A 20-5 run to close out the first half boosted the Cyclones past Paola Tuesday. The Ottawa High School boys basketball team snapped a two-game skid with one of its best performances of the season in a 61-38 home victory over the league rival Panthers.
Junior Kobe Johnson and senior Isaac Bones combined for 30 of Ottawa’s points. Johnson led all scorers with 16 points. Paola was led by junior Ryan Wokutch who scored 12.
It was Ottawa’s second game in as many days after coming off a 78-63 loss at Bonner Springs in Monday’s make-up contest. Cyclone head coach Cliff McCullough called Tuesday’s effort the best the team has executed on offense this season.
“I thought we maintained our high level of play, and that is a turning point for our basketball team,” McCullough said. “Another turning point is that we will go on runs and then we will have lulls and let the other team back in it. We never let that happen [against Paola]. Give credit to our guys, they battled.”
The Cyclones are in the thick of a heated race for seeding in the 4A sub-state standings. Two divisions (East and West) comprised of 18 teams each make up the 4A classification with the top four seeds in each division hosting sub-state. There will be two play-in games in each division, making four sub-state tournaments of four teams each in the East and West divisions. Ottawa (10-7) is among five teams in 4A East with 10 wins and two others with nine wins.
Due to incoming weather, Ottawa’s Friday home game against Baldwin (1-16) is moved to Thursday, according to OHS officials.
“We have goals for every game,” McCullough said. “Not only do we need to win the game against Baldwin, but we have other things have to accomplish during that game. It is not anything that we can every take lightly, and I tell [the players] all the time to never underestimate anybody. [Baldwin] almost beat Eudora a week ago and you just never know any given night, so you have to come prepared and get yourself ready.”
Ottawa (61) - Johnson 16, Bones 14, Brown 8, Gollier 6, Michel 6, Beets 3.
Paola (38) - Wokutch 12, Richmond 10, Moala 6, Gant 3, Aude 2, Robbins 2, Weaver 2, Robison 1.