WAUKEE — Earlier in the season, the Ottumwa Bulldogs travelled to Waukee and the host Warriors got a big, easy win over the Bulldogs.
Going into Saturday’s 5A regional semifinals, Bulldog head coach Kevin Patterson knew something had to change to give his team their best shot at upsetting the fifth-ranked Warriors.
The Bulldog delay game and the plan to make Waukee shoot free throws still wasn’t enough as Waukee downed Ottumwa 75-34. The Bulldogs closed out their season at 5-17 while Waukee will play Linn Mar for a berth at state tonight.
“We knew that we had to change it up. The only problem was that, early in the game, we fouled the wrong shooters,” said Patterson. “Early on, we did a decent job of running our delay.”
Patterson’s game plan of sending the Warriors to the line was sound. The least quality stat Waukee possesses is their foul shooting.
The idea of trading 1 for 2, 2 for 3, or 1 for 3 soon lost its promise as Waukee used its press to force the Bulldogs into 12 first quarter turnovers.
“They make it really tough because they don’t let your weak side girl flash to the ball to help bring it up,” said Patterson.
Carlie Littlefield got her team off to a quick lead with the first seven points of the game. Megan Black got the Bulldogs on the board, but Waukee went up 12-2 before Rachel Zingg scored inside.
The lead grew to 20-4 before Hayli Beeson hit the first of her two 3-pointers. A 9-0 Waukee run, five of which came from the free-throw line, closed out the opening quarter.
Waukee put the game in the win column with a 25-3 second quarter. They would score the first 21 points of the second.
Carrissa Hite, who led the Bulldogs in scoring with nine, scored to end the run. Jami Nickerson added a free throw, but the halftime score would be 54-10.