Ottawa boys enter stretch run playing at higher level

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald
Ottawa High School junior Noah McCullough has taken his game to a different level in the past few games, aggressively taking the ball to the basket.

The Ottawa High School boys basketball team is starting to round into form after winning three of its past four games.

The Cyclones are attempting to peak with postseason coming into view.

“Going into the last five games of the season that is kind of where you want to be,” Ottawa coach Cliff McCullough said. “We want to get better and better. We should be able to come out and play with anybody left on our schedule.

“With five games left, we can do some damage. Even looking forward to postseason, people are going to take notice. May be we can make some noise come postseason time.”

Ottawa had its three-game winning streak snapped by Louisburg. The Wildcats made a late charge to top Ottawa, 53-44, Friday, in Louisburg.

The Wildcats’ pressure defense turned the tide the final few minutes.

“It was turnovers and offensive boards late in the game,” McCullough said. “We had one guy handling the ball and they started double teaming and we struggled. We have a lot of standing around when teams pressure us like that. You can’t do that. They are too good and too quick. They have quick hands.

“We have had a problem with turnovers the whole year. It was a little better (against Louisburg). It was bad timing. You can’t turn the ball over late in the game.”

McCullough saw a lot of growth in the past few games.

“We have gotten better,” he said. “We are competing. That is definitely one of the top teams in our league. There are a lot of things we can take away from (this game). We knew coming in we would be raw and inexperienced. They are starting to feel this thing out.”

Ottawa junior Noah McCullough has taken his game to another level in the past few games with his aggressive play.

“We really need him to do that,” the Cyclone coach said of his son. “He takes it to the big guys. He figuring out how to get those guys up in the air. He has such a quick jump that he can get up above them. He is very passionate and hates to lose.”

Ottawa (6-8) plays Tuesday at Eudora.