MAPLE PARK — Some nights, despite how hard a team tries, it's more than appropriate to admit that no matter what could have been done, you just were soundly beaten after a superior overall effort by your opponent.

Such was the case for the Ottawa High hoopsters Tuesday evening when they visited Kaneland for an Interstate Eight Conference matchup.

The Pirates didn't play poorly by any means, but the Knights just performed that much better in almost every aspect of the game and as a result ran away with a 70-45 ousting of Ottawa here in Maple Park.

Kaneland (3-2, 2-0) was prolifically proficient in all facets, shooting a sizzling 28 of 52 (54 percent) from the field and a red-hot 8 of 16 (50 percent) beyond the 3-point arc.

The Knights also outrebounded Ottawa 30-19 and turned the ball over a scant seven times, while additionally dominating the Pirates to the lofty tune of a 41-18 scoring advantage during the middle periods.

On the flipside, Ottawa was no slouch at all, hitting on 15 of 46 overall attempts (33 percent) and 9 of 24 (38 percent) from 3-point land. The Pirates also coughed the ball up only nine times on the night, but couldn't compare in the end to Kaneland's kinetic and near-perfect performance.

"I thought Kaneland played very well, played downhill the whole game and shot it pretty well too, where we had no answers on the defensive end," said OHS coach Mark Cooper. "Our numbers weren't bad tonight at all, but credit Kaneland, because they were very efficient offensively, played well defensively and didn't make very many mistakes in an outstanding all-around effort."

The Pirates received a team-best 12 points and a trio of 3s from senior Brady Roether, eight tallies and a game-high six rebounds off the hands of junior Anthony Cooper, as well as eight and six markers, respectively, from seniors T.J. McDonnell and Drew Kaufman while still competing without injured starter Myles Tucker.

The Knights saw a contest-best 16 points from senior Will Cushman, 14 of which came in the second half.

Junior Jamari Meeks followed with 12 tallies ahead of seniors Brett David (11 pts.) and Bryce Ebert (nine pts.), which helped cap off a dynamic and balanced offensive showing.

"We certainly had a lot of energy tonight, and the kids responded in a big way really coming to play against Ottawa," said KHS coach Ernie Colombe. "We're very proud of this effort against a very good Ottawa team.

"I realize they were playing without Tucker, but we made sure we protected our home court in a big conference matchup. I couldn't be much happier with how our guys performed."

During a nip-and-tuck first quarter, Ottawa drained four triples while Kaneland flushed three.

McDonnell hit a left-wing 3-ball at 5:50 that gave the Pirates their only lead of the ballgame at 4-2. Roether followed with treys at 2:20 and 1:40 before Anthony Cooper hit a top-of-the-silo, banked dagger at the buzzer that evened the score at 17-17 after eight minutes of play.

But the Knights embarked on a 20-9 run in the second stanza to grab a sizeable 37-26 lead at halftime.

Ottawa, however, was undeterred early after the break, as Anthony Cooper opened the second half with a top-of-the-key 3-ball that sparked a 7-2 run to cut the gap to 39-33.

Meeks and Cushman countered quickly with back-to-back-to-back 3s within a 65-second span that put Kaneland back ahead 48-33. Kaneland eventually ended the quarter on a 19-2 run to lead 58-35 with eight minutes to go.

The benches emptied midway through the fourth period.

"We've got a group of guys who basically haven't been in this type of situation being around conference games against a very talented opponent," Coach Cooper said. "We'll learn from this, and we don't feel any differently about our team than we did a day ago.

"Today wasn't a good day, but a lot of the credit goes to Kaneland and how well they performed tonight."

--

At Maple Park

Kaneland 70, Ottawa 45

(Key: FG FT-FTA TP)

OTTAWA (45) — Cooper 3 0-0 8, Kaufman 3 0-0 6, Sholders 0 1-2 1, Jones 0 0-0 0, Roether 3 3-4 12, Arroyo 1 0-0 3, Evola 0 00-0 0, Vandervort 0 1-2 1, Brent 1 0-0 3, Vogel 1 1-2 3, Gage 0 0-0 0, McDonnell 3 0-0 8, Bianchi 0 0-0 0, Pantig 0 0-0 0. Totals 15-46 6-10 45.

KANELAND (70) — David 4 0-0 11, Cano 1 1-3 3, Gomes 0 0-0 0, Rodriguez 0 0-0 0, Cushman 7 0-0 16, Conroy 2 3-4 7, Ebert 4 0-0 9, Feiza 3 0-0 6, Durbala 1 0-0 2, Meeks 4 2-2 12, Popovich 2 0-0 4, Thomas 0 0-0 0, Valle 0 0-0 0, Kolev 0 0-0 0, Jamrowski 0 0-0 0. Totals 28-52 6-9 70.

Ottawa (3-3, 1-1) 17 9 9 10 — 45

Kaneland (3-2, 2-0) 17 20 21 12 — 70

3-point goals – Ottawa 9-24 (Roether 3, Cooper 2, McDonnell 2, Arroyo, Brent); Kaneland 8-16 (David 3, Cushman 2, Meeks 2, Ebert). Rebounds – Ottawa 19 (Cooper 6); Kaneland 30 (Ebert 5, Feiza 5). Turnovers – Ottawa 9; Kaneland 7. Total fouls (none fouled out) – Ottawa 6; Kaneland 9.

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