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Ottawa girls enter February with a seven-game skid

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa High School girls basketball team is limping into February.

The Cyclones (3-9) ended January with a seven-game losing streak. Ottawa fell 45-32 Friday night at home to Eudora.

Ottawa coach Matt Schurman hopes February games will bring better results, but knows turning the season around will not be easy.

Ottawa High School junior Kirsten Evans forces a jump ball as she aggressively went after the ball against Eudora.

“We have to regroup,” he said. “We did not have a great week of practice [last] week. Right now, we fight our own minds at times. We are a team that has some resiliency. We have to keep working every day. It is fixing the things we can fix.”

Areas the Cyclones can improve include rebounding, finishing around the basket, and making the appropriate reads, Schurman said,

“I don’t know lately how many times we have gotten a stop and given up an offensive rebound,” Schurman said. “We either give up a three or put somebody on the line.”

Ottawa’s schedule does not favor a struggling team.

“Our schedule is rough,” Schurman said. “We got state-ranked Louisburg coming up. We have Eudora and Baldwin again. Paola has been playing well lately. It is not a friendly back half to our season.”

Ottawa’s game fell apart on both ends against Eudora.

“We struggled to score,” Schurman said. “We had some really good looks. Our finishing around the basket was not [good]. Eudora is a tough, tough team. They kind of bullied us at times. They took the ball out of our hands.

“We had a period of times when we were able to compete with their intensity. Others, we got beat down court repeatedly. We have to find ways to start quarters and halves better.  We did not get to the line the way we [wanted], especially when we were in scoring droughts. We have to find ways to produce some points. We did not get it done.”

Ottawa’s offense became stagnant in the second half against Eudora.

“We moved the ball really, really well in the first half then our feet got sticky,” Schurman said. “The ball did not move. Our offense was bad in the second half. We did not capitalize when we got a turnover. We gave up some offensive rebounds. It was not pretty in the second half.

“We did not score much that second half. Their pressure created confusion, which bothered us getting our offense started.”