They played arguably their best game of the season, but the Lady Cyclones came up just short. Louisburg rallied Friday to edge the Ottawa High School girls basketball team 48-44.
With Louisburg struggling to hit shots in the first half, Ottawa built a commanding lead. A three-point basket by Kamryn Shaffer, senior, made it 22-2 with 3:30 left in the second quarter. The Lady Cyclones had a 24-13 lead at halftime.
“The intensity was there, the want was there, the drive was there,” Jamie Porter, OHS head girls basketball coach, said. “Louisburg came out and couldn’t hit anything in the first half. They came out in the second and everything was falling, especially the three pointers. We just couldn’t cut them off on those.”
The Lady Wildcats went on an 18-2 run from the 3:30 mark in the second quarter into the second half to make it 24-20 Ottawa. A 6-0 run by the Lady Cyclones pushed the lead back up to 10, but Louisburg didn’t go away.
Isabelle Holtzen, senior, sunk a jumper with 2:13 left to give Louisburg a 43-42 lead. Bailey Belcher, senior, went 1-2 at the free throw line with 1:04 left and Louisburg’s lead was 46-43. Ottawa, however, couldn’t get a basket on its ensuing offensive possession, and was forced to foul. Louisburg’s Brooklyn Diederich, freshman, went 1-2 at the foul line with 14.8 seconds left. Shaffer was fouled with 7.2 seconds left, and hit 1-2 free throws. Louisburg hit its final foul shot with 4.9 seconds left to make it a two-possession game, and time ran out on Ottawa.
Shaffer led Ottawa’s offensive charge with 16 points. Louisburg’s Carson Buffington, junior, also had 16 points to lead her team.
Despite the loss, the Ottawa girls have given two tough league teams a run for their money this week, thanks in part to high tempo defensive play.
“I can honestly tell you that I really think putting the full court press on — I think the girls do better with it,” Porter said. “They get out there, they have that intensity and that want. I feel like they get kind of lazy on our half-court defense. That full court press really gets them up and going.”
Ottawa plays 6 p.m. Tuesday at Paola.
Louisburg (48) — Buffington 16, Melton 9, Belcher 8, Holtzen 5, Diederich 5, Cain 3,Moore 2.
Ottawa (44) — Shaffer 16, Spigle 8, Jung 7, Bruce 6, Curtis 4, Aho 3.