Ottawa girls earn rematch with state-ranked Louisburg

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa High School girls knew all season the roa to a sub-state championship would run through state-ranked Louisburg.

The Cyclones had the top-seeded Wildcats on the ropes late in their regular season game. Louisburg rallied in the final few minutes to knock off Ottawa.

Ottawa High School junior Kirsten Evans keeps the ball away from an Iola defender in Saturday’s sub-state victory.

The Cyclones have their rematch 7 p.m. Wednesday against Louisburg on the Wildcats’ home floor. Ottawa advanced to the sub-state semi-finals with a 49-40 win Saturday over Iola in the first round.

Ottawa (7-13) heads into the showdown with a three-game winning streak.

“We have to get prepared for the high intensity of Louisburg,” Ottawa coach Matt Schurman said. ‘They are a great team. The make shots. We need to play defense like we did [against Iola]. Fix some of our late mistakes and continue climbing up this mountain we have been looking for.”

The regular season loss still stings. Schurman said despite the loss, Ottawa came out of the game knowing it can play with the Wildcats.

“We had some bad turnovers late and kind of panicked,” he said. “To be up late in the fourth quarter and come back from 10 down [gives us confidence]. We know each other. We know what they want to achieve. Our girls will be ready.”

Ottawa lost several games this season when leading in the fourth quarter, but rebounded to play its best basketball at the end of the season.

“We are peaking at the right time,” Schurman said. “I am really proud of the team in a year that has been so tough. We let some games get away.”