OHS girls coach confident team will turn things around

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

Ottawa High School girls basketball coach Matt Schurman believes the players will turn it around.

The Cyclones (3-6) are mired in a four-game losing streak after Wednesday’s 41-20 loss to Labette County in the Burlington Tournament.

Ottawa High School junior guard Kirsten Evans attempts a shot over a Labette County defender during Wednesday’s loss.

“I have a huge belief in this team,” Schurman said. “They have every ability to rebound. We have to get in the gym and improve our defense. We can’t continue to give up threes.

“One of the great things about this team is we can have a night where things don’t go right, the next night we have a [good game]. We will get back into the gym and work to get ourselves situated.”

The Cyclones’ level of play has dipped during the skid. Ottawa came out the holiday break with a win over Tonganoxie to extend their winning streak to three games. Since then things have not gone well.

“Every year, you have moments that are not fun,” Schurman said. ‘You look at KU versus Texas this year. It happens to teams. My message is we are better than we played. We continue to get stuck on things we can’t control or change at this point.”

The coach said the players have the moxie to turn things around.

“We are a team with experience and will be able to come back to do the things we need to do,” Schurman said. “These girls are very resilient. They don’t get too high or too low. Having a tournament in finals week is a tough week. We will get back to what we take pride in.”

Ottawa’s offense appeared out of sync against Labette County.

“Not much went right,” Schurman said. “The ball stuck a lot more. It was a domino effect. We missed some layups and all of a sudden the jumper was not falling. Their pressure bothered us. We did not execute the way we wanted to. Having some early foul trouble was rough.”

Schurman said coaching these girls is a joy and expects them to return to form.

“I love this team,” he said. “They do a great job representing Ottawa as a community. They are a fun team to be around. We will see if we can hit the right buttons to get us back into where we were.”

Ottawa (20) —Hadl 6, Spigle 4, Curtis 3, Evans 3, Ficken 2, Titus 1, Keebaugh 1.

Labette County (41) — Stewart 8, Perez 2, Smith 1, Wilson 3, Dean 4, Brannin 16, Sorrell 7.