Some games, it is the offense that struggles, others it is the defense. Sometimes turnovers or cold shooting raises its ugly head.
Individual players also have been inconsistent.
“You don’t know who is going to show up on any given night,” Ottawa coach Bruce Tate said following Saturday’s 69-59 loss to McPherson in McPherson. “When your two leading scorers don’t score, that is an issue.”
Amber Ramsey and Shauna McClure were held to three points combined. They average a combined 27 points a game.
“Mentally did they take themselves out of the game,” Tate said. “They were playing Amber more physical than she is used to. She was not being aggressive. You have to play through that.”
Ottawa crawled out of an 11-point hole early in the second half. Ottawa tied the game at 49-49 with 5:40 left and again at 53-53.
McPherson answered with a 6-0 run to open a 59-53 lead with 2:34 remaining.
McPherson shot 43 percent from the field and hit 18 of 23 free throws. Ottawa was outrebounded 39-29, giving up 11 offensive boards.
“I am concerned about our intensity on defense and lack of rebounding,” Tate said.
McPherson junior Madision Chambers, a former Wellsville standout, had nine points and nine rebounds.
Ottawa bounced back from a poor offensive first half that saw the Lady Braves score just 19 points and shoot 23 percent.
Mikayla Skidmore, Kelsi Meier and Lauren Buckles led the offensive charge in the second half. Skidmore paced Ottawa with 20 points. Meier and Buckles had 13 each.
“Skidmore got aggressive,” Tate said. “She has the athletic ability to get the ball [to the rim]. Buck got a few threes down. I love the fight and desire.”
Just not always the execution late in games.
“We have to figure out a way to finish,” Tate said. “We need to find a way to stop the bleeding. We need a band-aid and we need one quick.”
Ottawa (7-15, 3-9) takes a four-game skid into Thursday’s game at Bethany.
McPherson (69) — Cramer 13, Eisenhour 6, Brown 12, Brewster 12, Chambers 9, Cooper 9, Puttergill 2, Engelbert 6.
Ottawa (59) — Dowell 4, Ramsey 2, Skidmore 20, Meier 13, McClure 1, Neptune 2, Thomas 4, Buckles 13.