The Ottumwa boys basketball team was hamstrung by turnovers in its 62-49 loss to Des Moines Lincoln Friday at Evans Middle School.
Too many turnovers and offensive rebounds (by Lincoln), Chris Gravett said after the game, adding that his team needs to cut its turnovers in half if it wants to win.
Gravett said a sense of panic was inducing his team to make bad decisions that lead to turnovers — the Bulldogs turned it over 21 times.
Still, Gravett was pleased with his team’s play in some areas.
“I think that’s the best game we’ve played so far,” he said.
Things started swimmingly for Ottumwa. Austin Walker, who led the Bulldogs with 16 points, scored two buckets inside the paint and Kyle Keck nailed a three pointer with a hand in his face early in the first quarter.
The Railsplitters got the upper hand on Ottumwa by the end of the quarter, as Lincoln’s Connor Quijano took it downcourt and nailed a 3-pointer from way beyond the arc in the quarter’s final seconds to put his team up 18-11.
Brok Hopwood gave Ottumwa some solid minutes off the bench in the second quarter, knocking down a 3-pointer and scoring on a strong dribble-drive to the bucket. Walker also maintained his high level of play, getting the roll on a tightly-guarded jumper and knocking down a three-pointer. But turnovers and the offensive ability of Trevon Young and Sabonis Smith, who led the Railsplitters with 18 each, kept Ottumwa from making a run at Lincoln’s lead.
The Railsplitters continued to nurture their lead in the second half and led 46-39 after three quarters. Young and Smith continued to produce offensively in the final quarter and Lincoln went on to pick up the win.
Ottumwa (0-3) plays Fort Madison tonight at Evans Middle School.
Des Moines Lincoln 62, Ottumwa 49
Linc 18 17 11 16 — 62
Ottu 11 19 9 10 — 49
Lincoln (62) — Trevon Young 18, Sabonis Smith 18, Connor Quijano 3, Diew Deng 7, Josh Bolokor 9, Blake Acri 3, Emmanual Mabior 3, Nate Brown. Totals 22 FG.
3-point goals — 3 (Smith 2). Total fouls — 18. Turnovers — 12.
Ottumwa (62) — Kyle Keck 7, Carter Burns 11, Austin Walker 16, Chris Peden 4, Andrew Altfillisch 7, Brok Hopwood 5. 16FG 49.
3-point goals — 3 (Burns, Keck, Walker). Fouled out — Walker . Rebounds — 22 (8). Assists — 3 (Keck, Burns, Walker). Steals — 4 (Walker 2). Blocks — 1 (Burns 1). Total fouls — 18. Turnovers — 21.