By ROGER THOMAS
---- — OTTUMWA — Ames got off to a quick 6-0 start by demonstrating that they could score inside and outside.
The Little Cyclones would widen that to a 14-6 lead after one and with a 19-point second would build the lead to 33-19 at the break. The visitors would go on to down Ottumwa 58-45 in the boys’ basketball action Tuesday night at Evans Middle School.
The Little Cyclones used a 3-pointer and a three-point play by game-high scorer Sam Straub for the early lead. Straub added five more points and Ames led 14-6 after the first.
The Bulldogs were holding their own by rebounding board for board with the visitors. That would change over the last three quarters as Ames would hold a 35-17 rebound advantage at the game’s end.
Nic Young pulled the Bulldogs to within six with a score just seconds into the second quarter. Ottumwa stayed down six after Brok Hopwood hit his first 3-pointer. Again the Little Cyclones displayed the inside-outside game to increase the lead to 14 at the half.
Javan White led Ames with seven second-quarter points. The 6-7 post presence had a huge dunk during the period. Hopwood's second 3-pointer for the Bulldogs was sandwiched between two long-range shots by the Little Cyclones to close out the half.
Ottumwa’s offense sputtered at times and would go numerous possessions without a score. Ames did a good job of controlling the Bulldog post players — Carter Burns and Young. The OHS duo were never able to have big spurts together.
“They (Ames) did a good job of defending our high-low opportunities,” said Ottumwa coach Kevin Kanaskie.
Ottumwa’s best quarter was the third. The Bulldog defense controlled Straub and White, holding them to a combined four points.
Burns scored all seven of his points in the game in a five-minute stretch in the quarter. His late 3-pointer cut the lead to 10, but Ames led 44-32 after three.
Young again scored to open a quarter and his inside score cut the lead to 10. After being defended well by the Bulldogs in the third, Straub and White were back at it in the final eight minutes.
Straub had six points, his final three from the line, as the Little Cyclones (10-9) closed out the road victory. The real force in the final quarter was White. In a one-minute stretch, White had four consecutive scores to put his team up 55-36.
“We were hurt again by just a bad short stretch,” said Kanaskie. “We took a couple of quick shots, didn’t help defensively and we found ourselves in a bigger hole. We need to find a way to make plays that will keep us from always having to play uphill.”
Hopwood answered with his final 3-pointer. Young and Matt Moreland combined for six points to cut the lead to 57-45. One Straub free throw later and the game was in the books.
Ottumwa (1-19) travels to Des Moines to take on Roosevelt in the final CIML Metro Conference game of the season on Friday night.
“We need to hang together and be tough enough to make plays on the road,” added Kanaskie.
AMES 58, OTTUMWA 45
AMES 14 19 11 14 – 58
OTT 6 13 13 13 – 45
AMES (58) – Sam Straub 19, Colby Shane 3, Sam Rathe 7, Spencer Shane 6, Eric Dempsey 3, Javan White 15, Walker Weiss 5. Totals 21-53 11-17 58.
3-point goals – 5-16 (Straub, C. Shane, Rathe, S. Shane 2). Fouled out – none. Rebounds – 35 (White 9). Assists – 12 (S. Shane 5). Steals – 4 (White 2). Blocks – 2 (White 2). Total fouls – 11. Turnovers – 11.
OTTUMWA (45) – Matt Moreland 4, Brok Hopwood 14, Andrew Altifillisch 5, Aaron Roane 2, Burns 7, Nic Young 11 Gage Ryder 2. Totals 17-43 6-8 45.
3-point goals – 5-14 (Hopwood 3, Altfillisch, Burns). Fouled out – Curtis Scheckloth. Rebounds – 17 (Young 5). Assists – 8 (Altfillisch 5). Steals – 5 (Burns 3). Blocks – 3 (Young 2). Total fouls – 17. Turnovers – 13.