Courier sports staff
The youthful Ottumwa boys basketball team kicked off its season with a 69-45 loss on the road to Southeast Polk Friday.
Senior Kyle Keck led the Bulldogs with 12 points.
Austin Walker and Carter Burns added 10 points each to the Bulldogs total.
“I thought his movement was good and it got better as the game went on,” Ottumwa coach Chris Gravett said.
After a competitive first quarter that ended with the Bulldogs on an 8-0 run and trailing by only two points, Ottumwa had a disastrous second quarter that left it with a 23-point deficit to overcome.
“We just made a lot of the mistakes,” Gravett said. “We couldn’t get a bucket to go and we turned it over a few times and they got a lot of offensive rebounds.”
By the end of the third quarter, the Rams’ lead had increased to 60-31. The Bulldogs managed to win the fourth quarter 14-9, but it was too little, too late.
The Rams hurt the Bulldogs from behind the arc as well. Nick Jeffries, who led all scorers with 20 points; and Tucker Kamman, who finished with 18; both buried four 3-pointers in the contest.
Gravett said even in defeat, there were some positive things the Bulldogs could take from the game as they move forward.
Ottumwa (0-1) takes on Cedar Rapids Xavier Tuesday at Evans Middle School.
Southeast Polk 69, Ottumwa 45
OTT 14 2 15 14 — 45
SEP 16 23 21 9 — 69
Ottumwa (45) — Kyle Keck 12, Austin Walker 10, Matthew Moreland 1, Charlie Altfillisch 4, Brok Hopwood 5, Curtis Schneckloth 3, Carter Burns 10. Totals 18 5-14 45.
3-point goals — 4 (Keck, Hopwood, Walker, Burns). Fouled out — None. Total Fouls - 18
Southeast Polk (69) — Tucker Kamman 18, Luke Hassman 1, Kony Williams 1, Nick Jeffries 20, Caleb Pavon 2, Nick Arnold 9, Ryan Curtis 5, Keaton Merschman 2, Devin Gulick 8. Totals 18FG 6-14FT xx.
3-point goals — 9 (Tucker Kamman 4, Nick Jeffries 4). Fouled out — Jeffries.