OTTAWA — The Ottawa girls basketball team ran into a young and talented Sycamore squad Saturday, but with stellar defense and a solid performance off the bench from Jayna Crabb, the Lady Pirates earned a 43-33 Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference crossover win, while the Ottawa boys rallied for a 52-46 victory to extend their winning streak.
Ottawa 52, Sycamore 46
The Pirates didn’t shoot the ball particularly well in the first half, but still trailed only 20-16 at halftime.
Devin Mottet picked up four quick points to start the second half to push the Spartans’ lead to 24-16.
The Pirates responded when John Carroll — who had an off night shooting in Geneseo the night before — hit a bank shot before J.D. Bryant and Carroll each sank 3-pointers.
Moments later, Chase Hill tied the score at 29-29 with a 3-pointer of his own and then followed that up a couple minutes later by draining another long shot at the buzzer to take a 35-34 heading into the fourth quarter.
Carroll found his shooting touch again in the third quarter and continued his hot streak in the fourth quarter, hitting another 3-pointer for a 40-38 lead.
Then moments later Ben Nieman slashed his way the basket and regained the lead for the Spartans at 44-43.
With 1:06 left, Carroll converted a layup off an inbounds pass and was fouled. The old-fashioned three-point play regained the lead for the Pirates.
On the Spartans’ next possession, Bryant came away with a missed 3-point attempt from David Compher and fired ahead to Hill for a layup and a 48-44 Pirate lead.
That triggered a Spartan timeout to set their next offensive play, but Cody Stokes had other plans and stole the inbounds pass.
The Pirates (17-3) finished off the game by hitting their free throws to close the lid on a 52-46 victory.
Carroll led all scorers with 21 points, while Bryant, who had 10 of Ottawa’s 16 first-half points, added 17 and Nick Harsted had 11.
Ottawa 43, Sycamore 33
Neither team did much on the scoreboard to open the game as the Lady Pirates led 6-4 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the teams went back and forth.
Catie Carlson drained a 3-pointer for a 9-4 lead, but Paige Wogen’s steal and layup followed by back-to-back 3-pointers from Bailey Gilbert gave the Lady Spartans a 14-11 leads thanks in part to a 10-0 run.
Cassidy Rice came off the bench and drove right into the paint and hit a layup, while teammates Jaleesa Kindred and Crabb each hit shots to give the Lady Pirates a 17-16 halftime lead.
“I think both teams seemed tired tonight,” Lady Pirates coach Mike Cooper said. “We just never seemed to get into an offensive flow. Sycamore is a young, feisty team, too. They weren’t about to go away, that’s for sure.”
To start the second half, Jasmin Bailey hit her first 3-pointer of the night as did Rice later in the third.
Crabb then continued her strong play as she made a basket then scored an old-fashioned three-point play to give Ottawa a 33-22 lead heading into the final period.
Freshman Tonya Hopkins, who dominated the boards most of the night and finished with 14 rebounds, made three buckets in the fourth quarter and trimmed the Lady Pirates’ lead to seven points, but Ottawa hit its free throws for a 43-33 victory.
Crabb and Rice led the scoring for Ottawa (19-5) with nine points each, while Kindred added eight. Gilbert led all scorers with 14.
“Jayna (Crabb) was outstanding tonight,” Cooper said. “She had some key rebounds and points when we need them most.”
Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at email@example.com.