EUDORA — Points at times were tough to come by for the Ottawa High School boys basketball team Friday night against Eudora on the Cardinals’ home floor.
The Cardinals forced Ottawa to go deep into its offensive repertoire to come up with scores. Ottawa answered the challenge to post a 53-44 victory.
“It is a tough place for us to come in and play,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “We talked about teams that know you so well. (Eudora coach) Kyle (Deterding) does such a great job of trying to take away the things we want to do. He packed it in and dared us to shoot from the outside.”
McCullough said Deterding, who is from Wellsville and the son of Eagles legendary coach Kermit Deterding, always has his teams prepared for a tough-nosed game.
“Kyle comes from a pretty good linage of coaching,” McCullough said. “You know you always get an extremely well-coached team when you come here to play. He will find something to make you work your butt off. If you are going to come in here and win, you are going to have to earn it. For us to come here and get the win is really good. They will battle you.”
The Cyclones coach liked how his team responded to Eudora’s grit.
“We did a really good job of adjusting to that,” McCullough said. “They are not going to give it to you. We did go out and take the game. That shows a little bit about our team. We have kids that can do that. They found a way. We were patient.”
Ottawa’s patience on offense paid off as the Cyclones worked the ball until something opened up. Ottawa began the fourth quarter with that mindset, running off two minutes off the clock and got a bucket inside.
“That showed a whole different side to our basketball team,” McCullough said. “We can sit in and grind it out. At halftime, we thought the best opportunity we had to score points was go through our sets. We have to got do something they were not comfortable with. We have a ton of screening. If we set screens, we will get open shots. We relied so much on our one-game offense, it was good to see us go to sets.”
Eudora went into halftime with momentum, taking the lead on a three-quarters court buzzer-beater.
“That big shot gives you a lot of momentum,” McCullough said. “We knew coming out we had to score and get stops. We went on a 9-0 run out of the gate and felt like we were in control. They started extending and pressuring. We know teams are going to extend, especially in late game situations. We responded well.”
Ottawa (7-5) plays Friday at home against Louisburg.