The Ottawa High School girls basketball team personified the term "being resilient."
The definition of resilient is being able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Ottawa was in difficult circumstances throughout Friday’s game against Paola but never wavered in its attempt to win the game.
Ottawa fell behind by 10 in the second half and was behind by seven points late but rallied for a 48-45 victory over the Panthers.
“Those girls fought so hard,” said head coach Matt Schurman. “We overcame a lot. They continue to believe, fight and not to give up. Their resiliency is great.”
Free throws turned out to be the difference. Ottawa hit 14 free throws, many of those were late in the game. Lauren Curtis hit all six attempts from the line.
“Lauren Curtis was under 30% last year,” Schurman said. I don’t think she missed one tonight. We hit some free throws. That has been an issue for us.”
Ottawa — despite turnovers and being behind for most of the game — made big plays with the game on the line.
“We were unselfish,” Schurman said. “We passed the ball. In our comeback, it was not just one person. It was multiple people. They jumped over a giant hurdle they fell on a couple of times early in the season. We had a lot of highs and lows. We were able to eliminate some of the lows and make plays at the end. We got some shots to fall and got defensive stops.”
Schurman called the performance and victory “a great Christmas present.”
“To actually see that victory,” he said. “I don’t know when the last league win was, but it has been a long time. Anytime you can beat a league rival, you can’t beat it.”
Sofia Ficken paced Ottawa with 12 points. Kirsten Evans had 11 with Curtis and Riley Titus finishing with eight apiece.
Paola (45) — Jones 2, Hanf 11, Ediger 13, Bryant 10, Garrett 2, McDow 7.
Ottawa (48) — Curtis 8, Ficken 12, Spigle 2, Titus 8, Hadl 5, Evans 11.