BALDWIN CITY — To most, Ottawa High School basketball is centered around one player. Those inside the program understand it takes more than one to get the job done.
Baldwin threw a blanketed defense on Ottawa all-state senior Semi Ojeleye. His teammates picked up the slack as Ottawa gutted out a 62-48 victory in Baldwin City.
Ottawa coach Jon McKowen said if teams put three players on Ojeleye the others will find holes and score. That is what happened.
“We knew this would happen,” McKowen said. “We found a way to win. It was ugly basketball.”
Ottawa’s supporting cast showed it can be a force offensively. Ojeleye finished with 20 points with 18 coming from the free-throw line.
McKowen said just because Ojeleye did not score a lot of points, does not mean Ottawa played bad.
“We don’t care who scores,” he said. “The other guys played well. We could not get the outside shots to fall.”
Ottawa missed a lot of free throws, which kept the game close. Baldwin closed the first half on an 8-0 run to come within 26-24 at halftime.
Ottawa started taking control in the third quarter, Ottawa scored eight straight points to take a 43-33 lead early in the fourth quarter. Then it came a free-throw shooting contest. Ottawa built a 15-point lead at 55-40 midway through the fourth quarter.
Kaden Shaffer was aggressive taking the ball to the hole and finished with a season-best 13 points. Dallas Natt had 12 points.
Ottawa (18-0) plays Tuesday at Eudora.
Baldwin (48) — Fursman 10, Ca. Gaylord 2, Berg 16, Twombly 3, Craig 7, Ch. Gaylord 10.
Ottawa (62) — Ojeleye 20, Hasty 7, Peters 4, Shaffer 13, Natt 12, Boeh 4, Markley 1, Graf 1.