PAOLA — Ottawa fought back, but it was too little, too late.

For the third straight game, the Ottawa High School girls basketball team came close, but couldn’t pull out a win. OHS fell 40-31 Tuesday at Paola High School.

The Lady Panthers found success against Ottawa down low, and opened up 14-2 lead into the second quarter. The Lady Cyclones fought back to make it 14-9 at the 1:50 mark in the second quarter on a basket by Summer Spigle, freshman.

From there, Paola outscored Ottawa 17-5 up to the start of the fourth quarter. Ottawa made it a single-digit game by putting up 16 points in the final eight minutes, but it wasn’t enough.

“We just got after it too late,” Jamie Porter, OHS head girls basketball coach, said. “We can’t just show up to the game in the fourth quarter and expect to win.

“I think our No. 1 thing is that our boxing out just wasn’t there. We were lacking in that part of it. I mentioned it every time out and at halftime, and it just wasn’t there. We had problems with our offense, getting that cutter to go through, setting some screens and we just didn’t have the patience for that part of it.”

Kamryn Shaffer, senior, led the Lady Cyclones with 14 points. Trinity McDow, sophomore, had 12 points for Paola.

Ottawa (2-15) plays 6 p.m. Friday at home against powerhouse Baldwin (16-1)

“We are just going to have to slow them down and keep them to where they can’t keep up that up-beat pace,” Porter said.

Paola (40) — McDow 12, Williams 6, Edwards 5, Johnson 4, Jones 4, Pitzer 4, Bryant 3, Garrett 2.

Ottawa (31) — Shaffer 14, Spigle 8, Wray 4, Aho 3, Jung 2.