PAOLA — Heading into winter break on a two-game win streak gives Cyclone basketball the momentum it was looking for. The team avenged last year’s season-ending loss in the process.
The Ottawa High School boys basketball team cruised past Paola 56-32 Friday on the road. Last March on the same court, Paola ended the Cyclone’s season with a double-overtime sub-state win.
“There was a lot riding on this game,” Cliff McCullough, OHS head boys basketball coach, said. “ First was momentum. We want momentum going into Christmas break. We didn’t want that sour taste in our mouths for a couple weeks before we get back at it. Secondly, it was our second league game and we were already 0-1 after the Piper game. It is huge that we win conference games. Third, I told the guys before the game that the last time they were here, [Paola] ended their basketball season, and that is not acceptable. We were playing for a lot more than just getting a win before the break.”
It was a close game early with Ottawa pulling away for a 25-17 halftime lead. In the third quarter, the Panthers got as close as 31-26, but the Cyclones ended the game on a 25-6 run.
OHS had four players score in double digits led by Cade Gollier and Jayson Brown with 11 points each. Isaac Bones and Kobe Johnson both put up 10.
Ottawa (3-2) comes out of the break Jan. 4 to play Tonganoxie on the road.
Ottawa (56) — Gollier 11, Brown 11, Bones 10, Johnson 10, Moore 9, Quillen 2, McCullough 2.
Paola (32) — Richmond 13, Wokutch 7, Penn 6, Moala 4, Weaver 2.