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Cyclone boys display positive signs in loss to BVSW

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team has been inconsistent all season in its level of play.

The Cyclones in the past week have been stuck in neutral. Ottawa kicked its level up a few notches Tuesday night on the road against Blue Valley Southwest, a 6A school.

The final score was a bit misleading as Ottawa fell 75-47. Cyclone coach Cliff McCullough saw a lot of things he liked.

Ottawa High School junior Noah McCullough powers his way to the basket against the bigger Blue Valley Southwest defenders. McCullough paced Ottawa with 16 points in the loss.

“You are not happy getting beat by 30,” he said. “We had some bright spots. We have something we can build on. Our intensity was good the whole game.”

Blue Valley Southwest sported size and athletic guards.

“They are big, long, have shooters and guys that can handle the ball,” McCullough said. “They have a lot of tools.”

Ottawa did not back down against the two 6-foot-8 posts.

“We had guys attacking the bigs and knocking down shots,” McCullough said. “Their pressure defense made us move, move, move. It was good because a lot of times we do have [the ball] stick against a defense like that. You get into a flow. They made us work the whole game. That was so good for us. We played up to their level. It allowed us to get shots and we were knocking them down.”

Noah McCullough paced Ottawa with 16 points. Jake Titus finished with 12.

“It was good to see Noah hit a couple of threes,” McCullough said. “Jake attacked [their bigs]. If we play like we did, cut out about six or eight of our turnovers, we probably could have won four games of our seven losses. We all needed it. It did not feel like we got beat by 30. If you play like that it does not feel that bad.”

Ottawa’s defense showed promise against the talented Blue Valley squad.

“We got a hand up in their shooters,” McCullough said. “They had four or five kids that could shoot. Our defense was better.”

McCullough said a performance like this could signal a turnaround.

“A game like this could get you moving in the right direction and make some noise in the postseason,” he said. “We still have plenty of games and basketball to play to get better. The biggest challenge for these guys is going to be to take this game and move forward. We are not really great at taking situations and carrying them over to the next game or from practice to court.

“We can take plenty of positives from this.”