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Braves power past Kansas Wesleyan for fourth straight win

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

Ottawa High University men like to play fast and with more finesse.

Kansas Wesleyan conversely is more of a power team with its size. The two styles clashed Saturday in Wilson Field House. The Braves displayed some muscle of their own and still imposed their will on the Coyotes in an 88-82 victory.

“It was a big toughness win for us,” Ottawa coach Aaron Siebenthall said. “There are a lot of different styles in this league. Kansas Wesleyan and us play different styles. You have to match a team where they are at. We competed and made enough plays on both ends to get the win.”

Ottawa won its fourth straight game and split the season series with Kansas Wesleyan, which nipped Ottawa, 95-93, earlier this season.

Ottawa came out of the blocks slow but finished strong. Wesleyan led 8-1 and 15-4 early. The Braves led 41-37 at halftime.

Jaquan Daniels continues to be red-hot with his third 30-plus performance in the past four games. He finished with 34 points and seven steals.

“Jaquan is playing out of his mind right now,” Siebenthall said. “He is playing really good defense. He is shooting a really high percentage. When you have a talent like that that is clicking, you have to keep feeding him. The reason he can go the way he is because he has so many weapons around him. That was a total team effort, especially on the defensive end.”

Ottawa shot 47.7 percent from the floor. The Braves had a 29-14 advantage in points off turnovers and a 16-9 lead in second-chance points.

“Unless we play good defense and rebound the ball, then you can’t play that style,” Siebenthall said. “Our offensive style is predicated on playing good solid defense. If we can do that, we can run.”

Ottawa turned up the defensive intensity during the win streak.

“We finally got the reps we needed being in quarantine and all that stuff in the first semester,” Siebenthall said. “Our defense is catching up with our offense.”

Andre Jackson finished with 19 points and seven rebounds. Joe Johnson III came off the bench for 10 points.

Ottawa (8-4, 5-4) played a rescheduled game Monday at Southwestern and returned home for another rescheduled game against Tabor.