OTTAWA — There was plenty of cheering and clapping by the Ottawa High School faithful, and rightfully so, during senior night festivities honoring the 12th-grade Pirates in band, poms, cheerleading and boys basketball prior to Friday's contest against longtime rival La Salle-Peru in a nearly full Kingman Gym.
However, once the game started, other than a 6-0 run by the home team in the late stages of the first half, the Cavaliers' followers were given their chance to celebrate.
La Salle-Peru (9-17, 2-11), which dropped a 19-point decision to the Associated Press Class 3A No. 9 Pirates (23-4, 11-2) just 13 days ago in La Salle, bolted out of the gates and never let up. The Cavs led 13-6 after the opening eight minutes, extended the advantage to 24-14 at the half and led by as many as 19 late in the third quarter before completing the 56-37 upset victory.
The win by L-P snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Pirates and was the Cavs' first at Kingman since 2012.
Cavaliers sophomore guard Drake Weber did most of the damage, as he scored a game-high 21 points — 18 in the second half — including four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior Jakob Kupperschmid added 13 points (three 3s), while Ryan Skoog and Elliot Tubbs netted nine points each, the former with a trio of first-half triples and the latter collecting a game-best eight caroms.
Ottawa senior Tyler Carson paced his club with 17 points and five boards, while classmate Dakota Deverteuil had eight points, three rebounds and a pair of steals.
"Give L-P a lot of credit, they had very good energy from start to finish, and they played great tonight. I didn't do a good enough job of having our team ready to play, and consequently what happened, happened," said OHS coach Mark Cooper, his team shooting just 29 percent from the floor and 2 of 24 from beyond the arc. "(L-P) was quicker to the ball the entire game, and we didn't run very good offense. We just looked a step slow in everything we did.
"This isn't a game you forget and throw out the window. We have to learn from it. We didn't do anything very well tonight, and we have a lot of issues that we need to get corrected before (regionals) next week."
L-P led 5-4 early before a floater by Cole Lynch and a pair of Skoog treys — the second with three seconds left — gave the visitors a seven-point lead. Back-to-back 3s by Weber and Skoog pushed the Cavs' lead to 22-8 at the 4-minute, 50-second mark of the second.
The Pirates sliced the margin to 22-14 over the next three minutes on a rebound hoop from Deverteuil and consecutive buckets by Carson, but a Tubbs steal turned lay-in in the final seconds put L-P up 10.
"The only special things from the first time we played Ottawa are the 15 guys we have on this team. This is something they were looking forward to, especially for the seniors to come to Kingman for the last time in their careers," said L-P coach Jim Cherveny, his squad nailing 49 percent from the floor, including 10 of 17 on 3-pointers. "It helps when the ball is going into the hoop.
"Ryan Skoog comes out and hits three 3s in the first half, and that really energized the guys. Drake Weber was just unconscious tonight. He had the game of his career, and there is not a better night to do that than on a stage like this, against a team in Ottawa that is very well-coached, disciplined in what they do and plays hard.
"I thought our defensive effort was great again tonight, and we made shots, which makes it easier to play the game. My guys were ready to go, and it was their time."
The teams traded baskets in the opening moments of the third until L-P used a 9-1 run, with Kupperschmid dropping in five points, to explode the lead to 39-20 with 2:29 left. Two more deuces from Carson closed out the stanza, but the Cavs pushed the lead to 25 (56-31) with three minutes to play.
"Our seniors have been great representatives of our program for four years and have done a lot of good things in that time," said Cooper. "They are some of the best kids in our building."
At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
La Salle-Peru 56, Ottawa 37
(Key: FG-FGA FT-FTA TP)
LA SALLE-PERU (56) — Weber 8-15 1-1 21, Kupperschmid 5-8 0-0 13, Skoog 3-6 0-0 9, Tubbs 4-8 1-1 9, Lynch 2-7 0-0 4, T. Hartman 0-1 0-0 0, Lenkaitis 0-0 0-0 0, Bollis 0-0 0-0 0, Z. Hartman 0-0 0-0 0, Huber 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-45 2-2 56.
OTTAWA (37) — Carson 8-12 0-0 17, Deverteuil 3-8 2-4 8, Gould 2-3 0-1 4, Lundy 1-4 0-0 3, Tucker 1-11 0-0 2, Stevenson 1-5 0-0 2, Haerle 0-2 1-2 1, Hill 0-8 0-0 0, Landers 0-0 0-0 0, Koch 0-2 0-0 0, McDonnell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-56 3-7 37.
La Salle-Peru (9-17 3-10) 13 11 15 17 — 56
Ottawa (23-4, 11-2) 6 8 10 13 — 37
3-point goals — L-P 10-17 (Weber 4-6, Kupperschmid 3-5, Skoog 3-6); Ottawa 2-24 (Carson 1-3, Deverteuil 0-2, Lundy 1-2, Tucker 0-5, Stevenson 0-4, Hill 0-7, Koch 0-1). Rebounds — L-P 34 (Tubbs 8, Weber 7); Ottawa 29 (Tucker 6, Carson 5). Assists — L-P 12 (Lynch 4); Ottawa 9 (Hill 3). Steals — L-P 6 (Tubbs 2, Lynch 2); Ottawa 7 (Deverteuil 2, Tucker 2). Blocks — L-P 4 (Lynch 2); Ottawa 1 (Tucker 1). Turnovers — L-P 13, Ottawa 10. Total fouls (none fouled out) — L-P 7, Ottawa 11.