Opposing coaches of the Ottawa High School boys basketball team has to pick how to defend the Cyclones. Do you double-team Semi Ojeleye? Play him straight up? Or mix things up?
Baldwin tried a little bit of everything Tuesday in Ottawa. The Bulldogs doubled Ojeleye, tried to be physical and played man defense.
Ottawa shredded every defense, hitting 58 percent from the field in a 71-43 victory in front of another packed house.
It was the first time Ottawa has seen junk defenses in awhile. Ottawa picked it a part.
“It is something different,” Ottawa senior Kaden Shaffer said. “We got really good looks against it. If we can get support for everybody around [Semi], it defeats that purpose. We were making the extra pass.
“They were wide open shots. It was good flow offensively. Anytime we get support, it will open up Semi even more. We will be real tough to beat.”
Ottawa coach Jon McKowen liked how the Cyclones dissected the Baldwin defense.
“It is the first time we have seen it in three or four games,” he said. “It was good to see how we played against us. They threw a bunch of different defenses at us.
“It was a physical game. You have to rise above the adversity.”
Ojeleye finished 15 of 22 from the field for 37 points. The senior found his rhythm outside and then took it strong to the hoop.
“He’s got great maturity about him,” McKowen said of Ojeleye. “Being physical does not phase him. He made all of his teammates better.
“When he got doubled, his eyes stayed up. Everyone of them were unselfish. They are great teammates.
“We are good shooters. It is about getting good shots. We got a lot of transition buckets. Teammates can give teammates rhythm. We hit people when they were open on time. That makes shooting a lot easier.”
Shaffer, who had 10 points, said Ojeleye plays hard all the time.
“He is relentless,” he said. “He does whatever it takes. If he is working that hard, he draws a lot of attention which leaves the rest of us open.”
Senior Dallas Natt, who is playing with an injured wrist on his shooting hand, put together a sterling floor game.
“When Dallas wants to he’s an amazing distributor,” McKowen said. “He makes us really, really good. He is very talented with the basketball. It is motivating to his teammates to get open. He will get it to you in a great spot.”
Shaffer said Natt is a multi-talented athlete and can make a difference despite his injury.
“He is doing a good job of finding others now,” he said. “He is playing a true point guard role.”
Senior Alex Hasty was aggressive offensively, hitting for 13 points.
Ottawa did not back down from Baldwin.
“We were able to be physical on the defensive side,” McKowen said. “It forced a ton of turnovers. We tried to extend them a little bit. We were able to get our hands on a bunch of balls.”
Shaffer said Ottawa concentrated on playing good defense from start to finish after limiting Baldwin to 35 percent from the field.
“We stayed focus,” he said. “We have to play four quarters of defense. They have good players. We matchup well with them.”
The packed house brought a lot of energy to the Ottawa side.
“They were loud,” McKowen said. “It is a blast. It is a great atmosphere.”
Ottawa (9-0, 4-0) plays 7:30 p.m. Friday at home against Eudora.
Baldwin (43) — Fursman 9, Burton 2, Brown 13, Craig 01, Ch. Gaylord 7, Twombly 2.
Ottawa (71) — Ojeleye 37, Hasty 13, Peters 4, Shaffer 10, Natt 5, A. Blaue 2.