a 42-41 lead. He knocked down seven free throws in the fourth quarter en route to 11 points.

“Has always been a spark plug type of guy. He knocked down some free throws. Defensively he can cause a lot of problems for people. His teammates knew Connor could this. He can make turnovers happen.”

Isaac McCullough finished with 23 points. He had 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Ottawa got off to a slow start offensively in the first half, falling down 8-3. Ottawa led 29-27 at halftime.

“We fell in love with the three in the first half,” McCullough said.

Ottawa (11-4) plays 5 p.m. today against state-ranked Piper.

Louisburg (65) — Ribordy 11, Sander 14, Moore 3, Meyer 5, Wertz 17, Garza 8, Carder 2, Dunn 5.

Ottawa (71) — McCullough 23, Bunce 7, D. Jung 2, Blaue 19, Smith 2, Matney 6, T. Jung 1, C. Stepp 11, A. Stepp 2.

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