Sometimes you need things to go your way at the end to pull out close games.
The Ottawa High School boys basketball was fortunate to have some of those plays go its way in the final seconds Wednesday against Metro Academy. The Mavs missed key free throws and a shot at the buzzer. Ottawa held off Metro Academy, 62-60.
Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said Ottawa did everything it could to give the game away in the final minutes after building a 58-48 lead.
“Not sure we deserved it, but we got it,” he said. “We gave them every chance. It was ugly. What bothers me we should not be giving games away with six seniors on our team. That really concerns me.”
Ottawa left the door open for the rally by missing free throws. Ottawa was a cool 7-of-26 from the line for the game.
“We scored a lot of points, especially for not hitting any free throws,” McCullough said. “We need to go out and execute this game and play well because we don’t have time to practice and make adjustments.”
Ottawa plays Friday at home against Tonganoxie and Saturday in the 810 Varsity Classic at St. Thomas Aquinas against Summit Christian from Lees Summitt, Missouri.
Ottawa showed some rust after a 17-day break.
“Hopefully, Friday we come out and play better,” McCullough said. “It will be an opponent we are familiar with. We have not played Metro in a few years. We knew they were good. They have kids that can shoot. They have good size. They beat Spring Hill [Tuesday]. They played Olathe South really tough. It was a good test for us coming out of the break.”
Ottawa found some offensive rhythm to open the fourth quarter to forge a 10-point lead.
“We ran our offense,” McCullough said. “We got everything we wanted. Everything close to the basket. That is what we run our offense to try to get. We executed. We finished. My issue is what happened [next]. Why did it change? They did not adjust to what we were doing. We do that from time-to-time and go away from what we are good at. We give up two threes and they are back in it.”
McCullough said Tonganoxie is a capable team that can give Ottawa trouble.
“They are a much improved team,” he said. “They have everybody back from last year. They are going to come in here believing they can win the game. We will have to be ready.”