Otis-Bison wins, will play for sub-state title
By CONOR NICHOLL
GREAT BEND -- Otis-Bison High School star junior Kyle Patrick collected two fouls by the 3 minute, 36 mark of the first quarter. His dad, Cougar coach Erin Patrick, sometimes had the same situation when he coached Kyle's sisters at Hutchinson-Central Christian, including Laura and Jamie, currently first team all-league performers for Emporia State University and Hutchinson Community College, respectively.
Coach Patrick said he "never" contemplated taking Laura or Jamie out of the game -- and had the same thought process with Kyle.
"We can't do that," Coach Patrick said. "When I had Jamie or Laura, you just play. But I told him get some of the guys involved."
Kyle did, and coupled with some strong Otis-Bison defense, allowed the Cougars to hold Wilson without a field goal for more than 10 minutes in the second and third quarters. Otis-Bison turned a close game into an eventual 56-38 victory in the Class 1A Division II sub-state semifinals Thursday night at Barton Community College.
Kyle Patrick, who averages 23 points and 10 rebounds, finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. He eventually fouled out with 2:43 remaining.
Otis-Bison led 13-11 after the first quarter, but outscored Wilson 20-3 in the second quarter and led comfortably throughout the second half. The Cougars finished plus-eight on the glass and often kept Wilson out of the paint offensively.
"I just needed to keep on passing the ball and use my teammates, and that helps a lot," Kyle Patrick said. "From the beginning of the year, my dad has been working with them on the same stuff, and they have shown massive improvement. They have helped us a lot, especially on offense. Defense - that's like our main thing."
Otis-Bison, the second seed in the sub-state, moved to 13-8, while No. 3 seed Wilson finished 9-13. The Cougars will face top-seeded Central Christian (14-7) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night in the sub-state championship game. Kyle Patrick started for Central Christian two years ago and missed nearly all of last winter with a knee injury before he transferred to Otis-Bison.
"I don't want to focus on that," Kyle Patrick said. "It's a team thing here. It's just all about winning that game and going to state for us."
Erin Patrick was the veteran Central Christian volleyball and girls' basketball coach.
"I hope it helps us be prepared," Coach Patrick said of the familiarity. "But it's still going to come down to energy, enthusiasm, execution. For us, it's going to come down to defense and rebounding, no question about it. They are a better offensive team than we are."
The Cougars won their fifth straight against Wilson and second this season, following a 61-32 victory on Dec. 6. On Thursday, Otis-Bison led 9-2 early before Wilson cut the deficit to 13-11 on a jumper by sophomore Jordyn Steinke in the final seconds of the first quarter. Patrick told his team to "settle down."
"In the playoffs, you have got to play through some things against good teams," Coach Patrick said.
Defensively, Otis-Bison didn't want senior Marcus Denham to catch the ball and score. As well, the Cougars wanted to keep Wilson from going into the lane.
Wilson usually took long 2-pointers and missed eight straight shots and 11 of 12 after the first quarter. Senior Jarod Shelton finished with 12 points and Denham had seven. Wilson shot 14 of 49 (29 percent) for the game.
"We always don't want them to penetrate, so if they are going to take long 2s, we are thankful for that," Coach Patrick said.
Offensively, Patrick assisted on the first basket of the second quarter, a long jumper by sophomore Eric Embers. Then, Patrick had a basket and a steal in the next two minutes. Senior guard Kole Urban finished the quarter with four assists on the final five Cougar baskets, including three from Patrick. Otis-Bison led 31-14 at halftime and 44-23 after three quarters. The Cougars will play for their third state appearance in four years.
"I am pretty pleased," coach Patrick said. "We started shooting the ball a little better. We didn't in the first quarter shoot all that well outside."
Senior Jordan Hoffman, out since before Christmas for what Coach Patrick called team-related issues, returned and finished with two points, two rebounds and two blocks. Kyle Patrick called Hoffman, who can dunk, "athletic dominance" and an "awesome" rebounder. Hoffman nearly had an alley-oop from Patrick during the game.
"He wants to play," Coach Patrick said. "All the boys on the team have to earn their playing time. That doesn't matter if they are a freshman or a sophomore. So now he has earned it, and we will get him in there. He helps us on rebounding. He blocks shots. He can sky. He gives us something that we can use."
HCC moves on
Central Christian was never threatened in the first sub-state game and rolled over Chase, 60-33. HCC outscored the Kats 15-7 in each of the first two quarters. The Cougars started the season 1-3 and were 2-4 before Christmas, but are 10-3 since. HCC had balanced scoring with five players with seven points and four in double figures, including 13 by junior Ben Krehbiel.
"They tried to slow down the pace of the game by bringing it out," HCC coach Adam Clark said. "We kind of have to pick up the pressure, and get after them a little bit a little further out. I thought the guys overall did a good job. We knocked down a lot of good shots. We worked the ball. We were pretty patient offensively."
Otis-Bison and Central Christian have matched up once in the last decade, a 72-44 HCC victory on March 1 of last year, according to MaxPreps team records.