By Sam Parsons
The girls and boys basketball teams of Oskaloosa took to the floor once again last night with a couple of tough tests: conference foe Indianola came to town with their girls holding the #11 spot in the latest rankings for class 4A and their boys ranking in the top 5.
The girls game was bookended by strong Indianola runs, but Osky controlled the game in the middle two quarters. Indianola staked a 12-8 lead after the first, but Osky outscored them 18-8 in the second to take a 26-20 lead into halftime; they extended their lead to as much as 12 points in the third quarter before entering the fourth up 40-32. Senior Presley Blommers had the Indian offense humming with 16 first half points; she finished the night with 25. Sophomore Dasia Foster put up another double-double for the Indians with 10 points and 13 (unofficial) rebounds.
However, the main story of the night was the shooting performance from Indianola; particularly, senior guard Emily Naughton. The team entered the game averaging 4 3-pointers per game, with Naughton entering as an 8/66 shooter from beyond the arc in 15 games. Last night, the team rained down 9 triples and Naughton was 5/6 shooting outside. Oskaloosa gave Indianola a heavy dose of zone defense and Indy responded with their best outside shooting performance of the season.
It proved to be the difference in the game: Indianola wasted no time evening the score in the 4th with their distance shooting. The two teams battled back and forth for the final 8 minutes until Osky held a 50-48 lead with roughly 12 seconds left following an Indianola timeout. Indianola sophomore Zoey Belt popped open beyond the arc and drained the go-ahead triple with 4-5 seconds remaining; it took a couple of extra seconds for Oskaloosa’s final timeout to be recognized and the team wouldn’t be able to get a full-court heave off in time. The game ended with a heartbreaking 51-50 loss for Oskaloosa to drop them to 8-8 on the season.
The boys game began rather inauspiciously for Oskaloosa; in the first quarter, Indianola took a multi possession lead and did not surrender it, going up 18-12. Osky would fight back in the second quarter, though: Waylon Bolibaugh, Gus Bunnell, and Aidan Scholes led the Indians through a strong second quarter in which they outscored Indianola 17-12 to go into halftime down by just one point at 30-29. Bolibaugh finished the game with 9 points and 11 rebounds; Bunnell had 10 points and 5 boards; and Scholes led Osky with 12 points.
Unfortunately, the excitement of the second quarter was short-lived. Indianola began the second half on an 11-0 run to go up 41-29 early in the second quarter and they stayed two steps ahead of Osky the rest of the way. 6 different Indianola players tallied 8+ points, with 4 reaching double figures. Indianola pulled farther and farther away in the fourth quarter as they finished with a 67-44 win to improve their record to 14-1, dropping Osky to 1-13.
Oskaloosa will travel to Dallas Center-Grimes on Friday for another round of LHC play.