Ottawa tops short-handed Wildcats
Louisburg senior Desmond Doles drives to the basket on an Ottawa defender Friday at Ottawa High School. Doles finished with a team-high 13 points, but the Wildcats fell on the road, 49-39.
OTTAWA – Going up against a state-ranked team is a difficult enough with a full roster, but the Louisburg boys basketball team traveled to No. 10 Ottawa with a thin bench.
The Wildcats were without two of their starting big men in Dalton Ribordy and Dylan DeShazer, who were both out with an illness, and they needed to get big minutes from their bench. Louisburg got some good production and hung with the Cyclones, but couldn’t get over the hump in a 49-39 loss.
Louisburg was able to slow down Ottawa at times, but the Cyclones were still able to shoot 53 percent from the floor and go on the big runs when they needed them.
“Ottawa got seven points really quick to start the game and they were the first team that has really exposed our defense like that,” Louisburg coach Ty Pfannenstiel said. “They knocked down some shots later in the first half, but I was proud of the way we battled back and competed for four quarters. Hopefully we will get back to full strength soon and keep getting better.”
Seniors Desmond Doles and Ben Minster gave the Wildcats a scoring lift to help keep them in the game as they trimmed a double-digit deficit to four midway through the third quarter, before Ottawa went on another run.
Doles led Louisburg in scoring with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while Minster finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
Junior Noah Hill came off the bench to start in place of Ribordy and played 23 minutes. Sophomore Madden Rutherford saw an increase in playing time with five points in 16 minutes to go along with a team-high three assists.
“We were a little short-handed this week and we have been battling some illness,” Pfannenstiel said. “We were down two bigs tonight and that is Ottawa’s strength and those guys are good. I thought Noah came in and did a really good job and gave us good minutes. He is always going to battle hard and he is tough and plays with a lot of energy. I was proud of our effort.”
Both teams went back and forth at each other early as the game was tied at 7-all midway through the first quarter, but the Cyclones went on 9-0 run that went into the second and eventually went into halftime with a 27-19 advantage.
Louisburg (2-14) made things interesting in the third quarter when Minster scored back-to-back baskets to trim the Ottawa lead to 31-27, but the Cyclones went on another 8-0 run to create more distance from the Wildcats.
A Doles 3-pointer cut the Ottawa lead to 44-37 with 1 minute and 45 seconds left in the game, but the Wildcats could get no closer.
Ottawa’s Krys Johnson led the Cyclones in scoring with 13 points.
Louisburg will try and rebound Tuesday when it travels to Baldwin. The Wildcats have split their two matchups with the Bulldogs already this season as they go for their third win.
Tipoff is set for approximately 7:30 p.m.
LOU 7 12 8 12 – 39
OTT 12 15 12 10 – 49
LOUISBURG (2-14): Desmond Doles 13, Ben Minster 12, Justin Sievert 6, Madden Rutherford 5, Kohl Vogel 3. Totals: 15-38 4-4 39. 3-point field goals: 5, (Doles 3, Rutherford, Vogel)