EUDORA — A fourth quarter lead slipped away from the Cyclones Tuesday. Eudora rallied to snap a three-game Ottawa win streak by beating the Cyclone boys basketball team 55-50 in overtime on EHS’s Breast Cancer Awareness Night.
Ottawa took a 40-31 lead on a Kobe Johnson three with 5:20 left, capping off a 14-1 Cyclone run. That is when the wheels began to fall off.
Eudora senior Jayden Pierce countered with a basket-and-one, and teammate Brett Breedlove hit a three on the next Cardinal possession to make it 40-37 with four minutes left. Eudora didn’t score again until Pierce sunk a bucket to cut the lead to 41-39 with 1:58 left.
Cade Gollier was fouled and sent to the line with 33 seconds left and hit both shots to extend the Ottawa lead, 43-39. Pierce found Breedlove for another clutch three with 17 seconds left to slice OHS’s lead to one. On the ensuing inbounds, Ottawa senior Isaac Bones lost the ball out of bounds, but got redemption when he tipped the ball away on the Cardinal inbounds pass and made a break for the basket. Bones missed the contested layup, but Gollier was there to snag the ball and was subsequently fouled with eight seconds left. He hit one of two free throws to make it 44-42.
Tucker Shackelford went up for a shot underneath the basket and Gollier was called for a foul with 0.7 seconds left. He hit the first and sunk the second after a timeout by OHS. Gollier lofted up a 3/4 court hail mary as time expired in regulation and the ball bounced off the rim.
“We have to learn how to stop people,” Cliff McCullough, OHS head basketball coach, said. “When we get the opportunity to stop people and put games away then we have got to be able to do that. If we think we are even remotely going to go and take this thing to the next level, we have to make stops defensively and we didn’t [against Eudora].”
Ottawa did not score in overtime until the 18-second mark, by which point Eudora had already built a 51-44 lead. The Cyclones did manage to cut the lead to three points as the seconds dwindled down, but it was too little too late in the team’s first league loss since the opening game of the season against Piper.
Things don’t get easier for the Cyclones (9-6). They play their final road game of the season Friday at Bonner Springs (13-2). The Braves are the No. 1 ranked team in the East 5A division. It will be the first time the two squads play each other as Frontier League opponents.
“Our guys are going to have to regroup and figure some things out because this is a really good basketball team they are getting ready to play,” McCullough said. “We can either suck it up, battle them and grind the game out, or we can get run out of the gym. It is up to these guys.”
Eudora (55) - Pierce 18, Shackelford 9, Breedlove 8, Abts 6, Elston 6, Zimmerman 5, Watkins 2, Arnold 1.
Ottawa (50) - Brown 14, Johnson 13, Michel 8, Gollier 8, Bones 3, Moore 2, McCullough 2.