By ROGER THOMAS
---- — ALBIA — The Albia Lady Dees had four players in double figures and a fifth just one point shy, as they took control late in the opening quarter to down Oskaloosa 63-33 in non-conference girls’ basketball action Friday night in Albia. Coach Larry Achenbach’s squad is off to a 7-2 start.
“We always strive for a balance but tonight was really good,” said Achenbach. “It doesn’t surprise me because we have had different girls lead the scoring on different nights.”
Osky and Albia traded the lead three different times in the opening minutes, but back-to-back 3's by Makenzie Griffin in the final minute gave the Lady Dees an 11-6 lead at the end of one.
“We all have different strengths and I try and find who can score,” said Griffin. “Tonight, we looked to attack the zone from the perimeter.”
Five different Lady Dees hit 3’s in the contest.
A huge Albia second quarter put the game out of reach for the visitors. Albia held the Indians scoreless for the first seven minutes of the quarter and went on a 19-point run during that stretch to lead 30-6 before the Indians scored again. Sarah Clark quickly answered with her second 3-pointer of the quarter for Albia.
“I think my shooting of the three is a strength within my game,” said Clark. “They (Oskaloosa) were packing it in and coach said keep shooting.”
Two things clearly showed the Lady Dees didn’t waste their practice time over the break. Albia created turnover after turnover with their full-court pressure and did a really good job of attacking Osky’s zone defense.
“Really good to see our execution of the things we worked on during the break,” said Achenbach. “I’ve always believed that how you come out of the break has a lot to do with making or breaking the rest of a season.”
“When the game is like it was at the half, we just want and expect our girls to compete. I think we did that,” said Osky coach Steve Kaisand.
The final half was more competitive with Albia enjoying a seven-point advantage to close out the game. The visitors adjusted some to the Albia pressure and the Lady Dees’ half-court defense.
“We have had problems inbounding the ball against the press,” said Kaisand. “I think, in the second half, we really played a lot more aggressive against the press and on offense.”
Clark opened Albia's final-half scoring with her third 3-pointer, opening the lead out to 36-10 three minutes into the third.
Alexis Westercamp scored six points to lead the Indians in the quarter. Mary Shepard and Hayley Hudson came off the bench to each contribute three points for the Lady Dees in the final two minutes of the quarter. Hudson hit a 3-pointer and Shepard scored an old-fashioned three-point play.
The final five minutes of the third was played nearly even and the visitors trailed 47-20 after three.
The Albia lead would never be less than 22 in the final eight minutes. Seven different players scored for the Lady Dees. One of those was Katie Dyson, who was still in the game controlling the lane as she finished off her nine-point, 13-rebound night.
“When I got through the first half with only one foul, I knew that I could be more aggressive on the boards and looking to score,” said Dyson.
Asia Laudermilch led the Indians with seven final-quarter points, including five from the free throw line. Oskaloosa (1-6) returns to Little Hawkeye Conference play tonight at home against Grinnell.
Albia, meanwhile, is also back home tonight for a return to conference play. The 7-2 Lady Dees host 4-3 Davis County as Albia looks for a fifth-straight victory.
“We’re doing some things pretty well right now, but we can still be better. That’s what the emphasis will be,” said Achenbach.
ALBIA 63, OSKALOOSA 33
OSK 6 4 10 13 – 33
ALB 11 22 14 16 – 63
Osky (33) – Taylor Richardson 3, Asia Laudermilch 7, Paige Howard 6, Alexis Westercamp 11, Brittany McQueen 4, Morgan Holle 2. Totals 11-42 11-18 33.
3-point goals – 0-3. Fouled out – Richardson, Westercamp. Rebounds – 22 (Westercamp 8). Assists – 7 (Richardson 3). Steals – 4 (Westercamp 2). Blocks – 3 (Westercamp 2). Total fouls – 16. Turnovers – 20.
Albia (63) – Mackenzie Griffin 14, Sarah Clark 11, Brooke Bettis 11, Katie Dyson 9, Mary Shepard 6, Hayley Hudson 10, Makenzie Peterson 2. Totals 23-65 11-19 63.
3-point goals – 6-19 (Hudson, Griffin 2, Clark 3). Fouled out – none. Rebounds – 43 (Dyson 13). Assists – 5 (Griffin, Taegan Bossard, Shepard, Clark, Dyson). Steals – 11 (Griffin 7). Blocks – 1 (Dyson). Total fouls – 17. Turnovers – 12.