LOUISBURG — Not every game can be better than the last one. The Ottawa High School boys basketball team has set the bar high.
The Cyclones did not click on all cylinders Friday at Louisburg, but still had enough game to best the Wildcats, 74-43.
Ottawa coach Jon McKowen saw this coming.
“I was not happy with the flow of the game,” he said. “We had a lot of good individual effort. Not a lot of team play. It starts in practice. Our practices have not been the best.”
The final score is a bit deceiving. Louisburg was within 35-28 midway through the third quarter. Ottawa increased the lead to 14 entering the fourth quarter and scored 26 points in the final eight minutes.
McKowen said Louisburg made adjustments from the first meeting where Ottawa dominated from start to finish.
The win gave Ottawa the No. 1 seed in the sub-state tourney and wrapped up the Frontier League championship.
“We got those accomplished,” McKowen said. “It was a win.”
Louisburg handled Ottawa’s 1-3-1 pressure defense as well as any team this season. McKowen credited Louisburg point guard Corbin Wertz.
“Their point guard was good,” McKowen said. “They exposed some things. They threw it over the top.”
Sometimes Louisburg got it inside for easier shots.
The Ottawa offense was not as crisp as in past games. The ball became stagnant.
“It stuck tonight,” McKowen said. “Part of it we were able to get to the hole.”
McDonald’s All-American Semi Ojeleye was too much for Louisburg to handle. He finished with 49 points. He scored 19 points in the fourth quarter. He had 23 of Ottawa’s 33 first half points.
Ojeleye closed within 90 points of the state’s all-time scoring record of 2,554 points set by Josh Reid of Brewster.
Ottawa plays Tuesday at Paola.
Louisburg (43) — Sander 6, Ribordy 11, Stambaugh 4, Storey 2, Steffy 16, Lesher 2, Garza 2.
Ottawa (74) — Ojeleye 49, Hasty 10, Peters 4, Natt 4, Boeh 2, Markley 4, Graf 1.