Courier sports writer
This one will sting a little bit.
A few free throws here, and a few defensive stops there and Ottumwa could have picked up another victory Tuesday.
But the Bulldogs just didn’t quite make enough plays to put them over the top and they fell to CIML Metro Conference foe Des Moines Hoover 31-27.
The Bulldogs overcame a 5-point halftime deficit to take a 19-18 lead in the third quarter after Olivia Roark buried her second 3-pointer of the game. Mikayla Larson, who finished with a game-high 18, quickly recaptured the lead for her team by sinking a pair of free throws at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth, Larson penetrated down the middle of the lane and banked it in off the glass to give her team a 22-19 lead. Bulldog Megan Black responded by beating her defender off the dribble and feeding Sydney Strunk, who banked in a short jumper off the glass, which cut the Husky lead to 22-21.
ddle of the lane and made a difficult shot amongst the trees to give her team a one-point edge.
But it was Larson who would take over down the stretch. She took it the length of the floor and scored on a drive to give her team a 27-25 edge. Late in the quarter, she beat her Strunk off the dribble and scored to give her team a 29-25 lead.
“Our free throw shooting was poor, but that was probably second to our lack of mental focus on defense down the stretch,” coach Kevin Patterson said after the game.
The coach, however, praised Alexis Winn and Rachel Zingg for holding Nyakat Diew, Hoover’s leading scorer, to only two points.
Ottumwa (2-5, 1-1) plays at Indianola Friday.
Des Moines Hoover 31, Ottumwa 27
Hoov 6 6 8 11 — 31
Ott 2 5 12 8 — 27
Hoover (31) — Mikayla Larson 18, Natalie Clark 4, Artoria Jung 4, Malaysia Duncan 3, Nyakat Diew 2. Totals 12 FG 6-6 FT 31. 3-point goals — 1 (Duncan). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — 22 (Natalie Clark 9, Larson 9). Steals — 2 (Jung 1, Duncan 1). Blocks — 4 (Diew 3). Total fouls — 12. Turnovers — 13.
Ottumwa (27) — Olivia Roark 12, Sydney Strunk 4, Devin Leffler 2, Hayli Beeson 2, Megan Black 2, Alexis Winn 3. Totals 9 FG 7-14 FT 27. 3-point goals — 2 (Black 2).