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Lady Pirates defend, defeat Serena

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Lady Pirates, back on the court shortly after dropping a 43-33 road conference game in Geneseo on Friday, too the court in bounce-back mode at Kingman Gym for a nonconference game against Serena.

While the Lady Huskers made it difficult for the Lady Pirates for the first 16 minutes of game action, Ottawa was eventually able to pull away using strong defense, rebound and shooting to take a 46-25 win from the visitors on Saturday.

Ottawa (16-9) jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead. Junior Angelique Cowan (16 points) hit a 3 with 6:34 left in the opening quarter to get the hosts started. Another Lady Pirate junior, Sloan Gayan (11 points), and senior Teegan Guerrero each added field goals before Serena (16-9) junior Maddie Holdiman (seven points) stopped the run with a trey at the 4:43 mark.

After that, Ottawa’s defense clamped down and didn’t allow a Serena point until Holdiman made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:06 left in the quarter. The Lady Pirates added eight more points to their total and when the first-quarter buzzer sounded, Ottawa had a 15-4 lead. Cowan keyed the second run with four points, while Gayan and sophomore Regan O’Fallon also had baskets during that run.

“Sloan has been doing this all year where she is turning herself into a double-digit scorer and a double-digit rebounder,” OHS coach Brent Moore said. “She expects that of herself just like we expect that from her, and there are good things for her in the future.”

Serena came to life in the second quarter. After Ottawa junior Molly Harris missed a pair of free throws. SHS scored the next nine points to cut the Lady Pirates' lead to 15-13. A layup by Lady Husker junior Emily Hook got the run started and a 3 by freshman Taylor Staton pulled Serena to within six, and a 15-footer by Serena senior McKenna Muffler and a rebound basket by Hook forced Ottawa to call a timeout with 3:07 showing on the clock.

“We started off the game nice — we were up 15-4 — and then all of the sudden it seemed like we were disinterested in playing the game,” said Moore. "Our defense wasn’t very good and our matchups, I mean, at some points we didn’t know who we were guarding. Offensively, we couldn’t finish a layup.”

As the first quarter, Ottawa’s defense clamped down and didn’t allow Serena another point while scoring seven points of its own to take a 22-13 lead into the halftime locker room.

“I thought our first-half performance was decent, not great,” said SHS coach Jeremy Jenkins. “We did a lot of good things, we just didn’t make very many layups. We played some good defense, but in the second half we came out and really didn’t play with the same intensity. Credit Ottawa for that. They played some great defense, and we kind of shirked away from that.”

Ottawa was able to extend the lead in the second half, thanks to solid shooting, defense and a 43-29 edge on the glass. Gayan hauled down eight rebounds while Hook paced Serena with nine boards.

The Lady Pirates also shot 20-of-49 (40 percent), while defensively holding Serena to an icy 17 percent (9-of-52) from the floor.

“It’s unfortunate a game like this is the perfect game to get ready for regionals next week,” said Jenkins, whose club opens Chicago Morgan Park 1A regional play on Wednesday against Bridgeview Universal. “That’s why I wanted to play this game right here. I knew this would be the same speed and intensity that we would need to win a regional and hopefully a sectional. From that standpoint, it’s a little disappointing.”

At Kingman Gym, Ottawa
Ottawa 46, Serena 25
SERENA (25) — Holdiman 2-15 1-2 7, T Staton 1-5 2-4 5, Kuhn 2-5 0-0 4, Muffler 2-7 0-0 4, Hook 1-7 0-0 2, Koforski 1-2 0-0 2, Tuftie 0-4 1-2 1, Cantlin 0-0 0-0 0, Kempiak 0-4 0-0 0, Forth 0-1 0-0 0, Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, M. Staton 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 9-52 4-8 25.
OTTAWA (46) — Cowan 7-16 0-0 16, Guerrero 3-11 0-0 6, Harris 0-1 1-4 1, Gayan 5-10 1-1 11, Stevenson 1-3 0-0 2, O’Fallon 1-1 0-0 2, Froisland 2-3 0-0 4, Miller 0-0 2-2 2, Waite 1-2 0-0 2, Hagrelius 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 20-49 4-7 46.
Serena (16-9) 4 9 9 3 — 25
Ottawa (16-9) 15 7 13 11 — 46
3-point goals — Serena 3-11 (Holdiman 2-9, T. Staton 1-2); Ottawa 2-8 (Cowan 2-5, Guerrero 0-1, Harris 0-1, Stevenson 0-1). Rebounds — Serena 29 (Hook 9); Ottawa 43 (Gayan 8). Assists — Serena 5 (Hook 2); Ottawa (Guerrero 4). Steals — Serena 7 (Holdiman 3); Ottawa 6 (Guerrero 5). Turnovers — Serena 14; Ottawa 14. Total fouls (none fouled out) — Serena 9; Ottawa 7.

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