KANSAS - There's a reason why Ottawa Hills finished the regular season ranked fifth in Ohio in Division IV.
The Green Bears are bigger than most teams they face (their front court goes 6-foot-9, 6-7, 6-7), their guards are quick, they can shoot and play solid defense.
OK, maybe that's more than one reason. Bottom line, they're a good team. Tuesday, Calvert found out exactly how good.
PHOTO BY PAT GAIETTO
Calvert’s Michael?Bennett is met on his way to the hoop by Ottawa Hills’ R.J. Coil (40) while Geoff Beans also helps defend during Tuesday’s district semifinal in Kansas.
Ottawa Hills dominated every aspect of its district semifinal at Lakota, scoring a 55-15 victory.
To pull off what would've been a monumental aspect, Calvert need quite a few things to fall its way. As it turned out, nothing fell.
Calvert coach Ted Willman said his players had trouble working around the Ottawa Hills defense.
"Even if you can get by their guards, you meet 6-7," he said. "It's some frustration from a standpoint that I was hoping that, we could come out, get them to miss a couple shots. We could knock a shot down, get some confidence. But once we missed a few of those shots and they knocked those shots down, it's like all the air came out of us.
"You know what you're going up against. and you're thinking going into that we're going to have to have a couple things go our way. Have them miss a couple shots, have them maybe turn the ball over and we get a couple layups, pressure the ball and that kind of stuff. We couldn't get any of that stuff going. We couldn't knock shots down, we couldn't get transition off fast break, get a couple buckets here or there to get us going. Just a combination of everything that could go wrong did go wrong and it went wrong early."
Calvert hit on just 4 of 38 shots from the field (10.5 percent), while Ottawa Hills was using its size advantage inside and the skilled shooting of its perimeter players.
"They came out and started the game with an out-of-bounds play and hit a 3. And then missed one then went 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 next possessions they scored," Willman described. "And [for us] miss, miss, miss, miss, turnover, miss, turnover. Then we finally hit a 3 there at the end of the first. That's just their length.
"There were a couple times, we had a couple chances, made a couple good reads then missed a layup, missed opportunities."
Ottawa Hills jumped out to a 17-0 lead before Calvert got a 3-pointer from Austin Ball in the final 25 seconds of the first quarter.
Meanwhile, 6-9 post A.J. Coil was dominating inside. Coil finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Geoff Beans showed a bit of range in addition to his 6-7 frame, knocking down a pair of early 3-pointers to get the Green Bears going.
Ottawa Hills coach John Lindsay said there was a point though where his team was relying a bit too much on the outside shot.
"Overall we're a very unselfish as a team," he said. "There was a point of the game where we got a little carried away shooting from the perimeter. We tried to tell the guys, 'Hey we need to get the ball back inside where our advantage is.'"
Ottawa Hills held a 27-7 edge at the break and only turned things up in the second half with a re-dedication to its inside game. The Green Bears outscored Calvert 18-2 in the third quarter, holding the Senecas to a pair of free throws.
Calvert's first field goal of the second half didn't come until Sam Shelt-Palm hit a 3-pointer with 1:40 left in the game.
"We've been practicing day in, day out, our man-to-man defense and our zone defense and we've really been talking," Coil said. "We talked really well today and we've talked about that all year and we executed it today."
Willman said his team was moving the ball to get good looks, though sometimes a bit too much.
"The guys were trying to get good looks, I thought to the point though we passed up some shots," he said. "We were moving the ball to try to get a good look and sometimes we'd get a good look and we make another pass thinking we could get a better look instead of saying, 'That was a good look there. We're down 17-0 here, we need a score here.'
"At least our kids kept fighting. It's not like they cashed it in; that was the one thing, we wanted to make sure they battled. And they did that. They just matched up with a team that's good. There's a reason they're ranked what they are, they're a tough matchup."
Calvert finishes it year with a 10-14 record. Ottawa Hills (21-1) will play Toledo Christian Friday for the district championship back at Lakota.