Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Cyclone boys basketball team faces a must-win situation. Ottawa High School hosts Kansas City Washington (12-7) Tuesday in its second-to-last game of the season.
Seeding for 4A substate is set to be released Wednesday, and Ottawa (11-7) sits fifth in the 4A East Division standings, one place out of the top four which host sub-state. Anderson County (11-5) is fourth as of Friday.
“[Washington is] a really good basketball team,” Cliff McCullough, OHS head boys basketball coach, said. “They are tested, they are good, they are athletic. They are not real big. They remind me a little bit of Bonner Springs. They don’t shoot the ball as well and I don’t think they are quite as cohesive a team like Bonner is, but they are going to be a good test for us. It is a game that we have to win. If we can win that game, we write our own destiny in sub-state.”
The Cyclones won two of three games this week, capping it off Thursday with a 77-37 drubbing of league rival Baldwin in Ottawa.
The Bulldogs rallied after falling behind 12-0, and gave the Cyclones fits in the first quarter. Baldwin got within 27-23 before the home team finished the first half on a 16-2 run. The game was never close after that.
Kobe Johnson led the Cyclones with 17 points, Cade Gollier added 12 and Isaac Bones had 11. Baldwin was led by Monroe Morgan who scored 17 points.
Following a good week of basketball, McCullough noted the players are building a lot of momentum at the right time.
“Especially offensively, and to a certain extent defensively,” he said. “We held the last two teams down because we needed to for sub-state tiebreaker purposes. We did what we were supposed to do. Offensively, I think we have a lot of confidence right now. Even in the Bonner Springs game we gained a lot of confidence because we played with a really good basketball team. Right now, we are going into the last week and confidence is a must.”
Ottawa (77) - Johnson 17, Gollier 12, Bones 11, Michel 9, Brown 8, Moore 7, Quillen 7, McCullough 4, Beets 2.
Baldwin (37) - Morgan 17, Dillaon 5, Barth 4, Garber 4, Berg 3, Cessna 2, Fursman 2.