BALDWIN — Kobe Johnson put up 23 points and the Ottawa High School boys basketball team won its fourth straight game Tuesday. The Cyclones dispacted of the Baldwin Bulldogs 53-40 in Baldwin City to stay undefeated in league play (4-0).
It marked the fifth time in seven games this season that OHS has kept an opponent to 40 points or less scoring. Cliff McCullough, OHS head boys basketball coach, said this was a step in the right direction after a disappointing showing last Friday against Paola.
“We worked our tails off the last two days on our defense after watching film on the Paola game. That was the challenge [against Baldwin]. Nothing on offense, I didn’t talk to them about offense. It was all about defense, and they have to learn that they have to play this game with a certain amount of heart and passion and intensity because we demand it. We changed our coaching style over these past few days to try to show them some intensity, and I think it carried over.”
The Cyclones got up 29-20 at halftime, and played stingy in the third quarter when Baldwin scored just three points.
Johnson, sophomore forward, had another big game for Ottawa, leading all scorers. Aidan Michel, junior forward, came off the bench to replace Johnson, making several big plays in the post himself.
“[Michel] played the best game of his high school career, and he did it on both ends,” McCullough said. “I thought he played great defensively, but offensively he had a ton of confidence. He has great post moves, he just has to get confidence. I think tonight did that.”
Ottawa (6-1) plays 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eudora. The Cardinals no longer have all-star Mitchell Ballock, but McCullough noted they play similar to Baldwin and it will be a matchup the Cyclones will have to take intensity into.
“[Eudora] is still at the top of the Frontier League,” he said. “They have a really nice post player. I think every team in our league has at least one really nice post player. They’ve got a couple of junior guards that are really solid.”
Ottawa (53) — Kobe Johnson 23, Krys Johnson 8, Shaffer 7, Michel 6, Bethea 3, Savage 2, Matney 2, Brown 2.
Baldwin (40) — Ramirez 14, Dighans 11, Letner 6, Laskowski 5, Norris 2, Wilson 2.