Thursday, July 24, 2014

Coach McCullough: ‘We are not good enough’

By GREG MAST, Herald Sports Editor | 2/28/2014

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team held the Frontier League championship in its hands. All they had to do was win one of the two final games of their regular season.

The Cyclones could not. Ottawa fell to Spring Hill 63-62 Friday night in Spring Hill.

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team held the Frontier League championship in its hands. All they had to do was win one of the two final games of their regular season.

The Cyclones could not. Ottawa fell to Spring Hill 63-62 Friday night in Spring Hill.

“We had destiny in our hands, and we did not want it,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “We did not want anything to do with it. We are not tough enough to defend anything, let alone go out and capture a league title. We are not good enough.”

Ottawa had an 11-point lead early in the third quarter, but Spring Hill used a 9-0 spurt to rally within 44-42. Ottawa increased the lead to 8 at 54-46 at the end of the third quarter.

Ottawa’s offense went cold in the fourth quarter. The Cyclones musted 3 points until the final 17 seconds.

“They played defense,” McCullough said. “We have to make shots.”

Isaac McCullough hit two free throws to make it 61-59 with 17 seconds left. Spring Hill answered by nailing two free throws to up the margin to four at 63-59.

McCullough hit a long trey at the buzzer to bring Ottawa within a point.

Spring Hill scored 38 points in the second half.

“You can’t play defense like that and expect to win,” McCullough said. “That is what it comes down to. We did not guard three-point shooters.

“We are not ready for the postseason. We must have peaked two weeks ago.”

McCullough paced Ottawa with 34 points. Ottawa (13-7) plays 7:30 p.m. Friday at Baldwin against Hayden.

Spring Hill (63) — Cygan 7, Johnson 5, Reynolds 7, Hodge 8, Bybee 19, Cluck 2, Hughes 15.

Ottawa (62) — McCullough 34, Bunce 2, D. Jung 2, Blaue 7, Smith 11, Matney 2, T. Jung 5.

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