SALINA — The KSHSAA canceled the boys and girls basketball tournaments following Thursday’s quarterfinal games.
KSHSAA released the following statement Thursday evening:
“After the conclusion of the quarterfinal round, the 2020 KSHSAA State Basketball Tournament will be canceled. Given the escalating concerns regarding COVID-19, the best decision for the safety of the student-athletes and spectators was to cancel the remainder of this championship tournament. The KSHSAA regrets the lost opportunity for teams and players that have worked to achieve their goals.”
It was an emotional day for the athletes, coaches, parents and fans of teams. The losers saw their seasons end, but the winners also felt the emotions of elation then deflation.
For the Ottawa High School boys basketball team, making its first state appearance in five years, the emotions ran the gamut during its 53-41 loss to Augusta in the first round of the 4A state tournament in Salina.
It was a game of runs. Ottawa had the first run, building an 18-8 lead in the second quarter. The Orioles answered with three big runs to turn the game in their favor.
Augusta closed the first half with a 10-0 run to tie the game at 18-18 at halftime.
The Cyclones surrendered a 15-0 spurt in the third quarter. Ottawa answered back with an 8-0 run to come within 37-34 with 6:30 left in the game. The Orioles delivered a knockout punch with a 13-0 run and led 50-34 late in the game.
Kobe Johnson and Noah McCullough paced Ottawa with 12 points each. Johnson surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career with a bucket early in the game.
It was the final game for seniors Johnson, Cade Gollier, Alex Quillen, Reis Moore, Dre Lane and Jayson Brown, who missed the latter stages of the season because of an injury.
Ottawa came into the state tournament winning 11 of 12 games after a 5-5 start. The Cyclones conclude the season with a record of 16-7.