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Ottawa at Louisburg

The Louisburg High School girls basketball team got it exactly what it needed before taking some time off during the holiday break – a victory.

After losing in overtime last week to Eudora, the Lady Cats rebounded in a big way as they controlled Ottawa from the opening tip Tuesday and never looked back in a 64-37 win at Louisburg High School.

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The victory evened the Lady Cats’ record at 3-3 and was important as they wrap up the first part of their season.

“After letting one slip away from us against Eudora, we had a week to prepare and the girls worked hard to get ready for this,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “It was at home, and our last game before break and it is always tough with it being finals week. The girls were really focused though, and they were really focused in practice and I thought it carried over into the game.”

Focus certainly wasn’t a problem for Louisburg as it dominated almost every aspect of the game and it started on the defensive end. Louisburg forced 23 Ottawa turnovers, a lot of which turned into transition points and easy baskets on the other end.

The Lady Cat offense took a big step forward Tuesday as it bounced back from just scoring 37 points in a loss against Eudora.

“It just shows that we can get out and run the floor,” Lowry said. “We have some things that we want to work on over break with that, but we were good offensively. It was a good collective effort from everyone and I thought it was good to get the win.

“Defensively, I still see some breakdown stuff, but we are working hard and the effort is good because we care about being good for each other. We still need to clean up some stuff on the defensive end, but I like our effort and how hard the girls are playing.”

Louisburg got a nice boost off the bench from Madilyn Melton. The freshman forward scored a team-high 14 points, including three 3-pointers and had six rebounds. Senior Bailey Belcher also finished in double figures with 12.

Sophomore Haley Cain puts up a shot over two Ottawa defenders Tuesday.

Seniors Isabelle Holtzen and Mikayla Quinn each added nine points in the win and junior Carson Buffington just missed out on a double-double with eight points and 11 rebounds.

The outcome of the game never seemed in doubt as the Lady Cats opened the game on a 16-6 run, and after an evenly-played second quarter, led 31-21 at halftime.

Ottawa would get no closer as Louisburg put the game away in the third quarter as the Lady Cats outscored the Cyclones 17-4 in the frame and never looked back.

The big lead allowed Lowry to play young bench players at several different points throughout the contest.

“That is what you hope for as a program is that you can get girls experience that are on the sophomore and freshman levels,” Lowry said. “I talk to them all the time in practice about making sure they are doing the things to put themselves in position when it is their time to be on the floor. They have taken it to heart. Those young players are going to make those young player mistakes, but their effort is really good and they are starting to figure out that toughness piece.”

Louisburg will open the 2018 part of the schedule on Jan. 4 when it hosts Baldwin at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs are currently the No. 1-ranked team in Class 4A-Division II.


LOU               16           15           17           16 – 64

OTT               6             15           4             13 – 37

LOUISBURG (3-3): Madilyn Melton 14, Bailey Belcher 12, Isabelle Holtzen 9, Mikayla Quinn 9, Carson Buffington 8, Haley Cain 4, Carlee Gassman 4, Alyse Moore 3, Reilly Ratliff-Becher 1. Totals: 17 12-24 64. 3-point field goals: 6, (Melton 3, Buffington, Holtzen, Quinn)