By Sam Parsons
Friday night was Senior Night at Oskaloosa High School for girls and boys hoops, and it was a night headlined by the history made by two members of the Indians’ girls team.
Osky senior Presley Blommers entered the contest 11 points shy of the 1,000 mark for her career total. Sophomore Dasia Foster was 8 rebounds away from breaking the school’s single season record in that category.
Both would reach the milestones quickly enough. But plenty of drama was included along the way.
The game began with Blommers scoring 10 points in the first quarter, seeming poised to hit 1,000 very quickly, and the Indians jumped out to a 14-4 lead; however, the Cardinals put up quite the fight. They were able to round into form with sophomore Alex Garvis among the primary players tasked with stopping Blommers. The Cardinals succeeded in a big way in the second quarter; they outscored the Indians 10-5 in the frame and held Blommers off the scoreboard. Blommers was hobbled from an ankle injury sustained early in the game, but gutted it out for the rest of the night; in the meantime, though, the Indians and Cardinals were tied at halftime, 19-19, and she still hadn’t hit the milestone.
“I thought we came out and looked pretty good. I thought, ‘Okay, we’re in rhythm, this is going to happen,'” said Osky coach TC Cunningham after the game. “And then the closer Presley got to the record, the tighter we became. And [her teammates] wanted it just as much as her.”
Dasia Foster sat out for much of the second quarter and entered halftime with 3 (unofficial) rebounds. She still had some ground to cover to make history, too.
The third quarter of play was back and forth, but the celebrations cut through the tension when Blommers hit a lay-up in the third quarter to record her 1,000th and 1,001st career points.
It wasn’t long after that that Foster would break the school record for rebounds in a single season; this moment didn’t quite have the reaction from the crowd that Blommers’ shot did, as rebounds are not counted live on the scoreboard, but it was clear by the time the fourth quarter began that Foster, who finished the night with 12 official rebounds, had the record.
“Before the game, I was nervous,” said Foster. “I don’t really get super nervous before games, but this game, I just knew what I wanted to do, and what I needed to do. And it was just nerve wracking. But then I got in the game, and it was just gone.”
“I wanted to get it done with one of my favorite teammates and best friends, Presley Blommers…being able to have her break 1,000 for her Senior Night and me getting the school record is just a crazy feeling.”
Still, there was a job to be finished: Newton had, in the midst of all the emotion, taken the lead from the Indians and entered the fourth with a 31-29 lead.
With the feelings of pride put in the rearview mirror (for now), the Indians got back to work in the fourth. Right away, Blommers started piling on the points on her way to 19 on the night. The Cardinals, meanwhile, got cold from the floor after shooting the ball exceptionally well for much of the game. Junior Sophia Reynolds finished the game with 19 points and was on fire from midrange in the first three quarters, but with the Indians’ defense tightening up and shots starting to miss, the Cardinal offense was held to just 4 points in the fourth quarter as the Indians put the finishing touches on a 43-35 victory to seal the deal on a great night for Osky girls basketball.
“I’m so proud of them,” Cunningham responded when asked about the girls who came through with the milestones. “The work they’ve put in, the time they’ve gelled together to know how to play with one another…it’s been great to see them grow. Especially Presley…to see her grow and mature to where she’s at, she is a true leader of our basketball team and as a student in Oskaloosa High School. Dasia is just a sophomore…her future is off the charts.”
The win improves their record to 9-10 on the season with two games left to play before the postseason begins.
Full postgame comments from TC Cunningham:
Full postgame comments from Dasia Foster:
The nightcap of the doubleheader featured Osky’s boys hosting the 5th ranked 3A team in the state in Newton. The Cardinals entered this game full strength; in their previous meeting with Osky, they had been missing senior guard Jake Ingle, who is their #2 scorer on the season.
It was the Cardinals’ game to lose from the first quarter on. The game began with a touching moment as the Indians agreed to let the Cardinals score 2 points on a lay-up in exchange for senior Brody Allman getting the start and cashing in a 2 point shot of his own to begin the competitive part of the game 2-2. It was Allman’s second field goal attempt of the season, and his second make.
From there, though, the 5th ranked Cardinals handled their business. They jumped out to a 24-13 lead after one quarter and led 42-29 at half, thanks in large part to 16 points and 5 (unofficial) rebounds in the half from senior Cole Plowman, who finished with a game-high 23 points. The third quarter was even more dominant for Newton, as they held the Indians to just 6 points scored and pulled away to a 27 point lead entering the final quarter. The Cardinals coasted to a 79-43 victory to sink the Indians to 1-16 on the year.
Osky will face Knoxville tonight (2/6) in search of win #2 on the year.