OTTUMWA — The Ames Little Cyclones average nearly 23 3-point attempts a game. They were right at that number Tuesday, but it was their physical play with their press and on the boards that really hurt the Ottumwa Bulldogs. Ames would win the girls’ basketball contest 53-21.
Hayli Beeson hit the first of her two 3’s to give Ottumwa its only lead of the game at 3-2. Ames went on a 6-0 run to lead 8-3 at the midpoint of the first.
Ames used eight offensive rebounds to at least partially account for their 15 first-quarter points. Their physical defensive play with the press forced seven turnovers by the Bulldogs in the opening eight minutes of play. Ames led 15-5 after one.
“They’re quick and physical but we did not do a good job of moving the ball from side to side,” said Ottumwa coach Kevin Patterson.
Carissa Hite scored to open the second but Ames used two scores to go up 19-7. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Kiana Peterson put the visitors up by 20 at 28-8.
The Bulldogs scored five straight on a Rachel Zingg basket and Beeson’s second 3, but Ames led 30-13 at the break.
Already looking at a huge comeback, the Bulldogs had their worst quarter in the third as Ames would outscore Ottumwa 19-2. Ottumwa's only two points came on a pair of Megan Black free throws.
One of the disappointing things about the third quarter was the defense by the Bulldogs early on. Ames had a couple of early unchallenged drives for scores.
When they didn't score off the drive, the Little Cyclones kicked it out to a wide-open shooter. They hit three 3-pointers in the third.
“The teams that have beaten them have taken them out of their drive-and-kick game,” said Patterson. “We were so concerned about covering the basket that we didn’t close out quick enough.”