Ottawa fell to state-ranked Hayden, 58-37. The Cyclone girls (5-4) play 3 p.m. today in the third-place game against Basehor-Linwood.
Hayden frustrated Ottawa with its depth, pressure defense and offensive rebounding.
“They are a great team,” Ottawa coach Kelli Fischer said. “We practiced all day [Wednesday] our press breaker. We put eight or nine girls to attack [against]. We did fine. In the first quarter, we did OK. We missed some shots. The second quarter, I was not unhappy except for the soft turnovers. We were not making crisp passes and not meeting the ball.
“It is a growth game. We don’t like the outcome. We are going to study it.”
Ottawa will use the loss to improve against athletic teams.
“We know where we are at and we got to get better,” Fischer said. “We don’t play a soft schedule. We [probably will] play them three times this year. From today till Tuesday, we have to improve so we can get closer. This team beat us on offensive rebounds and our dumb passes.”
Ottawa handled the press in spurts and then the turnovers came in spurts. Ottawa never really got the offense untracked.
Ottawa scored 15 points off free throws.
Fischer said many of her young players are learning new things on the run.
“I have asked some of these girls to do some things out of their range and they are responding to what we are asking them to do as a coaching staff,” Fischer said. “We saw some growth. It is stretching their ability. Once they know realize they can stretch that ability, they will get better.”
One of those players is freshman Angel Natt, who led Ottawa with 12 points. She had her good moments and then declined to freshman status.
“Freshman time is over,” Fischer said. “She is not a freshman anymore. She needs to play that total game.”
Junior Corie Fischer finished with 10 points, seven came in the fourth quarter. Hayden made her work all game long.
“It is a challenge of a point guard,” Fischer said. “It will make her a better player and leader.”
Hayden (58) — Lohse 8, Lenherr 12, Beck 9, Schmidt 9, Lawlor 12, Martinek 2, Hobart 4.
Ottawa (37) — Moore 8, Foster 2, Natt 12, Fischer 10, Davidson 2, Ferguson 1, Fizenmeier 2.