The Ottawa High School boys basketball team returned home Tuesday on the heels of two straight losses in the Basehor-Linwood Tournament.
Ottawa had no time to prepare for Blue Valley Southwest since the Cyclones played Monday against top-ranked Piper in the third-place game of the tournament.
The Cyclones have played well all season in their home gym and Tuesday night was no exception. Ottawa’s big second half downed the Mavericks, 71-56.
“We needed that,” Ottawa caoch Cliff McCullough said. “We knew it would not be very easy. I did not know how they were going to come out. We did not do a lot of prep for this game. Sometimes it is good to just go play, execute our stuff, play our kind of defense, and dictate what goes on, usually good things will happen.”
They did, especially in the second half. Ottawa faced a 31-30 halftime deficit, but controlled play throughout the second half, building a 19-point lead.
“The second half was about as good as I’ve seen us play,” McCullough said. “I challenged them at halftime to find that team that played Washburn Rural. Play that kind of defense. We really limited them to taking shots they did not want to take. We limited them to one shot per possession. We came down offensively and got what we wanted. It was great execution. It was a whole team effort.”
The Cyclones had the Maverick defense out of position the whole second half.
“We shared the ball really well,” McCullough said. “We had some really nice assists. It was all about the team. If we can put up 70 points, we will beat a lot of teams.”
One of the best assists was a wrap-around pass by Jayson Brown to Cade Gollier, who buried a three.
“It was a beautiful pass,” McCullough said. “Cade was right there in rhythm. It was all working for us.”
McCullough said this group feels comfortable at home.
“These guys soak in the atmosphere,” he said. “Credit to the student section. We’ve always been a proud program.”
Ottawa plays Friday at Eudora.