Ottawa girls can still play home sub-state game

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

A possible second seed is on the line when Ottawa and Paola girls lace it up Tuesday in the Cyclone gym.

Paola and Fort Scott have five wins this season with Ottawa right behind with four. An Ottawa win over Paola and a Fort Scott loss to Independence gives all three teams a tie for the second seed, which would be broken by winning percentage.

“Tuesday is a really, really big game for us,” Ottawa coach Matt Schurman said. “If we get a big win on Tuesday, it could mean possibly getting a home game in sub-state, which has not happened in awhile for the girls program. We still have a lot of opportunities this season with Paola and Spring Hill left on our schedule.”

Ottawa beat Paola before the Christmas break using the press in the second half to pull away.

“They are going to be frustrated after the way the last game went,” Schurman said. “They have been playing better.”

Ottawa, which has won two games since Christmas, had rival Baldwin on the ropes Friday at home. The Bulldogs rallied for a 45-44 win.

“We seem to climb the mountain, instead of going over the edge, we climb back down. We get right there. We have lost multiple fourth quarter leads. We led that whole game. We could not get a basket to fall in the fourth quarter. We got our brains rushed.

“It is really, really hard to compete when they are shooting free throws in such an early stage [of the second half]. Our girls competed really, really well. At some point we are going to get over that mountaintop against the Baldwin, Louisburg and Eudora’s of the world.”

Schurman believes Ottawa can finish the season strong and make a run in the postseason.

“If we get the girls to believe they can do it, we are going to be dangerous,” he said.

Baldwin (45) — Frost 3, Neufeld 10, Toot 8, Harvey 9, Smith 13, Reichard 1.’

Ottawa (44) — Em. Keebaugh 4, Titus 7, Ficken 8, Spigle 12, Hadl 2, Evans, Nichols 2.