The Ottumwa boys basketball team fell to a red-hot West Des Moines Valley squad 77-48 Tuesday at Evans Middle School.
Despite the lopsided score, the Bulldogs turned in one of their strongest offensive performances of the season, despite the fact that point guard Andrew Altfillisch was sidelined with an ankle injury (Altfillisch will return to action Friday).
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs’ offensive attack wasn’t enough to combat the Tigers’ lights-out shooting.
“They have about three or four guys who can shoot it that start, and they have guys off the bench who can shoot it,” Ottumwa coach Chris Gravett said.
Valley drilled 13 3-pointers in the game — the Tigers overwhelmed Ottumwa with a barrage of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, as everyone from the starters to the reserves drilled 3s from all over the floor.
At the vanguard of the Tiger offensive attack was Peter Jok, a University of Iowa recruit. Jok scored in transition, buried some ridiculously deep three-pointers and knocked down a number of difficult mid-range shots. He finished with a game-high 25 points.
It was Austin Walker who carried the load for Ottumwa early, scoring the first six points of the game for the Bulldogs. Walker maintained his offensive efficiency throughout, as he finished with a team-high 19 points.
“I was just trying to be more aggressive tonight than I have been in previous games,” Walker said. “I knew Carter [Burns] would get his points and I would get mine. I just wanted to get going early, get our team going early and we went from there.”
Walker’s scoring output featured a mixture of mid-range jumpers, inside buckets, a number of free throws and a 3-pointer.
Burns took a little while to get going on offense, as the Tigers forced the Ottumwa big man to take some hard shots on offense — his first bucket was a tightly-guarded 3-pointer with a hand in his face. He got into more of a groove in the second and finished with 14 points.
The Tigers led 14-6 after the first quarter. A 3-pointer by Burns cut Valley’s lead to 19-13 in the second. Later in the quarter, sophomore sparkplug Brok Hopwood penetrated inside the lane and fed senior Kyle Keck for an open layup. Keck, who was playing point guard for the first time, turned in a game effort and finished with 10 points.
“I know what I’m going to get from him,” Gravett said. “Kyle’s tough and he’s going to compete. If I asked him to play the five he’d play the five, he’s just that kind of kid.”
Valley, however, began to extend its lead thanks to Ottumwa turnovers — the Bulldogs turned the ball over 24 times — and Jok’s offensive exploits. Valley led 36-20 at the half.
Ottumwa came out flat to start third quarter, but after several minutes of offensive stagnation, the Bulldogs managed to get back in the swing of things. Walker scored on a leaning jumper inside the lane that shaved the lead to 41-22. Then Burns buried a 3-pointer and scored on a strong move inside. Unfortunately, Valley showed no signs of slowing down on offense.
Both teams were extremely efficient on offense in the final quarter, but the breadth of the shots the Tigers were making were 3-pointers, while the Bulldogs were making 2s. Valley’s 3-point barrage continued unabated into the game’s final minutes and the Tigers picked up the victory.
Ottumwa (1-9, 1-3) plays Des Moines Lincoln Friday in Des Moines.
West Des Moines Valley 77, Ottumwa 48
Vall 14 22 14 27 — 77
Ottu 6 14 11 17— 48
Valley (77) — Tanner Hinkle 6, Conner LaGrone 6, Luke Amble 8, Clint Boffeli 13, Peter Jok 25, D.J. Dafney 3, Jake Arriola 6, Tyler Springer 3, Cale Truhlsen 5, M. Mackdanz-Marble 5. Totals 25 FG 8-14 FT 77.
3-point goals — 13 (Jok 3). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — 22 (Jok 5, Hinkle 5). Assists — 3. Blocks — 2 (Amble, Jok). Total fouls — 19.
Ottumwa (48) — Austin Walker 19, Carter Burns 14, Kyle Keck 10, Sam Moreland 1, Brok Hopwood 3, Chris Peden 1. Totals 15 FG 15-20 FT 48.
3-point goals — 3 (Burns 2). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — 17 (Burns 6). Assists — 3 (Hopwood 2). Steals — 4 (Matthew Moreland 2). Blocks — 1 (Burns). Total fouls — 16. Turnovers — 24.